Operational Bulletin 167 – January 5, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Procedures for transferring files for in-Canada applications for permanent residence


This operational bulletin provides instruction on how to transfer files in relation to in-Canada applications for permanent residence.


File transfer procedures vary from one office to another. For this reason, instructions are needed in order to promote consistency.

Files are transferred:

  • when an applicant informs CIC (in person or via the Call Centre) of a change in address, placing the file in another jurisdiction;
  • when a file is referred to a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) office;
  • when a file is referred to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA);
  • when a file is referred from the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V) to a local office.

The responsibility centre (RC) code should always reflect where the application is being processed. This information is necessary for reporting and evaluation purposes and will ensure that the correct office is credited with the decision taken on the application.

Note: A jurisdiction may include more than one CIC office (i.e. the Greater Toronto Area [GTA] includes CIC Scarborough, CIC Etobicoke and CIC Mississauga.) Files are not transferred within the GTA.

File transfers should not delay decision-making or processing. If there is sufficient information to make a stage 1 or stage 2 decision, either of these decisions should be made before a file is transferred. If there is any reason to transfer a file after making either of these decisions, the procedures outlined below should be followed.


Call Centre

Some applicants may call the CIC Call Centre informing them of a change of address or requesting a file transfer. The Call Centre agent will follow the procedures described in WebCart.

If the applicant wishes to change their address and the Call Centre agent realizes the applicant is ready to be granted permanent residence, the agent will follow the procedures described in WebCart.

Local offices and CPC-Vegreville

As a general rule, when an applicant moves from one jurisdiction to another, the file moves with the applicant unless the officer has sufficient information on file to make the decision at either stage.

When transferring a file, the officer will:

  • decide which office will receive the file;
  • change the RC code to the receiving office in the FOSS APL screen (refer to WebCart for a list of RC codes);
  • enter FOSS notes detailing the reasons for the transfer;
  • transfer the paper file, in line with existing file transfer policies.

As a common practice, offices should always check to ensure the correct RC code appears on the APL screen when processing an application.

Some applicants may attend a local CIC office to inform that they have moved to the area and request a file transfer. In these cases the new address should be recorded in FOSS. An email message should be sent to the CIC processing the applicant’s file, requesting the file be transferred to the new office.

Although clients may request file transfers, CIC decides if one is necessary. When a file transfer is necessary, CIC also decides which office will receive the file. Files cannot be transferred to offices that are not responsible for the jurisdiction in which the client lives.


Some applicants may request that the application continue to be processed at the current CIC office, despite the fact they may reside in another jurisdiction. In this case, if the applicant is willing to travel in the event an interview becomes necessary, do not transfer the application.

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