ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 180 – January 22, 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.

Section 11 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and applications for permanent residence in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) class

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Purpose

This operational bulletin (OB) includes instructions for the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) and visa offices on how to apply subsection 11(1) of the IRPR. It also reiterates the existing policy on file transfers.

Background

The creation of the CIO introduced an additional step that FSW applicants must complete before their applications can be processed. As a result, clarification of how subsection R11(1) applies is necessary. Similarly, although the policy on file transfers is not affected by the creation of the CIO, new guidelines are required for technical reasons.

Compliance with R11(1)

To comply with subsection R11(1), FSW applicants must submit their applications to the CIO. If they are subsequently instructed to submit a complete application and supporting documents to a visa office, they must also comply with subsection R11(1) in respect of the visa office.

In addition, pursuant to paragraph R10(1)(c), applicants are required to, among other things, request on their IMM 0008 – Schedule 3 (PDF format) that a specific visa office process their application. Applicants who do not complete this part of the IMM 0008 – Schedule 3 (PDF format) correctly, e.g. leave it blank or specify any office that is not a visa office, have not complied with paragraph R10(1)(c). In this case, section R12 obliges the CIO to return the application to the applicant.

If an applicant complies with R10, the visa office requested must be one that will be able to process the application in compliance with subsection R11(1). The CIO is not responsible for assessing whether applicants are subsection R11(1) compliant at the visa office specified on their IMM 0008 – Schedule 3 (PDF format). The onus is on the applicant to correctly identify the visa office for processing.

If, when a complete application is received at the visa office, there is insufficient evidence that the applicant is subsection R11(1) compliant as of the date the application was received at the CIO, the visa office will return the application and all documents submitted to the applicant pursuant to section R12. The visa office will not return the application to the CIO.

The visa office will close the file, code as PSDEC2, entering CAIPS notes detailing the reasons for closing the file (i.e. insufficient evidence that the applicant is subsection R11(1) compliant) and initiate a refund request through the CIO. The visa office will not change the file number assigned by the CIO.

The visa office will inform the applicant why the application is being returned and that they may submit a new application to the CIO, which must specify a visa office for which the applicant will be subsection R11(1) compliant.

File transfers

There is an existing file transfer policy. Please review OP 1, sections 5.19 (PDF format) (PDF, 597.29KB) and 5.20 (PDF format) (PDF, 597.29KB).

Visa offices may transfer files at any stage for reasons of program integrity.

Program integrity includes issues such as ability to effectively evaluate documents: knowledge of local security and criminality environments; or familiarity with business practices and procedures. Other factors may be taken into account when evaluating the impact of a file transfer on program integrity.

The issues and factors connected with program integrity are not necessarily the same at all stages of application handling. At the final determination of eligibility stage, visa officers may be more inclined to make a negative determination of eligibility in the absence of sufficient evidence of eligibility. Transferring a file to another visa office for a final determination should be the exception rather than the rule.

After a positive final determination of eligibility, more is at stake for both the applicant and program integrity. The applicant is no longer eligible for a fee refund. If program integrity is compromised, a visa might be issued or refused contrary to program requirements. Consequently, greater latitude to transfer files for reasons of program integrity is desirable once an application is in process.

Visa offices are not required to transfer files for any other reasons. Such reasons include cases of applicants who comply with subsection R11(1) for the specified visa office, at the time the application is received at the CIO, but subsequently leave the territory of the specified visa office. In these cases, the original visa office should proceed with a final determination of eligibility and process the application if eligible. The visa office should not transfer the file to another visa office unless the transfer is warranted for program integrity reasons. Leaving a visa office’s territory alone does not warrant a file transfer. In this case, if an applicant requests a file transfer, the visa office should inform them that the application will not be transferred and that they are required to submit a complete application to the visa office originally specified within the 120 day deadline allotted by the CIO.

File transfers following an administrative error

In rare cases the CIO may electronically transfer the file to the wrong visa office. This error may come to light when:

  • the applicant notifies either the visa office or the CIO; or
  • the visa office (specified by the PA) receives a complete application but has not also received a file transfer from the CIO.

In these cases, either the visa office or the CIO (the first to become aware of the error) should notify the other of the error. The CIO will coordinate a request to the IT International Helpdesk to apply the reverse transfer utility. In addition, the CIO will inform the applicant by email that an administrative error has occurred and that it is being corrected.

If a paper file exists, the visa office will send it to the new visa office and notify both the new visa office and the CIO by email that the file is being transferred and why.

A paper file is a complete application that has been received at a visa office within the 120 day deadline. The date the file was sent to the new visa office must be recorded in the CAIPS notes before the file is electronically transferred back to the CIO (please see more detailed instructions below). It is not necessary for the CIO to reset the 120 day deadline.

In all cases after the transfer back to the CIO, the CIO should inform the applicant that the file is being re-transferred to the correct visa office. If there is no paper file, the CIO will also BF the file for 120 days and inform applicant of the new deadline for submitting the complete application to the new visa office.

Note: The CIO and visa offices do not bear any responsibility for errors caused by the applicant or their authorized representatives (e.g. the authorized representative specifies an incorrect visa office for processing; the applicant sends complete application to an incorrect visa office, etc.). In cases of client or representative errors the visa office will follow the procedures outlined above or, if the applicant does not submit a complete application and supporting documents within the 120 deadline, the existing instructions for final determinations of eligibility based on the evidence on the file (please see OB 120).

CAIPS instructions

Please refer to the following link for existing CAIPS instructions on file transfers.

With the exception of regional processing centres and satellites, visa offices may not electronically transfer files to another visa office.

There are two different sets of instructions that govern file transfers.

Files transferred from the CIO that have not been re-numbered by the visa office

In these cases, visa offices should contact the CIO (CIO-Sydney-Missions@cic.gc.ca). The CIO will ask the IT International Helpdesk to use the CAIPS reverse transfer utility (see below). After the IT International Helpdesk approves the use of the reverse transfer utility and the visa office electronically transfers the file back to the CIO, the visa office must notify the CIO that the transfer has taken place. The CIO will then in turn transfer the electronic file to the new visa office.

Note: In these cases where a file has not been re-numbered (whether or not a paper file exists) by the visa office, the PSDEC will remain at PSDEC4. If there is a paper file, the visa office will send it to the new visa office and notify them by email to this effect.

Files transferred from the CIO that have been re-numbered by the visa office

When a file has been renumbered by a visa office, it cannot be transferred back to the CIO and re-transferred electronically by the CIO to another visa office. As a result, renumbered files should simply be closed at the originating visa office. The CIO does not need to be contacted. In most renumbered cases the CAIPS file will already have passed paper screening (PSDEC1). After entering an explanation for the transfer and as many details as possible about the dispatch of the paper file to the other visa office in the CAIPS notes, the CAIPS file should be closed by SELDEC 7 – withdrawn or, if the transfer takes place post-selection, by FINDEC 5 – withdrawn. The paper file should be sent to the new visa office in accordance with the transmittal standards that apply to the contents of the file (at least Protected B).

Note: In cases which have been renumbered and the application has not passed paper screening, the PSDEC was reset to PSDEC0 from PSDEC4. Close these cases as PSDEC3 before transferring the file.

Upon receipt of the paper file at the new visa office, a new CAIPS file will be created with a new B-file number. It is imperative that the new visa office enter in the following fields:

  • XREF = original CIO file number
  • Pilot code = M01

In addition, the receiving visa office should send an email message to NHQ-OPS-Stats@cic.gc.ca identifying the file that has been transferred. This serves to validate the data, and gives CIC the ability to associate 2 separate B-file numbers to the transferred case.

Reverse transfer utility

The reverse transfer utility involves electronically transferring the CAIPS file from the visa office back to the CIO who will, in turn, transfer it electronically to the new visa office. The utility allows the CIO to receive the electronic file back without it being rejected because a record with the same file number already exists in its database.

In all cases, the IT International Helpdesk must approve the use of the reverse transfer utility. The CIO will coordinate the request to the IT International Helpdesk to apply the reverse transfer utility.

After receiving approval from the IT International Helpdesk to transfer the file, the visa office must notify the CIO that the transfer has taken place. Once the CIO receives the notification from the visa office, it may transfer the file to the new visa office.

Note: It may take a few weeks for the IT International Helpdesk to complete the request. Files transferred in error and awaiting a reverse transfer to the CIO should not be rejected/closed once the 120 days have passed.

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