ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 241 - October 12, 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.

New Temporary Resident Visa Application Form

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Background

Beginning March 27, 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conducted a trial of a new Application Form for a Temporary Resident Visa [IMM 5257B Pilot Project] and its accompanying Schedule 1 at select overseas missions. It was intended to eliminate the need for country-specific screening forms. In consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency, the application form was designed to capture sufficient information for security screening in a universal fashion and to reduce the need to contact the applicant for additional information.

As Global Case Management System (GCMS) is deploying this year to extend case processing capabilities overseas, it was determined to provide the new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form at this time. Bar codes were created on the TRV application form to facilitate data entry into GCMS. This new TRV application form is the first electronic application form for overseas applicants which can now be saved electronically by the applicant. Once the new TRV application form has been successfully implemented, the student and worker application forms will be next, followed by other lines of business. The introduction of a new TRV application form is an initial step towards the CIC vision of integrated application forms.

Current status

Currently, the Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257B] application form is available on the internet and is utilized by those applicants who wish to come to Canada on a temporary basis. This application form is completed by a Principal Applicant and can also be completed on behalf of a spouse or common-law partner, and for dependent children under 18 who may be accompanying them.

The application form is bilingual and it is generally completed by hand and submitted to the respective visa office along with all required accompanying documentation. This application form cannot be saved electronically and the information on the form cannot be scanned into existing CIC systems.

New status

Effective October 14, 2010, a new Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form, the corresponding Instruction Guide [IMM 5256], Family Information [IMM 5645] form, Schedule 1 [IMM 5257-Schedule 1] and Document Checklist [IMM 5484] will be made available to all clients. All previous Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257B], Additional Family Information [IMM 5406] and Schedule 1 [IMM 5257-Schedule 1] forms and Instruction Guide [IMM 5256], will no longer be made available when applying for temporary resident visas in any format. This includes the application forms used in the pilot project of March 27, 2009, including Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Washington D.C., Paris, Belgrade, and Colombo visa offices. This pilot project is now concluded.

CIC has coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to ensure that mission websites will have the correct web links to the new TRV application form. All in-Canada and overseas offices must ensure that all stock of previous versions of the old IMM 5257B, IMM 5256, IMM 5406, IMM 5484 and Schedule 1 that are used when applying for Temporary Resident Visas are destroyed. Any specific local instructions or links to the above documents must be modified or removed by October 14, 2010. Local contacts should also be made aware of the Internet location of the new IMM 5257, corresponding Instruction Guide and all other supporting documentation. This may involve requesting the removal of paper forms which may be with honorary consuls, lawyers/consultants, host Ministry of Foreign Affairs offices, travel agents, etc.

A review is currently underway to determine when the previous Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257B] application form will no longer be accepted by CIC. Once this review is complete, instructions will follow in a future Operational Bulletin.

Form details

Each individual applicant must complete and sign the new Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. This means that Principal Applicants can no longer complete an application form on behalf of all accompanying family members. Consequently, each applicant aged 18 and over must complete and sign their respective application form (i.e., a family of three will submit three individual forms). Those applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent or a guardian sign on their behalf. All family members must be indicated on the new Family Information [IMM 5645] application form. This form must be completed by all applicants aged 18 and over who are travelling to Canada and who require a TRV.

The new TRV application form must be accessed electronically and applicants can save a partially completed application form. To assist applicants to accurately complete the new IMM 5257, they will be prompted electronically as they complete the new TRV application form. Officers are encouraged to review the Instruction Guide as it contains further details regarding the completion of the new IMM 5257.

The new TRV application form facilitates data entry into GCMS by incorporating barcodes which will be generated when applicants complete their form electronically. The barcodes will only appear on the IMM 5257 application form once all required information has been correctly completed and the validate button (located at the top and bottom of the application form) has been pressed. The barcodes, which will print on the last page of the form, will contain all of the data entered by the applicant, and may be scanned for direct upload into GCMS. With the increased amount of data collected by GCMS, this feature will be very important to assist offices inputting data. CIC continues to examine ways to further facilitate data entry to ensure that the information requested from clients will be available for case processing without having to manually enter the data.

Should applicants need to submit additional information that will not fit within the sections allotted to them in the electronic application form, they are required to print the page including the appropriate section from the form, complete it and submit it with their application. Applicants are not encouraged to attach a separate piece of paper indicating the letter and/or number of the question they are answering if additional information is required. All application forms must continue to be reviewed to ensure accuracy as well as completion and offices must continue to retain the entire completed application form once processing is completed.

Officers should encourage applicants to complete the IMM 5257 electronically and not submit old application forms nor complete applications by hand.

Overseas

Scanners are being sent to the missions with priority given to those missions first implementing GCMS. Until such time as scanners are available at all visa offices, the information contained within the IMM 5257 will require manual entry into GCMS. Immigration Program Managers (IPMs) have been provided with details regarding the scanners to be used with GCMS. Instructions on how to use the scanners and upload information into GCMS will be provided as part of the regular GCMS training.

Instructions to Visa Application Centres (VACs) have been provided to IPMs in a separate message from International Region/NHQ.

In-Canada

All offices in Canada will remove all access to previous IMM 5257B, IMM 5256, IMM 5406, IMM 5484 and Schedule 1 application forms used when applying for Temporary Resident Visas by October 14, 2010, to ensure applicants are accessing the most current forms. Messaging will be provided to the Call Centre and information will be made available on WebCART.

Instructions regarding the procedures for processing applications from VACs will be sent separately to the specific in-Canada office(s).

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