ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 258 - December 16, 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.

Guidelines Following the Recent Elections Results in Ivory Coast

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Background

The second round of the presidential elections was held on November 28, 2010, in Ivory Coast. Tensions related to the election results are high, violent clashes have occurred and are expected to continue. On December 3, 2010, the military announced that all borders (land, sea, air) in the country would be closed until further notice. At the time, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade advised against all travel to Ivory Coast, which remains in effect. The borders were subsequently re-opened by military forces on December 6, 2010.

As a security precaution, all non-essential staff and dependants of the Embassy of Canada to Ivory Coast have been evacuated from the country. Consequently, given the tumultuous situation in Abidjan resulting in a significant reduction in staff, the immigration visa office is not currently accepting any new applications. Effective December 16, 2010, no immigration services will be offered in Abidjan.

Current policy and procedures

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides sufficient discretion to respond in a flexible and humane manner to emergency situations. It remains the client’s responsibility to demonstrate that they have been affected by the event and all requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To assist travelers, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is reminding officers to utilize their discretion for individuals whose status may have expired due to circumstances beyond their control. Existing provisions within the IRPA should be sufficient to address any exceptional situations.

In Canada

Clients whose temporary resident status will be affected as a result of the current situation in Ivory Coast may submit an application for an extension to their visitor status along with the appropriate fee. No priority processing is required as applicants have implied status until a decision is made and they are notified. Where a client has identified a hardship due to the situation in Ivory Coast, the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville will take this as an additional factor to be considered within existing guidelines. No special measures have been created due to the event in question. It continues to remain the client’s responsibility to demonstrate that they have been affected by the event and all requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Outside Canada

Effective December 8, 2010, the services of the Visa and Immigration Section are temporarily suspended until further notice. Non-immigrant visa applications may continue to be submitted at any other Canadian visa office in person.

For general information on extending their stay in Canada, callers may be referred to the appropriate section on the CIC website.

This is not a special program nor priority processing and messaging should not reflect otherwise.

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