Operational Bulletin 268 - February 9, 2011

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

Special Events—Specific Directives for Processing FMIOA Temporary Resident Visa Applications for the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the 26th Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the 4th Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean (A01/A06)

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide information and processing instructions for participants of the above meetings.

Background

1. IDB and IIC Meetings

Canada will host the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) Meetings on March 24-28, 2011, in Calgary, Alberta. The IDB is an international organization established and headquartered in Washington D.C. It is the region’s main source of multilateral funding for economic, social and institutional development. The IIC, which is part of the IDB, focuses on support for small and medium-size businesses.

The members of the IDB are Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Austria, El Salvador, Norway, Bahamas, Finland, Panama, Barbados, France, Paraguay, Belgium, Germany, Peru, Belize, Guatemala, Portugal, Bolivia, Guyana, Slovenia, Brazil, Haiti, Spain, Canada, Honduras, Suriname, Chile, Israel, Sweden, People's Republic of China, Italy, Switzerland, Colombia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Japan, United Kingdom, Croatia, Republic of Korea, United States, Denmark, Mexico, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Netherlands and Venezuela.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has responsibility for organizing the IDB meeting and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) will lead in the development of the business program. DFAIT’s objective is to deliver on the Prime Minister’s commitment to use the IDB meeting to “open doors for all Canadians to do more business in the Americas”. The Governor of the IDB in Canada is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

2. Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean

The 4th Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean will take place on March 25-26, 2011, in Calgary. It will bring together Finance Ministers from 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere. The purpose is to foster cooperation on topics such as economic recovery and regional integration. Heads of International Financial Institutions will also participate. Finance Minister Flaherty will chair the meeting and will host it on the margins of the IDB meeting taking place in Calgary that same week. The meeting of Finance Ministers is being organized by the Department of Finance Canada. Some of the Finance Ministers invited are also Governors for their country at the IDB. All participants to this meeting are also invited to the IDB meeting and should be processed in accordance with the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act (FMIOA).

The following countries are invited to the Finance Ministers Meeting: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and, Venezuela. Officials of the World Bank (based in Washington DC), Inter-American Development Bank (based in Washington DC), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) (based in Barbados), International Monetary Fund (IMF) (based in Washington DC), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (based in Chile).

The IDB is covered by a permanent Order in Council (OIC) under FMIOA. As such, “representatives”, “officials” and “experts” who are attending the meetings are entitled to immunities and privileges as specifically provided under this order. Of particular relevance to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are privileges and immunities granted to “representatives” under Article IV section 11(d) and to “officials” under Article V section 18(d) of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations (UN Convention) and set out in Schedule III of the FMIOA.

In essence, all “representatives” and “officials” of states and governments that have been invited to participate in any of these meetings will have, at minimum, immunities from immigration restrictions accorded to them.

Although “experts” participating in all of the above meetings are entitled to some immunities under FMIOA (Article VI Section 22 of the UN Convention), they are not exempted from the immigration restrictions.

In some cases, spouses may be accompanying the individuals who are invited to these meetings. For those individuals who are considered “representatives” or “officials”, their spouses will also enjoy immunity from immigration restrictions. It is expected that up to 100 spouses may participate.

The IDB will be issuing a single letter of invitation per delegation. The letter of invitation contains a code that will be used by delegates to register for the meetings. Once registrations are vetted by the IDB a letter of acceptance is issued to individual participants by e-mail. The name of an accompanying spouse will be included on the delegate’s letter of acceptance. A separate letter of acceptance will not be issued to a spouse. To facilitate processing, meeting organizers (for the IDB, IIC and Finance Ministers) have been asked to share the delegation lists with the processing missions directly as soon as available.

Processing Information

When processing applications related to the IDB meetings, we ask that you follow the guidelines for international events covered under FMIOA.

All visa applications for participants covered by FMIOA must be issued speedily and without charge or restriction. In other words, the visa requirement itself should not become an impediment for the person’s travel and entry to Canada.

Representatives and Officers

A “representative” and an “officer” of a state or government participating in the IDB meetings enjoy immunity from immigration restrictions and should be issued a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), not a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), despite the fact that they may be inadmissible under any of sections 33-43 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Unless there are specific reasons to the contrary, all persons listed as part of a delegation should be treated as a “representative”; these may include:

Ministers of finance, government officials, presidents of the IDB in member countries, officers of the bank, representatives of aid agencies (CIDA counterparts), advisors, secretaries, technical personnel (security personnel), office staff, interpreters and journalists (if included in the delegation list only).

The IDB expects that approximately 300-400 of the bank (IDB) staff (from the head office in Washington) will be coming to Canada to work during the meeting. They should be treated as “officials”. “Representatives” and “officials” are entitled to a fee exemption under 296(2)(a) or (e).

Experts

“Experts” participating in these meetings are not exempted from immigration restrictions. “Experts” are entitled to a fee exempt TRV under R296(2)(a) or (e). A fee-exempt TRP may be considered to overcome inadmissibility under R298(2)(d) (exemption code M10).

Officials of the World Bank, CDB, IMF, the ECLAC, Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, guests invited by the IDB and observers should be treated as “experts”.

Security Screening and Advising NHQ

  • All applications must be fully completed and vetted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), where applicable (IC2 Section 22);
  • For “experts” who are inadmissible under A34, A35 and A37, the national interest TRP process or the public policy TRV process may apply. It is important, therefore, that vetting of all applicants pursuant to the IC2 manual be initiated as soon as possible so that, if necessary the national interest TRP or the public policy TRV process can be initiated as soon as possible;
  • Should admission of an inadmissible applicant significantly impact on the security of Canada—consult Case Management Branch (CMB) (with a copy to your geographic desk);
  • Direct all security, war crimes and organized criminality screening to CBSA’s Temporary Resident Assessments and Intelligence Section or either through Global Case Management System (GCMS) or the Screening Referral Request;
  • The policy is to vet participants where applicable. However, when this is not possible, due to time constraints, priority should be given to requesting expedited vetting action where there is evidence of concern, or vetting of “experts” who are not exempt from immigration restrictions;
  • For exceptional urgent cases, where there is reason for concern or involving a high profile individual, submit screening request indicating when a response is required and advise CMB. The email should contain all required information of a VIT as outlined in the IC2 manual and specify:
    • the event the person is attending
    • that the person is covered under an FMIOA Order
    • that an expedited response is requested by (date);
  • Advise CMB of any TRV issuance to an inadmissible applicant.

Coding at missions and ports of entry

  • Insert a note in the Computer-Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS)/GCMS if the case was processed under FMIOA;
  • The notation FMIOA should be handwritten on the TRV;
  • If an inadmissible person covered by FMIOA is allowed to come to Canada (issued a TRV) despite the fact that they may be inadmissible underIRPA, the CAIPS/GCMS notes should indicate:
    “The applicant is indeed inadmissible under section X of IRPA, but his visit falls under the purview of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act.”
  • The Special Events (SE) code 11BANK has been assigned for the IDB, IIC and Finance Ministers meetings. It is important to input the SE code in CAIPS/GCMS as it will subsequently be used for statistical collection purposes.

Note that some IDB officials may be required to come to Canada prior to the meeting to work on the meeting. These individuals should be issued a multiple entry TRV.

Some private financial institutions such as the Bank of America may come to Calgary to hold events on their own at the same time as the IDB meeting. These are private events not related to the IDB meeting. Regular processing procedures apply.

If you are unsure of who is covered by FMIOA, please contact your geographic desk and copy CMB and Operational Management and Coordination.

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