Operational Bulletin 278 - March 18, 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.


With improvements and reforms in Zimbabwe, Ministerial Instructions have been modified effective February 1, 2011.


Recent political developments have led to changes in Ministerial Instructions on visa applicants from Zimbabwe.

As of January 31, 2011, Operational Bulletin (OB) 066 is no longer valid and is replaced with OB 278.


Pursuant to subsection 15(4) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada had issued Ministerial Instructions requiring that, effective June 29, 2008, all applications, including those for study and work permits, from senior officials of Zimbabwe and their family members be referred to National Headquarters (NHQ) – Case Management Branch (CMB).

In light of improvements in the situation in Zimbabwe and reforms in the Zimbabwe government, the Ministerial Instructions are hereby modified to identify specific individuals of concern. The family members of designated persons are not included in these measures, except where they are themselves designated persons.

International Region, Case Processing Centre – Vegreville and Inland Offices

Retroactively effective February 1, 2011, all applications, including those for study and work permits, received from nationals of Zimbabwe must be screened by the receiving officer to determine whether the applicant is, or may be a “designated person” pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (Zimbabwe) Regulations. These Special Economic Measures and the associated Schedule can be found at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2008-248/ page-1.html.

If the foreign national falls within the above criteria, the application must be referred to NHQCMB via an e-mail with the subject line “Designated Person – Zimbabwe as per OB 278”.

Ports of Entry

Canada Border Service Agency’s Border Service Officers at Ports of Entry should continue to be aware of the designated persons listed in the Schedule as per the above link.

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