Operational Bulletin 299b - November 15, 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.

Return of incomplete Permanent Resident Card Applications


The Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S) is now returning all incomplete applications for a Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) to applicants.


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to provide instructions for the return of incomplete PR Card applications submitted to CPC-S.


Applications for the PR Card are made by completing and mailing an application form (IMM 5444) to CPC-S. In accordance with the requirements of R56 and R57, all applications must be made in Canada and include the fee, photos, proof of residence in Canada for the five years immediately preceeding the application, identity documents, and supporting documents. CPC-S is responsible for the intake, file creation and initial processing of PR Card applications.

Until April 1, 2011, when CPC-S received an incomplete application, the processing agent contacted the applicant by phone or mail to request any missing information. The application was entered into the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) and a bring-forward was added to the system. The application was held until the missing information was received, or 180 days, whichever came first.

With the aim of increasing processing efficiency, CPC-S has conducted a pilot project that started April 1, 2011, to assess the feasibility and operational impacts of returning incomplete PR Card applications. During the pilot, CPC-S checked all applications upfront for completeness. Applicants were asked to provide missing information or documentation within 30 days instead of 180 days.

The pilot has been concluded and the PR Card application form and guide have been updated and are available to applicants. A new and enhanced documents checklist has been integrated within the application form, clearly outlining what documents must be provided with an application to be considered complete. The documents checklist can be found at the end of the application form:

Effective immediately:

Given the successful results of the pilot, CPC-S will now return incomplete PR Card applications, as per section 12 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), when information required under R56 and R57 or supporting documents are missing.

When applications for PR Card are received incomplete, CPC-S:

  • Will not allocate the fees for the processing of the application;
  • Will not record the basic data in the CPC system;
  • Will return the entire package to the applicant with a notice letter indicating what information or document(s) is missing in their application. At that point applicants will have two options:
    1. Resubmit the application with the missing information or document(s); or
    2. Request a refund of the fees because the applicant no longer wishes to submit their application.

Applicants will inform the CPC-S in writing of the option chosen.

Files currently waiting for missing information or document(s):

During the pilot project, applicants were given 30 days to provide the missing information or document(s). Effective immediately, for all applications on hold where the 30 days have elapsed and the applicant has not provided the required information or document(s), the entire incomplete application, including fees, will be returned to the applicant with a notice letter indicating what component is missing, and offering the options mentioned above.

Resubmitted application:

CPC-S staff must validate whether or not the resubmitted application is complete, and if not, return it as per the instructions above until a complete package is received.

Urgent processing:

These procedures will also apply to applications that meet the urgent processing criteria. However, CPC-S may use alternative means of communication to obtain the missing information or document(s) before returning the application, as required by the circumstances of each application.

Refund of fee payment:

In some cases, applicants may indicate that they no longer wish to proceed with their PR Card application and will request a refund of their fee payment. For these cases, the applicant is required to indicate on the notice of incomplete application that they do not wish to proceed with their application. The applicant will be asked to return that notice letter with a copy of their fee payment to the CPC-S, at the address indicated on the letter to obtain a refund.

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