ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 306 - June 3, 2011

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Long Term Multiple-entry Visas

Issue

This Operational Bulletin provides additional information to Visa Offices on issuing long term multiple-entry visas.

Background

On December 20, 2010, the following e-mail message was widely circulated from International Region to missions abroad, encouraging the issuance of long term multiple-entry visas wherever possible, particularly in the cases of parents who may already be in the permanent resident (PR) queue and business travellers.

The Department is promoting the issuance of long-term multiple-entry visas. Visa officers should encourage frequent travellers to Canada to apply for multiple-entry visas and multiple-entry visas should be issued for as long a validity period as possible (up to 10 years minus one month).

As stated in the OP 11 manual section 12, the maximum validity period of a multiple-entry visa can be given for the validity of the passport, minus one month; which at present is five years, less 30 days prior to the expiry of the passport. Until recently, most countries issued passports valid for five years, but increasingly countries are opting for 10-year validity. In cases where multiple-entry visas can be issued, they should be issued to the maximum validity according to the length of the passport validity (up to 10 years minus one month).

If a client has applied and paid for a multiple-entry visa and the visa officer is satisfied that the client is a bona fide temporary resident and is not inadmissible to Canada, a multiple-entry visa with the maximum validity period should be issued. This practice, already recommended for parents and grandparents with sponsorships in process, should be extended to other clientele, for example, business visitors.

Visa offices are encouraged to promote the option of multiple-entry visas to relevant clientele. Clearly, officers in the field develop an in-depth knowledge of their clientele and it is expected that they will use the post-specific information acquired to make the best decision regarding promotion and issuance of multiple-entry visas.

We anticipate the availability of long-validity multiple-entry visas will persuade more applicants to apply for multiple rather than single-entry visas, thereby reducing repeat applications at visa offices and facilitating legitimate travel to Canada.

Instructions

The Department is moving towards the issuance of long term multiple-entry visas as the norm. It is a means of reducing frequent return traffic to visa offices. This action will also be facilitative to applicants in visa-required countries in assisting them in being able to travel more frequently and on their own schedules to Canada.

Further to instructions found in OP 11, section 12, the following indications should be considered when encouraging application for multiple-entry visas:

  • applicant known to visa office
  • applicant has a history of travelling to and returning from Canada
  • elderly parent(s) with PR application in process

If an officer chooses to issue a long term multiple-entry visa for less than the full validity period of the passport (up to 10 years minus one month), the reasons are to be entered in the case notes.

Visa officers need to take note that issuance of a multiple-entry visa should now be considered to be the norm and any single-entry visa issuance needs explanation if a multiple-entry visa could have been issued (fee paid).

If the applicant requests a single-entry visa and the officer could have issued a multiple-entry visa, the visa office is instructed to send the following letter in order to encourage applicants to apply for a multiple-entry visa rather than a single-entry visa for subsequent applications:

INSERT LETTERHEAD

Our Ref.:
INSERT ADDRESS
INSERT DATE

Dear:

Please find enclosed your single-entry temporary resident visa as per your application.

If you had applied for a multiple-entry visa, the visa issued to you could have been valid up to one month before the expiry of your passport (for a maximum of 10 years).

Next time you wish to apply to travel to Canada you may wish to consider applying for a multiple entry visa.

Please note you must still meet all assessment criteria as per Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and associated Regulations at the time your application is processed.

Sincerely,

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