Operational Bulletin 308 - May 24, 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.

Closure of the visa section of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan

Summary

The Canadian visa section in Taipei, Taiwan will no longer accept new applications effective May 25, 2011 and will cease all operations permanently on June 17, 2011. Responsibility for Canada’s immigration programs in Taiwan will be transferred to the Canadian visa section in Hong Kong.

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide guidance to staff and to the public on procedures for the closure of the Canadian Visa office in Taipei.

Background

On November 22, 2010, the Government of Canada removed the temporary resident visa requirement for holders of ordinary Taiwanese passports. Ordinary Taiwanese passports are identified by the presence of a personal identification number and verification of issuance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan. Processing of such visa applications represented the majority of work performed by the visa section in Taipei.

The reduction in work load and the implementation of a Global Case Management System (GCMS) has helped Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) gain service delivery efficiencies through globalized processing. In various geographic areas, visa offices provide client services to several neighbouring regions. As such, it was no longer economically viable for CIC to maintain its presence in Taiwan.

Procedures

Residents in Taiwan will continue to have access to the full range of CIC programs but all applications, for both temporary and permanent resident visas will, in the future, be processed at the Canadian visa section in Hong Kong.

The visa section in Taipei will make every effort to finalize temporary resident visa, study/work permit and permanent resident travel document applications in process before it ceases all operations on June 17, 2011. Any applications that remain in process at this time will be sent to Hong Kong for processing. As such, applicants can expect to receive a decision from either the visa section in Taipei or in Hong Kong.

Applications for permanent residence for all categories will be transferred to the visa section in Hong Kong during the period of May 25 to June 17, 2011. The applications will be incorporated into the Hong Kong visa section’s inventory for each category and will continue to be processed in accordance with the dates that they were first received. Processing times can be found on the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/index.asp#immigration.

Applicants who have paid application fees at a bank in Taiwan but who have not yet submitted a visa application may apply for a refund through the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, as the processing fees are non-transferable. Refund request forms may be obtained at the following website: www.canada.org.tw/taiwan/assets/pdfs/refund-remboursement.pdf.

Applicants who subsequently choose to submit a new application to Hong Kong will be required to submit a new fee payment with that application.

For additional information, please refer to the list of frequently asked questions questions at www.canada.org.tw/taiwan/visas/Closure_FAQ_Fermeture.aspx?lang=eng.

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