Operational Bulletin 382 - January 31, 2012

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.

Special Events – Specific Directives for Processing Foreign Mission and International Organizations Act (FMIOA) Temporary Resident Visa Applications for the Forum Mondial de la Langue Française (SE Code 12FMLF)

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide information and processing instructions for participants of the – Forum Mondial de la Langue Française (FMLF). Note that although some of the participants will be processed under FMIOA there are others for whom regular processing procedures apply including the processing fee.

Background

The FMLF will be held in Quebec City July 2-6, 2012. The forum is organized by the Organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF) in cooperation with the Government of Quebec. The Government of Quebec will act as host. The Forum is open to delegates from all countries, not just Francophonie member and observer countries. Registration for the Forum is scheduled to take place from December 1, 2011 to February 1, 2012. However organizers anticipate extending the registration period until April 1, 2012 to accommodate late registrations.

The Forum is mainly directed at members of the civil society many of whom may come from non-member countries of the Francophonie.

The OIF is covered by a permanent Order in Council under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act.

The following member and observer countries are expected to participate in the Forum:

1. OIF Member Countries

Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Chad, Togo, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Dominica, Haiti, St. Lucia, Cambodia, Laos, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, French Community of Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Romania and Switzerland.

2. OIF Observer Countries

Mozambique, UAE, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Thailand, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Processing Procedures

FMIOA Processing for “Representatives” and “Officials” of the OIF

Representatives” of member and observer countries and spouses and “officials” of the organization and spouses who are attending the Forum are entitled to immunities and privileges as specifically provided under order SOR-88-574. 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 and set out in Schedule III Section 5 of the FMIOA. These representatives and officials should be issued an official 0-1 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.

In essence, all “representatives” (and family members) of states and governments that are members or observer countries of the OIF and “officials” (and family members) (of the OIF) will have, at a minimum, immunities from immigration restrictions.

It is expected that approximately fifty (50) “officials” of the OIF will be required to take part in the Forum in various capacities. We ask that the mission in Paris liaise with OIF officials to facilitate the processing of any visas required by the employees of the organisation.

All visa applications for participants covered by FMIOA must be issued expeditiously 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. The fee exemption code is A01 (R296(2)(a).

Regular Processing Procedures for Other Participants not covered by FMIOA

Delegates from the following group are entitled to a TRV or a TRP processing fee exemption under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) (R296(2)(a) Exemption Code A01 or R298(2)(a) Exemption Code M10):

Delegates and family members representing Intergovernmental organizations and government officials (and family members) of invited countries with no status in the OIF. To date the following countries in this category are participating:  Mauritania, South Africa, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, United States of America, Australia, China, India, Japan, Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal and United Kingdom.

Delegates from the following groups are not entitled to a TRV processing fee exemption under IRPA:

  • Delegates representing an institution or non government organization (NGO) i.e. university president, lecturer, teachers’ associations, school teachers.
  • Individual Participants i.e. members of the civil society (individuals interested in the French language and culture or actively involved at the community level on related issues).
    Approximately 1000 individuals from Africa (280), the Caribbean (280), Asia (50) and Europe (250) are expected to participate. Forty percent (40%) of these participants will be 18-30 years of age. Some will receive financial assistance.
  • Media Representatives (journalists, photographers, cameramen, technicians) Approximately 60 individuals are expected from Africa (15), the Caribbean (30), Asia (3) and Europe (12).

Other information on the Forum

Registration process for the Forum

All participants will be required to register to take part in the Forum. All registration applications for the Forum, including those from members of the civil society, will be vetted by a selection committee made up of representatives of the Commissioner General of the Forum and a representative of  the Quebec Government.

Media Representatives

Members of the media wishing to come to Canada to report on the Forum will be required to follow an accreditation process. Those approved will be issued a personalized letter confirming participation.

Letters of Invitation/Confirmation

A letter of invitation will be issued to each individual participating in the Forum. The letter is issued to an individual; not a delegation. Every individual applying for a visa must have an invitation letter addressed to him or her confirming participation in the forum. Some participants will receive financial assistance to participate in the Forum. The letter of invitation will include this information.

Spouses

No activities for spouses are included in the program for the Forum. However, it is expected that some delegates representing governments of member countries and OIF officers will be accompanied on their trip to Canada. There is no funding available for spouses.

FMIOA Security Screening and Advising National Headquarters for “Representatives” and “Officials”

Missions are no longer required to send such applications to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for security screening, as these applicants are accorded specific privileges and immunities under FMIOA. However, missions should send an email notification to the CBSA indicating that the applicants have been granted a TRV as per FMIOA so that CBSA may alert security screening partners. The emails should be sent to the generic inbox (trais-srert@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca) and should include the following information:

  • the full name and date of birth of the applicant;
  • the event the applicant is attending and dates, and
  • that the person is covered under an FMIOA Order.

Should these applicants apply in the future under different circumstances (i.e. non-FMIOA), the applications should be referred to the CBSA via Global Case Management System (GCMS) for security screening as per the indicators in the Immigration Classified 2 manual.

Should admission of an inadmissible applicant significantly impact on the security of Canada- consult Case Management Branch (with a copy to your geographic desk) NAT-Case-Review@cic.gc.ca.

Advise Case Management Branch of any TRV issuance to an inadmissible applicant (NAT-Case-Review@cic.gc.ca).

Coding at Missions and Ports of Entry

  • Inserting the Special Events Code 12FMLF for this event is a requirement. The Statistics Unit of the Operational Management and Coordination Branch will be preparing periodic reports to brief management. For ease of reference organizers have included the SE Code in the invitation letter. The SE Code has been uploaded in GCMS.

Coding for participants covered by FMIOA:

  • Insert a note in GCMS if the case was processed under FMIOA.
  • The notation FMIOA should be handwritten on the TRV, if applicable.
  • If an inadmissible person covered by FMIOA is allowed to come to Canada (issued a TRV) despite the fact that they may be inadmissible under IRPA, the GCMS notes should indicate:

“The applicant is indeed inadmissible under section X of IRPA, but his/her visit falls under the purview of the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act.”

Should you have any questions, please send an e-mail to Special.Events@cic.gc.ca and copy your geographic desk.

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