Operational Bulletin 410 - April 27, 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 FMIOA (Foreign Mission and International Organizations Act) Temporary Resident Visa Applications for the Commonwealth Electoral Network Biennial Conference (SE Code 12CENB)

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide information and processing instructions for participants to the Commonwealth Electoral Network Biennial Conference. Note that although some of the participants will be processed under the Foreign Mission and International Organizations Act (FMIOA) there are others for whom regular processing procedures apply.

Background

Elections Canada and the Commonwealth Secretariat are hosting the Commonwealth Electoral Network Biennial Conference. The purpose of the conference is to bring together the most senior election managers in the Commonwealth and offer important opportunities to promote all aspects of good electoral practices through peer learning and support, thus enhancing democratic culture and service to citizens. The conference will be held in Toronto June 25-26, 2012. Some delegates (10) will be required to arrive earlier to participate in a pre-conference Steering Committee meeting on June 24, 2012. The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada will chair this conference. Elections Canada is involved in the planning, implementation and execution of the conference along with the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is covered by Order in Council under the FMIOA. All Countries that are members of the Commonwealth Secretariat are invited to the conference.

Officials from the following organizations covered by their own Order in Council are also invited: the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division. These organizations are covered under Order C.R.C., c. 1317. As well, officials from the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie are covered under order SOR-88-574 and officials of the Organisation of American States (OAS) under SOR/99-350.

Officials of the following organizations are also invited however they are not covered by an Order in Council under FMIOA: the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa, the ACE Secretariat, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the Instituto Federal Electoral, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

Processing Procedures

FMIOA Processing for “Representatives” and “Officials” of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Representatives” of member countries and their spouses and “officials” of the Commonwealth Secretariat and their spouses are entitled to immunities and privileges as specifically provided under Order C.R.C., c. 1307. Of particular relevance to Citizenship and Immigration Canada 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. According to FMIOA these individuals enjoy “exemption in respect of themselves and their spouses from immigration restrictions”.

“Officials” (and spouses) of the UN and the Francophonie are entitled to FMIOA immigration immunities as described above. “Officials” of the OAS are also entitled to the immigration immunities however under the Order spouses do not enjoy any privileges.

“Representatives” and “officials” should be issued an official 0-1 Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), not a Temporary Resident Permit, despite the fact that they may be inadmissible under any of sections 33-43 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

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.

Regular Processing Procedures for Other Participants not covered by FMIOA

Regular processing procedures apply to government officials who are not “representatives” and delegates representing governments and delegates from the following organizations:

    • Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa
    • ACE Secretariat
    • Instituto Federal Electoral
    • International Foundation for Electoral Systems
    • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

Temporary Resident Visa Processing Fee

The conference is co-hosted by the Government of Canada (Elections Canada). Participants are exempted from paying the TRV processing fee. R296(2)(e), 298(2)(d), 296(2)(a) and 298(2)(a) apply to all participants.

Other information on the Forum

List of Participants and Letters of invitation

A list of participants is available for this conference. Please contact the Special Events Unit if you have any questions or would like to receive a copy of the list. The Commonwealth Secretariat is issuing the letters of invitation. The letter of invitation is issued to the head of an agency. A copy of the letter is available on the Special Events web page.

Spouses

Spouses are not invited but some may decide to accompany the delegate.

FMIOA Security Screening and Advising NHQ for “Representatives” and “Officials” (and spouses)

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 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 IC2 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).

Coding at Missions and Ports of Entry

  • The Special Events Code for this event is 12CENB. 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.”

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