Operational Bulletin 412 - April 27, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Pilot Project for the Direct Distribution of Permanent Resident Cards to existing Permanent Residents


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide instructions for the direct distribution of Phase II Permanent Resident (PR) cards during the period of the pilot, which is to take effect on April 30, 2012. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will begin a Pilot Project to mail the majority of Phase II Permanent Resident Cards (PR cards) directly to applicants. The Pilot Project will be evaluated after one year.


Currently, 100% of the Phase II PR cards issued are picked up by clients at CIC offices. Of these, approximately 2.5% of applications were referred for further investigation to CIC offices before a PR card could be issued. During the pilot, it is estimated that a maximum of 5% of applications will be referred to local CIC offices for investigation; this forecasted increase is due to the revised referral criteria. Of the remaining 95% of applicants, 10% will be randomly selected for in-person card pick up at local offices, and 90% of PR cards will be mailed directly to the clients by Canada Bank Note (CBN).

Urgent PR card applications will be included in this pilot project. While they will be processed on a priority basis, these applications will be subject to the same rigour as all other applications.

Investigation procedures for cases referred to CIC offices by Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S), based on the revised referral criteria remain unchanged.

Transition procedures have been put in place to address existing PR card inventories at CIC offices across Canada.

General procedures

Issuance of standard 5 year validity card

90% of straightforward PR card applications approved for the issuance of a 5 year validity card will be mailed directly to applicants. The remaining 10%, which will be selected randomly by the CPC system, will be sent to local offices for in-person pick up. Both regular and urgent PR cards will be included in this selection.

CIC offices will continue to acknowledge receipt of PR cards in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) and contact clients for card pick up, as per existing procedures (refer to section 8.6 of ENF 27 manual).

Urgent PR cards

Urgent applications will be part of the pilot project, and will continue to be processed at CPC-S on a priority basis as per existing urgent criteria. Most cards will be mailed directly to the applicants while some will be part of the 10% selected for in-person pick up at local offices.

Local offices receiving urgent PR cards are responsible for distributing them to clients on a priority basis.

Referring applications to CIC offices

Using the revised referral criteria, CPC-S will refer a number of PR card applications to local offices (up to an estimated 5% of the total number of applications). Investigation procedures will remain unchanged.

Issuance of five year and one year validity cards after a referral to a CIC office

At the outcome of an investigation, the following will occur:

  • If the disposition is positive and CIC staff recommends issuance of a card with a 5 year validity…
    • Then CPC-S will process application accordingly and approve the issuance of a 5 year card. CBN will issue a PR card with a 5 year validity and mail it directly to the client.
  • If the disposition is negative (i.e. Client is reported under section 44) and CIC staff recommends the issuance of a 1-year validity card…
    • Then CPC-S will process application accordingly and approve the issuance of a 1 year card. CBN will then issue a PR card with a 1 year validity and mail it directly to the client.
  • If Client is “no show” and 180 days have passed…
    • Then Local office will return file to CPC-S. No PR card will be issued. Application will be deemed abandoned.

Disposition of undeliverable cards

Upon issuance of a new PR card, CPC system will be set to invalidate existing (or old cards) after 60 days following the date of issuance of the new card to ensure only one PR card is valid at a time and as a fraud deterrence measure.

Canada Post will return all undeliverable cards to CPC-S. When CPC-S receives an undeliverable card, they will verify CPC system/FOSS to validate if new address has been entered since the card was mailed.

  • If no new address is available…
    • Then CPC-S will update FOSS and store undelivered card in secure cabinet for 180 days.
    • CPC-S will cancel the invalidating process when undeliverable cards are returned within the 60 days and ensure the previous card is still valid until the original expiry date.
    • Clients have 180 days (consistent with local office process) to claim their PR card. After that time, if the client has not provided a new address, the application will be deemed abandoned and the card will be destroyed.
    • The expiry date of an existing PR card supersedes the 180-day period to claim an undelivered card. This means that an existing PR card may expire before the 180 days are up. In which case, the 60 days invalidation period is not applicable as the old card is no longer valid.
  • If/ when new address is available…
    • CPC-S will update the address in FOSS and mail the card to the applicant at the new address provided.
    • The FOSS update will trigger the start of the 60 day invalidation period of the previous card, and applicant will be instructed to destroy the old card upon receiving the new one.

Call Centre

When clients contact the Call Centre to inquire about their card, the agent will inform them that as of April 30th, 2012, the majority of PR cards will be mailed directly to clients with the exception of those randomly selected for in-person pick up. This random selection for in-person pick up will allow CIC to gather information for improving the processing of PR Card applications. If their card is selected for pick up, they will be informed of the date, time and location of the pick-up and the type of document they will be required to bring with them.

Clients who call to reschedule a pick up will be processed using existing procedures. Webcart has been updated to assist Call Centre agents in answering questions from the public concerning the direct delivery of PR cards.

Program Integrity (PID)

Direct mailing of Phase II PR Cards will be monitored during the period of the pilot. A validation exercise will be undertaken to ensure program integrity and referral criteria will be refined as required.

Collecting data for QA assessment

When irregularities are identified at the time the applicant picks up their PR card, such as residence issues or questionable identity documents, the person reviewing this case will refer them to an officer for further examination. Data collected on such irregularities will be sent to the CPC-S for analysis. Specific instructions on the collection of data will be issued under a separate Bulletin.

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