Operational Bulletin 464 – September 11, 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.

New Temporary Resident Visa Requirement for Botswana, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland

Background

By law, all visitors to Canada require a temporary resident visa (TRV), except citizens of countries where an exemption has been granted. Visa requirements for travellers to Canada are the country’s first line of defence in maintaining the health, safety and security of Canadians. Canada’s visa policy decisions are based on a country-by-country assessment of the established visa review criteria and thresholds.

Current status

An Order in Council amended paragraph 190(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to remove Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland from the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from the requirement to obtain a TRV prior to travel to Canada.

The amendment to the Regulations is effective as of September 11, 201200:01 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). As of this time, citizens of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland require a TRV to become temporary residents and to be authorized entry into Canada.

Following the coming into force of the amendment to the Regulations, overseas offices will process applications for temporary resident visas by nationals of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland.

Any applications for TRVs made by citizens of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland will have to be accompanied by the processing fee, as specified in the IRPR.

Transitional instructions

If a citizen of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland has:

  • a valid work or study permit which has not yet been used to enter Canada:
    • they will be instructed, via the mission web site, to send their original letter back to the visa office with their passport;
    • the file will be re-opened, a new letter will be issued and a counterfoil will be put in the passport; and
    • no additional fee will be required. Cost recovery code M09 is to be used with a note added to the file explaining why fees have been waived.
  • a valid work or study permit which has been used to enter Canada or valid temporary resident status and they have left Canada to go anywhere other than the United States or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon:
    • they will need to submit a completed TRV application; and
    • the usual TRV processing fees will apply.
  • a valid work or study permit which has been used to enter Canada and they will remain in Canada:
    • they may continue to work or study according to the validity of their permit.

Port of entry instructions

Pursuant to R298 (2)(e), port of entry officers are advised that a 48-hour period is authorized starting from the September 11, 2012 00:01 EDT until September 12 23:59 EDT, in order to accommodate citizens of the affected countries who seek entry into Canada that were in transit at the time the regulation amendment came into force. Officers conducting examinations of foreign nationals of Botswana, Namibia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Swaziland are to provide such foreign nationals with temporary resident permits (TRPs) under the following circumstances:

  • they were in transit to Canada before September 11, 2012 00:01 EDT and seek to enter Canada before September 12, 2012 23:59 EDT;
  • they are not in possession of valid and subsisting temporary resident visas; and
  • are not otherwise inadmissible.

All persons allowed entry are to be issued a fee exempt TRP printed on form IMM 1442. The cost recovery code to be entered in FOSS is “M25.”

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