Operational Bulletin 465 - August 24, 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.

Centralized Processing of Applications for Verification of Status or Replacement of an Immigration Document


On August 27, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will launch a new Verification of Status (VOS) or Replacement of an Immigration Document (IMM 5009) application form replacing the existing Verification of Entry (VOE) application forms (IMM 5009 and IMM 5541) as part of CIC’s Modernization initiative to reduce reliance on secure forms and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Effective August 27, 2012, all application intake and processing of Verification of Status (VOS) will be centralized at the Query Response Centre (QRC). The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to inform staff of the new guidelines for the processing of these applications and the issuance of the new generic VOS document.


Currently, VOE application forms and requests for certified copies of immigration documents are submitted by mail to CIC offices in Canada and overseas. The CIC office collects the fee, verifies that the application is complete and forwards the completed application forms to the QRC for processing. While notes of record were entered into the Field Operation Support System (FOSS) and the Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS) acknowledging processing, these applications are not actually processed in any system. Instead, the QRC retrieves the electronic copy or a microfiche copy of the document requested by the client, makes a copy of it, certifies it, and then mails it to the client.

Following the July 2012 release of the Global Case Management System (GCMS) and the latest e-payment release, the QRC will be able to capture and process VOS applications as well as Amendment to Records of Landing (ARL) files, and accept fees paid via Handling Public Monies (HPM) or online.

New Process

As of August 27, 2012, the QRC will discontinue issuing certified true copies of immigration documents to clients and instead will issue a plain paper, uncertified VOS document that will confirm pertinent historical information retrieved from the original documents, such as date of entry and status at document issuance. On August 27, 2012, all applications for VOS and Amendment to Record of Landing (ARL) submitted in Canada and overseas will be created and processed by the QRC using GCMS. The following are some key points of this new process:

  • Incomplete applications will be returned to applicants along with an explanatory letter (see Appendix A).
  • Client records will be retrievable through GCMS when immigration documents have been digitized.
  • Copies of the requested documents will no longer be provided to clients, and the VOS document will not be certified.
  • A plain paper, uncertified VOS document will be issued confirming status at document issuance and date of entry retrieved from the original documents.
  • Applications for the reprint of valid temporary resident documents that have been lost, stolen or destroyed, or require an amendment, will be centralized at the QRC as well.
  • Applicants who have provided a valid email address with their application will receive their VOS document by e-mail as an attachment in PDF format which will reduce postage costs and save time. When no email is provided, the VOS document will be printed and mailed to the applicant through regular mail.

New Form

The application forms currently used for VOE applications (IMM 5009 and IMM 5541) have been consolidated into one new VOS application form (IMM 5009) and it is similar to the 2-D barcode application forms. As of August 27, 2012, the new VOS application form will be used both in Canada and overseas.

The new VOS document will be issued to clients for requests pertaining to: Confirmation of Permanent Residence, Record of Landing, Visitor Record, Work Permit, Amendments to Immigration Records, Authorization to Return to Canada, Study Permit, Exclusion Order, Deportation Order, Permit to Come Into and Remain in Canada, Certificate of Departure and Departure Order. This VOS document will only provide information obtained from the original of the appropriate document.

The application form for ARL has also been revised to include requests for amendments to valid temporary resident documents. This new form is similar to the 2-D barcode application forms and will be used both in Canada and overseas.

Fee payment

HPM and online payment will be the only forms of payment accepted for the VOS application form.

Transition Period

Starting August 27, 2012 there will be a transition period of two weeks to facilitate the implementation of these changes and to permit the processing of VOE applications submitted up to September 11, 2012.

During this transition period, new VOS application forms received by the local office will be immediately forwarded to the QRC without further action by local office. Old VOE application forms received at the local office or visa office during this period only will be received, reviewed, and if found complete forwarded to the QRC until September 11, 2012.

Applicants who submit a VOE application form to a local office or to a visa office before September 11, 2012 will receive a certified copy of their immigration document. Applicants who use the new VOS application form during the transition period will receive the plain paper VOS document.

All applications for VOE received after September 11, 2012 must be returned to the client with a letter (see Appendix A) explaining that the new VOS application form must be completed and submitted directly to the QRC for processing. Any VOE applications received by the QRC after September 11, 2012, will be returned to the applicant with this letter instructing them to use the new VOS form.

Local offices will no longer accept any applications for either the VOE or VOS after September 11, 2012.

Appendix A: Notice to client

«Given_Name» «Family_Name»

Dear «Given_Name» «Family_Name»:

This refers to your application for a certified true copy of your immigration document. As of August 27, 2012, the new Verification of Status (VOS) or Replacement of an Immigration Document application form (IMM 5009) replaces the previous Verification of Entry (VOE) application form(s) (IMM 5009 and IMM 5541). Please note that previous versions of this application form are no longer accepted.

The new Verification of Status (VOS) or Replacement of an Immigration Document (IMM 5009) application form is the only application form that is now accepted. This application form can be found on CIC’s website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5009E.pdf (PDF, 745.33KB). Once completed, this application form must be submitted directly to the Query Response Centre at the following address:

Verification of Status or Replacement of an Immigration Document
Operations Support Centre (OSC)
P.O. Box 8784 STN T CSC
Ottawa, Ontario K1G 5J3

You must also ensure that all required documents listed in the Document Checklist, including the completed Document Checklist are included with your application. Incomplete applications, missing documents or failure to use the new application form will result in your application being returned to you without processing.

If you require further assistance, additional information, or wish to obtain an application package, please visit our website at www.cic.gc.ca.

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