ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 483 - June 19, 2013

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.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

In-Canada Itinerant Services – Procedures and Parameters

Summary

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides information, guidelines and procedures for the establishment and use of itinerant services for the in-Canada operations network.

Background

As part of the Modernization Agenda, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is committed to simpler, more accessible quality services.

Itinerant services have been utilized throughout the Operations Sector to provide services in the areas where CIC has no office. These services include: citizenship testing, citizenship interviews, citizenship ceremonies, immigration interviews, immigrant landings, Permanent Resident card distribution, etc.

At this time, the Department is piloting numerous initiatives and making process changes that aim to enhance client service. As well, CIC continues to explore measures to provide service to clients in areas where there is no office through partnerships with other departments.

Until these initiatives are formalized, Regions must continue providing itinerant services to ensure continued accessibility and quality services framed however, in the context of our current financial environment.

General Guidelines

The following general guidelines apply both to the citizenship and immigration lines of business with regards to the establishment and implementation of itinerant services.

Itinerant services should be offered in locations where the workload justifies the service. This could be for one activity or multiple activities. Consideration should be given to:

  • wait times (service standards);
  • inventories;
  • cost efficiency (one trip for both citizenship and immigration lines of business);
  • achievement of targets;
  • operational capacity;
  • distance clients must travel; and
  • community considerations – e.g., special events, historic and momentous occasions, special circumstances, etc.

In general, itinerant services may be provided in any location provided that any one trip should not be for less than 10 clients. A distance of 150 km from the office can be considered a general guideline when determining whether to schedule an itinerant service but as indicated above, distance should not be the only factor considered.

To ensure accessible quality services, clients should be able to choose to travel to a CIC office if they do not want to wait for the next planned itinerant service offering. A two-pronged approach will be taken given the different historical context of citizenship and immigration processing – see procedures below.

Wherever possible, use of local volunteer presiders such as Orders of Canada, Orders of Military Merit and Royal Victoria Order recipients should be utilized for citizenship ceremonies to maximize the use of judges’ time. Procedures requiring the Registrar’s approval to authorize a person, other than a citizenship judge, to preside a ceremony, administer the oath, and present citizenship certificates as set out in section 4 of CP 15 Guide to Citizenship Ceremonies must continue to be followed.

Office space from closed offices may be used for itinerant services, however, leases will not be extended and once office space is formally transferred to Public Works and Government Services Canada, that space cannot be used.

Procedures

Regions will develop and implement itinerant service plans on a quarterly basis as per the parameters set out above.

Regions are responsible for the analysis and determination of needs associated with itinerant services. The Operational Performance Management Branch should be contacted to obtain data for the analysis and determination of itinerant services.

Regions are also responsible for the costs associated with providing itinerant services, including ensuring that travelling for itinerant services falls within existing travel caps. Travel for citizenship judges must be coordinated through the Citizenship Commission and the Citizenship Program Delivery and Promotion Division of Operational Management and Coordination Branch (OMC).

Once established, Regions will send their itinerant service plans to OMC at the beginning of each quarter using the template below. Regions must include a justification for any planned itinerant service that does not meet the 10 clients threshold.

To ensure accessible quality services, Regions will provide clients with the option to travel to a CIC office if they do not want to wait for the next planned itinerant service offering. Specifically,

  • Citizenship: Regions will continue to schedule clients for appointments/testing/ceremonies based on their residential address. Clients served by itinerant services (see parameters for travel distance) must be given the option to be scheduled at a CIC office if they do not wish to wait for the next planned itinerant service offering.
  • Immigration: Regions will schedule clients for appointments at the closest CIC office as files become ready. Clients served by itinerant services (see parameters for travel distance), will be given the option to accept the appointment or wait for the next itinerant service offering closest to their location.

A calendar listing upcoming planned itinerant services will be created on CIC’s external web site. OMC will take the responsibility of keeping that page up-to-date based on regional quarterly inputs. The web page will inform clients of our itinerant service options. OMC will ensure that the wording on the web page is so clear that clients should only be contacting CIC if their application is outside normal processing times and their application status on eCAS indicates they are waiting for some kind of appointment.

Requests received by the Centralized Processing Region (Call Centre or requests through general email) will be forwarded to the appropriate office for action.

Receiving offices (whether the Centralized Processing Region or CIC office) will input case notes into departmental systems (GCMS/FOSS) documenting the client’s choice. This information will also be used to assist the Call Centre in answering potential client queries.

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