Operational Bulletin 534-A – July 18, 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.

Guidelines for Individuals Affected by the June 2013 Flooding in Alberta

Summary

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides operational instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Canada Border Services Agency staff on the public policy and procedures for temporary and permanent residents and citizens affected by the June 2013 flooding in Alberta.

Background

As a result of the flooding in southern Alberta, passports and other documents belonging to temporary and permanent residents and Canadian citizens may have been lost and/or destroyed.

The Minister has approved a public policy waiving fees and certain other requirements for specific foreign nationals.

An administrative waiver of the fee for the replacement of permanent resident cards (PR cards) has also been approved until September 19, 2013.

New Public Policy

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides authority to respond in a flexible and humane manner to emergency situations. Pursuant to section 25.2 of IRPA, the Minister has approved a public policy waiving certain fees for specific foreign nationals as well as automatically extending or restoring the status of affected temporary residents until September 19, 2013.

It is the client’s responsibility to demonstrate that they have been affected by the flooding; a government issued identity document showing a residential address in an affected community or registration with the Red Cross will be sufficient for this purpose. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Affected Temporary Residents

Applicants who are eligible under this public policy may qualify for an extension in several ways. They may have their status automatically extended or restored until September 19, 2013. This public policy applies to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Any temporary resident residing in an area affected (see Annex A) by the flooding who had legal status on June 20, 2013, but who will lose said status before September 19, 2013;
    or
  • A foreign national who was out of status on June 20, 2013, but within the restoration period specified in section 182 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

They may also apply to have their immigration status documents (work or study permit or visitor record) replaced if these were lost or destroyed in the flood. The replacement will be fee exempt.

Affected Permanent Residents

Fee-exempt replacement of PR cards will be issued on an expedited basis for those whose PR card was lost in or destroyed by the flooding. The application for the replacement card must be received between June 20, 2013 up to and including September 19, 2013.

Procedures

How to self-identify as affected by the flooding

Affected temporary and permanent residents and Canadian citizens have access to a dedicated line in the Call Centre Interactive Voice Response system that allows affected clients to contact an agent (with priority in the queue).

Clients call the 1-888-242-2100 number and Press “7” – the agent will then ask standard security questions and advise clients on how to proceed with an application.

A dedicated email address (Prairies-Situation@cic.gc.ca) has also been activated. Affected temporary and permanent residents and Canadian citizens may email their Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number, full name and date, place and country of birth with “URGENT: FLOOD” in subject line. An agent will then follow up with the client.

How to apply for replacement immigration documents or urgent processing.

Lost/Destroyed Documents

  • Affected temporary residents can complete the Verification of Status or Replacement of an Immigration Document and send it to the Query Response Centre with ‘URGENT: FLOOD’ written on the cover of the final envelope.
  • Affected permanent residents can complete an Application for a Permanent Resident Card and send it to the Case Processing Centre, Sydney (CPC-S), in Nova Scotia, with “URGENT: FLOOD” written on the cover of the final envelope.
  • Replacement/ reprinted immigration documents will be issued on a priority basis and no fee is required.
  • Affected Canadian citizens can complete the Application for a Citizenship Certificate and send it to the CPC-S, in Nova Scotia, with “URGENT: FLOOD” written on the cover of the final envelope. Applications will be processed on a priority basis and fees will be required for replacement certificates.

New Work Permit for Change of Employer Due to Flood (only)

By paper
  • Obtain the Application to Change my Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM 5710) package from the CIC website.
  • Mail the application and supporting documents (or letter of explanation) to the CPC in Vegreville, Alberta.
  • Clients who submit paper applications must indicate “URGENT: FLOODS” on the outside of the final envelope. (e.g. if sending by courier, write the statement on the courier envelope)
Online
  • Complete the Come to Canada questions, obtain your Personal Checklist and follow correct steps online for submission.
  • Clients who submit electronic applications must immediately send a follow-up email to the Prairies-Situation@cic.gc.ca inbox with their Unique Client Identifier (UCI), Application ID number and biographical information to allow CIC to flag the application for urgent processing. These messages must indicate “URGENT: FLOOD” in the subject heading.
  • When completing an online application, clients are required to upload a copy of supporting documents, such as a passport. If these documents were destroyed or lost as a result of the flood, the client must instead upload a Letter of Explanation for each document that this applies to. The letter needs to state that the supporting document was destroyed or lost as a result of the flood.
  • In order to have the fee waived, clients must also provide proof of exemption (e.g.: letter indicating you live in an affected area). As a result, these online applicants must select an optional Letter of Explanation on the document upload screen in MyCIC and upload a letter detailing how they are affected by the flood.
  • These new work permits will be issued on a priority basis and no fee is required.

Processing of flood-affected applications

Financial and Special Program Coding

Fee-exemption:

For temporary resident lines of business, cost recovery fee exemption code 999 should be applied to all fee-exempt applications processed.

For PR cards, cost recovery code P01 should be used.

Special tracking: Use of this code is mandatory to allow tracking of cases.

Special Program Code UE2 must be entered in the Global Case Management System for all flood-affected applications processed. For CPC Systems, notate the special program code on the Work in Progress - Remarks screen.

Lost/Destroyed Documents: applications for replacement documents are to be processed on a priority basis. Replacement documents should match previously issued documents in regards to validity, conditions, etc.

Note:

If a client requires an extension beyond September 19, 2013, they are required to submit a regular extension application with fees.

New Employer Work Permits

Work permit applications from affected temporary foreign workers in the areas of Exshaw, Canmore, High River, the Siksika Nation, the Stoney Nation and the Tsuu T’ina Nation whose new employer has received a short duration labour market opinion will be processed on a priority basis.

The work permit will have the special program code and the cost recovery fee is waived. In addition, the requirement for supporting documents (e.g.: proof of payment and proof of valid passport) are waived where the client has indicated they were destroyed in the flood.

Annex A

Communities where “states of emergency” have been declared due to the June 2013 floods

  • High River
  • Calgary (affected areas)
  • Medicine Hat
  • Tsuu T’ina Nation
  • Municipal District of Bighorn – Hamlet of Exshaw
  • Canmore
  • Mountainview County
  • Vulcan County
  • Black Diamond
  • Cochrane
  • Okotoks
  • Municipal District of Willow Creek
  • Municipal District of Foothills
  • Crowsnest Pass
  • Municipal District of Ranchland
  • Kananaskis
  • Cypress County
  • Redcliff
  • Siksika Nation
  • Devon
  • Red Deer
  • Stoney Nation
  • Drumheller
  • Red Deer County
  • Turner Valley
  • Fort Macleod
  • Redwood Meadows
  • Banff
  • Lethbridge
  • Rocky View County (Bragg Creek)
  • Bragg Creek
  • Lethbridge County
  • Sundre
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