Operational Bulletin 535 – July 26, 2013
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Guidelines for individuals affected by the train derailment in Lac Mégantic, Quebec
This Operational Bulletin 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 train derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.
On July 6, 2013, a freight train derailment followed by a series of explosions devastated the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic. There has been significant damage and impact to the community.
To support those affected by this situation, the Minister has approved waiving some fees and other specific requirements until October 5, 2013. An administrative waiver of the fee for the replacement of permanent resident cards and Canadian travel documents (see note below) has also been approved until October 5, 2013.
Note: For information about replacement of Canadian travel documents, please contact Passport Canada at 1-800-567-6868. This bulletin does not outline those procedures.
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 that waives some fees for affected foreign nationals in Lac-Mégantic, and automatically extends or restores the status of affected temporary residents until October 5, 2013.
It is the client’s responsibility to demonstrate that they have been affected by the train derailment; a government issued identity document showing a residential address in Lac-Mégantic 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 October 5, 2013. This public policy applies to individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Any temporary resident residing in Lac-Mégantic and affected by the train derailment who had legal status on July 6, 2013, and whose status will expire before October 5, 2013; or
- A foreign national residing in Lac-Mégantic and affected by the train derailment who was out of status on July 6, 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 train derailment and ensuing destruction of property. The replacement will be fee-exempt.
Affected Permanent Residents
Fee-exempt replacement of permanent resident cards will be issued on an expedited basis for those whose permanent resident card was lost in or destroyed by the train derailment and ensuing destruction of property. Replacement card applications must be received between July 6 and October 5, 2013.
How to self-identify as affected
Affected individuals have a dedicated line in the Call Centre Interactive Voice Response system that allows them to contact an agent (with priority in the queue).
Clients should call the 1-888-242-2100 number and Press “7” – the agent will then ask the standard security questions and advise clients on how to proceed with an application.
A dedicated email address (Lac-Megantic@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: LAC-MÉGANTIC ” in the subject line. An agent will then follow up.
How to apply for replacement immigration documents or urgent processing
- 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: LAC-MÉGANTIC, QUEBEC” 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), Nova Scotia, with “URGENT: LAC-MÉGANTIC, QUEBEC” 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: LAC-MÉGANTIC, QUEBEC” written on the cover of the final envelope. Applications will be processed on a priority basis. Note that fees will be required for replacement certificates.
Processing of affected applications
Financial and Special Program Coding
For temporary resident lines of business, cost recovery fee exemption code 999 should be applied to all fee-exempt applications processed.
For permanent resident cards, cost recovery code P01 should be used.
Special tracking: Use of this code is mandatory to allow tracking of cases.
Special program code UE3 must be entered in the Global Case Management System for all affected applications processed. For CPC Systems, notate the special program code in the Work In Progress - Remarks screen.
Lost/Destroyed Documents: Replacement document applications 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 October 5, 2013, they are required to submit a regular extension application with fees.
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