Operational Bulletin 545 (Modified) – December 6, 2016
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Processing Confirmation of Permanent Residence documents
The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide instructions for officers at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on how to properly process a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document.
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,permanent residence applicants are issued a COPR document [IMM 5688E], which they must present at a port of entry (POE) or an inland IRCC office for processing in order to become a permanent resident.
The COPR is evidence that an officer was satisfied at the time of issuance that the foreign national named in the document was not inadmissible and otherwise met the requirements of the Act and its regulations.
Applicants for permanent residence outside Canada who applied for and obtained a permanent resident visa (PRV) (including a counterfoil, if required, and a COPR in all cases) are required to present their COPR to a border services officer upon arrival in Canada [R71.1(1)]. Applicants who are already physically in Canada and who have valid temporary resident status in Canada may go to an inland IRCC office. If they have a permanent resident visa counterfoil or are exempt from this requirement, they may exit Canada and seek re-entry at a POE to seek final admission as a permanent resident [R71.1(2)].
POE and inland processing
When a foreign national presents themselves at a POE or an inland IRCC office to be granted permanent resident status, the border services officer at Immigration Secondary or the inland IRCC officer must ensure the biographical data on the COPR, including the recorded travel document number, matches the information in the applicant’s passport or travel document. The officer must also ensure that the permanent resident’s height and eye colour are correct, as this information is needed for the production of the client’s permanent resident card (PR card).
Most importantly, the officer must ensure that the document status of the COPR in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) is updated to “Confirmed”, because this step triggers the creation of a PR card application for processing at the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S). It also updates the Client Status in GCMS to “Permanent Resident”, which electronic interfaces from third-party services rely on.
Note: Following confirmation of permanent residence in GCMS, border service officers and inland IRCC officers are no longer required to physically cancel valid temporary residence documents held by the client.
For COPRs where a clerical error has been identified, border service officers and inland IRCC officers must correct the IMM 5688E form to ensure it is consistent with the biographical data in the passport or travel document. The corrections must be made on both copies of the COPR (IRCC copy and client copy) by placing an asterisk beside the data error and noting the correction in the remarks section of the form. Any corrections made must also be reflected in GCMS. Final responsibility for ensuring data integrity and legibility of the COPR, including the reprinting of a replacement document from the system when changes are required, rests with the officers granting permanent resident status.
The officer must verify that the IRCC copy of the COPR has a proper photograph affixed to it and ensure that it
- bears a clear resemblance to the photograph on the passport or travel document; and
- meets the photo specifications (PDF, 614.24KB).
If it does not, the photo must be retaken and affixed to a separate Supplementary Identification Form [IMM 5455B (PDF, 797.28KB)]. The photograph already affixed to the COPR must not be removed. When using the downloadable version of the IMM 5455B form, the officer must attach the retaken photograph by stapling the outside of the photo (the white section at the top left corner) to the IMM 5455B form (photos should no longer be trimmed).
If an address is already indicated on the COPR, the officer must check with the client to ensure that it is still accurate and that the client will be able to receive correspondence at that address. If the address is not accurate, it should be crossed out and replaced with the revised address, if available. The updated address must also be entered into GCMS.
However, if the client does not yet have a permanent address in Canada, they should be given the Address Notification – Permanent Resident Card form[IMM 5456], which provides instructions to send in their permanent address when it becomes available. The client should be counselled to do so within 180 days in order to receive a PR card.
Clients may update their address in Canada using one of the following methods:
- access the online Address Notification tool on the IRCC website; or
- provide the updated address to IRCC by using the case-specific enquiry form on the IRCC website.
On occasion, at a POE, it may be appropriate for clients to provide the address of a third party (friend, relative, service provider or paid representative) in Canada in order to facilitate the processing and issuance of the PR card following their arrival in Canada, as new immigrants may not have a permanent address. However, cases where there are clear indications that the initial entry into Canada is only of short duration and where it appears the client provided a third-party address for the purpose of forwarding the PR card outside Canada should be flagged with a note in the system indicating that the client may be outside Canada. If the client plans to leave Canada prior to receiving the PR card, the officer should counsel the client with respect to the requirements under subsection A31(3) for a travel document issued at a visa office abroad.
Completion of the COPR document
When completing the COPR [IMM 5688E] at the time of confirmation of permanent residence, the officer must complete the following fields on both copies of the document using a black pen:
- Last entry at – This field should be populated with, in the case of a client seeking to become a permanent resident at a POE, the date they are seeking entry to Canada for that purpose or, in the case of a client already holding valid temporary resident status in Canada who is seeking to become a permanent resident at an inland office, the date they most recently entered Canada.
- Last entry date and Original entry date – If the COPR originated from a visa office overseas, these fields must be completed; the officer may use the date that permanent resident status was granted.
- Became PR at – The officer must write the location where permanent resident status is granted (either a POE or an inland IRCC office).
- Became PR on – The officer must write the date that permanent resident status is granted.
- Conditions – The client must write their initials beside any imposed conditions.
- Have you ever been charged/convicted of a crime or offence; refused admission to Canada or required to leave Canada? – The client must write “yes” or “no” as well as their initials. If the client is a minor, the answer should be “N/A”.
- Dependent(s) information – The client must write “yes” or “no” as well as their initials. If the answer is yes, the dependant’s information must be added only if they have been included in the application and they have been examined.
- Signatures – The officer granting permanent resident status as well as the client (14 years of age or older) must sign and date all copies of the COPR. Parents must sign for children under the age of 14 years.
Note: The same information written on the COPR must be entered into GCMS.
Officers can press Ctrl+H in GCMS to access an online help menu for additional information or help entering information in the system.
Port stamping of the COPR document is not mandatory.
The officer should counsel each new permanent resident on the following matters:
- the conditions of permanent resident status that have been imposed, how to comply with the conditions and how to apply for the removal of these conditions;
- the residency obligation;
- the procedure for obtaining a PR card and the purpose of the PR card (proof of permanent resident status, not an identification card);
- the procedure for obtaining a social insurance number;
- the procedure for applying for provincial health coverage; and
- settlement assistance, where applicable.
After permanent resident status is granted to the client, the officer must ensure proper distribution of each copy of the COPR [IMM 5688]. The client copy is appropriately given to the client, while the IRCC copy, with photo affixed, must be forwarded to the permanent resident card processing centre in Sydney (CPC-PRC), Nova Scotia.
There is a service standard of 61 days from the date a client becomes a permanent resident until the date IRCC has committed to issue a PR card. Therefore, the IRCC copy of the COPR must be sent to Sydney as quickly as possible in order for the CPC-PRC to complete the processing of the card within the departmental service standard.
COPRs must be sent to one of the following addresses, depending on the mode of delivery:
Case Processing Centre – PR Card
P.O. Box 10020
Case Processing Centre – PR Card
49 Dorchester Street
Reminder for officers
When issuing the COPR to applicants, officers are reminded to provide clients with the correct version. If a COPR is cancelled in order to make changes after it has already been generated, officers must remember to print the new COPR document for the client (the valid T number in GCMS must match the T number on the printed COPR). This is important, as the COPR is a historical document, and some partners use a validation portal to validate these documents in order to provide services to these clients.
In addition, if a Quebec Selection Certificate is required, officers must ensure that it is valid when issuing the COPR; however, it does not need to be renewed if it is expired at the time of landing.
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