ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 585 – June 20, 2014

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.

Cessation of Processing and Return of Fees and Investments for Certain Federal Immigrant Investor and Entrepreneur Applications

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Modified: August 12, 2014

Summary

Do not take any action on cases that are terminated by operation of law. If you are not sure whether a case is terminated, do not take any action without first consulting Strategic Planning & Delivery, International Region.

Processing of certain applications made under the federal Immigrant Investor (IIP) and Entrepreneur (EN) programs ceased since June 19, 2014. Fees paid to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in respect of the terminated IIP and EN applications are to be returned to the person who paid them as required by law. Any investment that has been made in respect of a terminated IIP application will be returned to the applicant.

Issue

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidance with respect to the termination of certain federal IIP and EN applications as per amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that were enacted as part of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 and which come into force June 19, 2014.

Background

The Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 eliminates the majority of the backlog in the federal IIP and EN programs by terminating applications identified by factors defined in the Act. The amendments also provide for the return of fees paid to CIC by certain IIP and EN applicants, as well as the return of investments to IIP applicants whose applications are terminated. The termination of certain federal IIP and EN applications occurs by operation of law upon the coming into force of relevant provisions of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 on June 19, 2014.

An application by a foreign national for a permanent resident visa as a member of the prescribed class of investors and entrepreneurs is terminated if, before February 11, 2014, it has not been established by an officer, in accordance with the regulations, whether the applicant meets the selection criteria and other requirements applicable to those classes.

The province of Quebec has its own IIP. The processing of applications for permanent residence for investors selected by the province of Quebec is not affected by these changes and will continue as usual.

Application termination and cessation of processing

The bullets below identify whether an IIP or EN application is terminated by operation of law or if processing should continue to a final decision.

Do not take any action on cases that are terminated by operation of law. If you are not sure whether a case is terminated, do not take any action without first consulting Strategic Planning & Delivery, International Region. No action is required on the part of visa offices for those applications that are terminated by operation of law. Terminated applications will be frozen in GCMS as soon as possible after June 19, 2014 and cannot be processed further.

If visa offices identify any individual application which may have been incorrectly terminated, they should contact Strategic Planning & Delivery, International Region and explain why that application does not meet the criteria set out in the legislative amendments. If incorrect termination is confirmed, NHQ will reactivate that file in Global Case Management System (GCMS) to allow processing to continue. Visa offices should not review their IIP/EN inventory in search of such cases; action should only be taken to contact NHQ if such cases come to the visa office’s attention.

  • If the officer has not established whether the applicant meets the selection criteria prior to February 11, 2014, and the application has not received a final decision before June 19, 2014, then:
    • the application is terminated; and
    • fees paid to CIC are to be returned to the person who paid them.
  • If the officer has established whether the applicant meets the selection criteria prior to February 11, 2014, and the application has not received a final decision before June 19, 2014, then:
    • processing of the application continues to a final decision; and
    • fees paid to CIC are not returned.
  • If the officer has established whether the applicant meets the selection criteria on or after February 11, 2014, and the application has not received a final decision before June 19, 2014, then:
    • the application is terminated; and
    • fees paid to CIC are to be returned to the person who paid them.
  • If the officer has established whether the applicant meets the selection criteria on or after February 11, 2014, and the application has received a final decision before June 19, 2014, then:
    • the final decision on the application stands;
    • necessary additional processing continues (e.g. issuance of Confirmation of Permanent Residence documents or refusal letters as required); and
    • fees paid to CIC are not returned.

Establishing that a decision has been made as to whether the applicant meets selection criteria

A decision as to whether the applicant met selection criteria was not made prior to February 11, 2014, if any of the following situations applied as of that date:

  • a selection decision was entered into the processing system (“SELDEC” in the Computer-Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS) or “Eligibility – Passed” / “Eligibility – Failed” in GCMS);
  • the file notes clearly state that the selection criteria have or have not been met, but a selection decision has not yet been entered into the processing system; visa offices should not review their IIP/EN inventory to search for such cases;
  • a negative decision had previously been made, but the file had been re-opened for a redetermination further to an order by a Superior Court (which includes the Federal Court) or a settlement agreement entered into by way of a Court order made prior to February 11, 2014. Special considerations apply to applications that were previously determined and that have been the subject of a judicial review. Given the complexity of these cases, questions should be referred to International Region, which will in turn consult Litigation Management as needed.

A decision as to whether the applicant met selection criteria was not made prior to February 11, 2014,if any of the following situations applied as of that date:

  • a preliminary review of the documentation has taken place, but a selection decision has not been entered into the processing system or documented as described above;
  • additional documentation had been requested from the applicant but has not been received, or a selection interview is pending;
  • additional documents were received that could have served to make a selection decision, but the selection decision has not been entered in the processing system or documented as described above. For instance, receipt of an investment or a response to an officer’s request for additional information prior to February 11, 2014.

Establishing that a final decision has been made

A final decision is considered to have been made if, before June 19, 2014:

  • a decision was entered in the processing system as either: “FINDEC” in CAIPS or “Final – Approved” / “Final – Refused” in GCMS; OR
  • the file notes clearly state that a final decision has been rendered, but the decision has not yet been entered in the processing system, AND the Security, Criminality and Medical decisions were all entered; visa offices should not review their IIP/EN inventory to search for such cases.

Fee and investment returns

The process of returning fees paid to CIC and investments made under the IIP arising out of the termination of affected applications will be centralized at NHQ – Finance in consultation with visa offices and provinces as required.

The return of fees and investments, and associated communications with affected applicants, will be initiated by CIC in a timely fashion.

Unsuccessful applicants who had paid the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) will continue to be entitled to a return of that fee in accordance with existing procedures.

Responsive communication lines

Approved communication lines have been developed to assist visa offices in responding to enquiries from affected applicants, immigration representatives and investment facilitators related to the legislation.

File retention

The files and supporting documentation associated with all terminated applications (FSW, IIP and EN) should be prioritized for repatriation to Canada before March 31, 2015. Terminated files should be packaged separately from other files being repatriated, and all boxes should be labelled with the word “Terminated”. Provide the estimated costs by cost item (EMLES, courier, etc.) to IR Mission Support in order to receive special allocation coding so that expenses associated with this exercise can be tracked.

While files are normally retained for a period of at least two years from the last point of administrative use, in accordance with current information management practices and retention requirements, due to the ongoing litigation related to terminated applications, normal policies on records retention are to be suspended for the duration of the litigation. Terminated applications will be retained in Canada pending confirmation from Operational Management and Coordination Branch that all litigation has been finalized.

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