Applicant changes economic category

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

When a provincial nominee certificate is received for a case in another economic class, the following procedure is to be followed:

Cases for which processing has not begun (i.e., that have not passed the initial evaluation stage)

After receiving the certificate, the mission must inform the applicant that a certificate was received and that a new, complete application in the provincial nominee class (including annex 4) should be submitted. The applicant has the choice to withdraw the initial application or to continue with both applications. If the applicant decides to withdraw the initial application, the fees paid can be assigned to the PV2 application rather than refunded. The action that is being taken and the basis for it must be clearly indicated in the CAIPS notes.

Cases for which processing has begun (i.e., that have passed the initial evaluation stage)

Once a case has passed the initial evaluation stage, the processing fees cannot be refunded. If a provincial nominee certificate is submitted and the applicant wants to be considered in the provincial nominee class, the applicant has a first option to withdraw his federal application and submit a new application in the provincial nominee class; processing fees for the federal application are not refunded, and new processing fees are required for the application in the provincial nominee class. The second option is to allow processing of the federal application to continue and to submit a new application in the provincial nominee class, along with the new fees. The applicant does not necessarily have to withdraw the initial application, because the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) does not prohibit multiple applications. Prior to finalizing either application, the visa office will advise the applicant that the second application has to be withdrawn for the visa to be issued; visas must not be issued for one file while the second remains open and in process.

Since cases under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are not in selection inventory queuing, having these applicants withdraw and reapply should not disadvantage them as to their places in the processing queue and their processing times.

General principles concerning fee refunds:

  • A reallocation of funds is permissible only when the file has not passed the initial evaluation stage and the request to transfer the fee to the new file is accompanied by the new file-there can be no waiting period/holding of fees for future considerations.
  • There is no refund or reallocation of fees once a file has passed the initial evaluation stage.
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