Applications received on or after January 1, 2015, for permanent residence programs subject to Express Entry: Alternative application process for persons with disabilities

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

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will accommodate foreign nationals with a physical or mental disability that prevents them from creating an Express Entry profile through their MyCIC account or from submitting an application for permanent residence (APR). The following instructions are designed to handle such cases fairly and equitably, and to prevent fraud.

Express Entry profile

Section 3 of the Express Entry Ministerial Instructions, given under A10.3(1)(c), requires that foreign nationals submit their Express Entry profile electronically (i.e., not using paper forms).

However, section 4 of the Ministerial Instructions, given under A10.3(1)(d), provides an exemption to this mandatory requirement for foreign nationals who are unable to submit an Express Entry profile online because of a physical or mental disability.

Electronic application for permanent residence

R12.01(1) requires that foreign nationals who are invited to apply under Express Entry submit their APR electronically.

However, R12.02(1) provides an exemption to this mandatory requirement for foreign nationals who are unable to submit an APR online because of a physical or mental disability.

Instructions for accommodating foreign nationals with disabilities

Foreign nationals may contact the IRCC Call Centre and indicate that they are unable to complete an Express Entry profile or an electronic APR because of a physical or mental disability.

To evaluate the need for accommodation, the Call Centre must answer the following:

  • What is the nature of the foreign national’s disability?
  • Is the foreign national aware that the Express Entry profile and electronic APR have IRCC’s web accessibility features? The features can accommodate the following:
    • Low vision
    • Blindness
    • Mobility and dexterity
    • Cognition
  • Does the foreign national have a friend or family member, access to community resources, or an authorized representative to help them with the application?

If the foreign national’s disability cannot be accommodated with assistive technology and the IRCC web accessibility features, the Call Centre should email CIC-NHQ-OMC with the subject line “Express Entry – Alternative Application Request”. The email should contain answers to the three questions above as well as the foreign national’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address, if applicable.

Upon receipt of a request, CIC-NHQ-OMC will consult IRCC application accessibility experts to determine the best way to accommodate the foreign national. If satisfied that the foreign national’s disability cannot be accommodated within the existing web application, CIC-NHQ-OMC will contact the foreign national and provide an alternative to the online application process.

Note: Foreign nationals must provide documentation (e.g., a medical certificate) to IRCC to have their request for accommodation considered.

Instructions for paper-based applications

If it is determined that the foreign national’s disability is such that they cannot complete an electronic form but can complete a paper form, CIC-NHQ-OMC will offer to mail the foreign national a paper version of the Express Entry profile questionnaire.

The foreign national will be instructed to complete the Express Entry profile questionnaire and mail it to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S). Arrangements will be made with the CIO-S to create a MyCIC account and an Express Entry profile for the foreign national so that they may become a candidate in the Express Entry pool.

If the candidate is invited to submit an APR, the CIO-S will mail the program-specific paper application to the candidate. The paper application sent should be a “flat” version of the application (i.e., not a form that includes drop-down menus designed for a computer). The applicant will return the paper APR by mail to the CIO-S, where a clerk will receive the APR and input the information into GCMS.

Depending on the nature and extent of the foreign national’s disability, all communication with the foreign national, from the creation of an Express Entry profile to a decision on their APR, may need to be done by mail. Therefore, an employee within Case Processing Region will be required to monitor the foreign national’s MyCIC account and forward all correspondence to the foreign national by mail.

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