Itinerant services in Canada: Immigration and Citizenship
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Itinerant services are used to provide services in the areas where IRCC does not have an office. Services may include:
- citizenship testing
- citizenship interviews
- citizenship ceremonies
- immigration interviews
- immigrant landings
- permanent resident card distribution, etc.
When to offer itinerant services
Itinerant services should be offered in locations where the workload justifies the service. This could be for one activity or multiple activities. Consideration should be given to all of the following:
- processing times (service standards)
- cost efficiency (one trip for both citizenship and immigration lines of business)
- achievement of targets
- operational capacity
- distance clients must travel
- community considerations – e.g., special events, historic and momentous occasions, special circumstances, etc.
Itinerant services may be provided in any location provided that any one trip is for 10 or more clients (there may be exceptions but justification is necessary). A distance of 150 km from the office can be considered a general guideline when determining whether to schedule an itinerant service, but as indicated above, distance should not be the only factor considered.
Planning Itinerant Services
Regions develop and deliver itinerant service plans on a quarterly basis using the guidelines on when to offer itinerant services. Upon request, a template with itinerant service plans must be completed and must include a justification for any planned itinerant service for fewer than 10 clients.
Regions are responsible for the cost of itinerant services within their travel budget. For citizenship ceremonies, IRCC offices follow instructions for booking citizenship judges or volunteer presiding officials. In order to optimize judges’ travel, offices should combine, when possible, other activities such as residence hearings, when planning itinerant trips.
A calendar listing upcoming planned itinerant services is available on IRCC’s external web site. NHQ keeps the page up-to-date based on regional inputs.
Citizenship: Regions will schedule clients for appointments/testing/ceremonies based on their residential address. Clients served by itinerant services (see parameters for travel distance) will be given the option to schedule an appointment at an IRCC office if they do not want to wait for the next planned itinerant service.
Immigration: Regions will schedule clients for appointments at the closest IRCC office as files become ready. Clients served by itinerant services (see parameters for travel distance) will be given the option to accept the appointment or wait for the next itinerant service offering closest to their location.
Requests from clients to be scheduled for a non-itinerant appointment received by the Call Centre or otherwise, will be sent to the appropriate IRCC office for action. The receiving offices will enter case notes into GCMS documenting the client’s choice of itinerant service or an appointment at an IRCC office. This information will also be used by the Call Centre to answer client queries.
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