Program delivery update – August 1, 2015

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.

Temporary resident visa requirement lifted for all citizens of Poland or Lithuania, regardless of travel document held.

Summary

Effective August 1, 2015, paragraph 190(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) was amended to exempt all citizens of Poland and Lithuania from the temporary resident visa (TRV) requirement, regardless of travel document held. Paragraph 190(2.1) will be repealed.

Transitional instructions: Poland and Lithuania

Following the coming into force of the amendment to the IRPR, officers will no longer process TRV applications submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) by citizens of Poland or Lithuania.

For the situations listed below, the following instructions apply:

  • Where a citizen of Poland or Lithuania has not yet submitted a TRV application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) by August 1, 2015, 12:00pm EDT, but is in possession of a receipt indicating that the processing fees have been paid, the fee will be refunded upon the applicant’s request
  • Where a citizen of Poland or Lithuania has submitted a TRV application that was received by CIC before August 1, 2015, 12:00pm EDT (including applications submitted via any visa application centre [VAC] and online [e-apps]), and where the fees have been processed, but either the application is not yet in process or it is already in process but a final decision has not yet been made on the application, the following steps will be taken:
    1. the officer will withdraw the file and return the passport or identity documents (or both) to the applicant.
    2. the responsible CIC office will refund the processing fees (no action required by the applicant.
  • Where a citizen of Poland or Lithuania has submitted a TRV application that has been received by CIC on or after August 1, 2015, 12:00pm EDT, (including applications submitted via any VAC), and neither the processing fees nor the application has been processed by CIC, the following steps will be taken:
    1. the officer will return the passport or identity documents (or both) to the applicant.
    2. the responsible CIC office will not process any fees (no action required by the applicant).
  • Where a citizen of Poland or Lithuania submitted a work or study permit application to CIC that has not been processed or finalized, CIC will continue processing the application (no action required by the applicant).

Note: If a TRV applicant has submitted an application via a VAC, the VAC service charge will not be refunded as the VAC has provided a service.  Any TRV applications submitted by the applicant via the VAC will be returned to the applicant through the VAC.

Existing TRV holders (both single and multiple entry) who are citizens of Poland or Lithuania and have not yet travelled to Canada should be advised that they can continue with their travels as planned and must not remove or damage the counterfoil in their passport.

Citizens of Poland or Lithuania who hold a valid study or work permit on the coming into force of the amendments to the Regulations and are outside of Canada, do not require a TRV to return to Canada. They may continue to use their study or work permit according to the validity dates of the permit.

Where said citizens are in Canada, they may remain in Canada and continue to work or study according to the permit’s validity date.

In both instances, applicants must continue to meet the requirements of both the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the IRPR to enter or remain in Canada.

Instructions for border services officers

Citizens of Poland and Lithuania no longer require a TRV to enter Canada. For those who still hold a valid TRV, the counterfoil must not be cancelled.

Note: Citizens of Poland and Lithuania must continue to demonstrate that they meet all statutory and other requirements pertaining to entry into Canada and granting of temporary resident status.

Service Channels

Citizens of Poland and Lithuania continue to be able to submit study and work permit applications in person or by mail to the visa office in Warsaw and have access to e-apps or the VACs (if they are outside of Poland or Lithuania). Permanent residents can also submit the Applications for a Travel Document (permanent resident abroad) form [IMM 5524] in person or by mail to the visa office in Warsaw or through the nearest VAC (if they are outside of Poland or Lithuania).

Citizens from other visa required countries residing in Poland or Lithuania can also apply online for a TRV, study or work permit application or submit a paper application in person or by mail to the visa office in Warsaw.

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