Guide to reunite non-accompanying family members overseas under the One-Year Window of Opportunity Provision (IMM 5578)

This is not a legal document.

You can ask for this guide in another format.

Use this guide to request processing under the One Year Window (OYW) of Opportunity provision.

Under this provision, you (the permanent resident who arrived in Canada as a refugee within the last year) can bring to Canada family members who were part of your permanent residence application overseas but could not travel with you to Canada.

In the context of the OYW process, the principal applicant (PA) is the family member overseas you are trying to bring to Canada.

There is no fee for your family member’s application for permanent residence under the OYW provision.

Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:

Required step

What you must do to have your application processed.

Important information

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.

Get more information

Where to get more information.

For more information on who can apply and how, visit the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP).

Important informationQuebec residents: Applicants currently residing in the province of Quebec should not use this application kit unless they have been specifically requested to do so by IRCC. If you reside in the province of Quebec, you should first visit the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) to find out how to bring family members who are still abroad to Quebec. You can also call the general information line at 514-864-9191 or 1-877-864-9191.


Steps to reunite your non-accompanying family members

Step 1: Make sure you and your family members are eligible

Requirements for you (the permanent resident who arrived in Canada as a refugee within the last year):

  • You are a permanent resident of Canada;
  • You reside in a province/territory other than the province of Québec;
  • You were resettled from overseas to Canada as a refugee; and
  • Within one year of your arrival in Canada, you are submitting to the Resettlement Operations Center in Ottawa (ROC-O) both a complete OYW request and the application for permanent residence of your family member you want to bring to Canada.

Requirements for your family members overseas:

  • They were declared on your permanent residence application overseas before you departed for Canada;
  • They met the definition of a family member (as per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations) at the time your application for permanent residence was submitted; and
  • They continue to meet the definition of a family member until a final decision is made on their application for permanent residence.

What is a family member?

Under the Canadian immigration system, a family member is only:

  • You, the permanent resident in Canada
  • Your spouse or common-law partner;
  • Your dependent child,
  • A dependent child of your dependent child
  • A dependent child of your spouse or common-law partner; and
  • A dependent child of your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child.

See subsection 1(3) IRPR for the legal definition of “family member” and the Guide for Convention Refugee or as a Humanitarian – Protected Person Abroad (IMM 6000) section titled “Eligible family members” for more information.

Required stepYou cannot bring other family members under the OYW provision.


Step 2: Use the document checklist

Use the document checklist below to ensure your application is complete.

Part 1 of the checklist includes all the items that you, the permanent resident in Canada, must complete.

Part 2 of the checklist includes all the items your family members overseas must complete.

Assemble all your documents as listed and submit them in this order. The first page should be the form Request for Processing Family Members under the One-Year Window of Opportunity (OYW) provision (IMM 5571).

We strongly encourage you to keep a copy of the application submitted to IRCC.

Part 1 – OYW Request package

You, the permanent resident in Canada, must complete this form and include this document in your application:

  1. The Request for Processing Family Members under the One-Year Window of Opportunity Provisions (IMM 5571)

    Common mistakes:

    • Form was not submitted
    • Invalid version of form was submitted
    • Form was not in French or English
    • Form was not signed and /or is dated more than 90 days from the date of the application’s submission to ROC-O
  2. Proof of your permanent resident status. Submit a copy of your Permanent Resident (PR) card or your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)

Part 2 – Application for Permanent Residence Package

Each PA overseas must complete and send to you the following forms and documents:

  1. Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)

    Common mistakes:

    • Form was not submitted
    • Invalid version of form was submitted
    • Form was not in French or English
    • Form was not validated with 2D barcodes or barcodes are not legible
    • PA’s email address (Question 6) was not included in the “Contact Information” section and no exceptional reasons were given on a separate sheet of paper
    • Form was not signed
  2. Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

    Common mistakes:

    • Form was not submitted
    • Invalid version of form was submitted
    • Form was not in French or English
    • Form was not signed
  3. Schedule A: Background / Declaration (IMM5669)

    Common mistakes:

    • Form was not submitted
    • Invalid version of form was submitted
    • Form was not in French or English
    • Form was handwritten
    • Question 6 – not all questions from A to K were answered by a yes or a no.
    • Form was not submitted for PA and/or all family members 18 years of age and older
    • Name and biodata did not match the Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM0008)
    • Form was not signed

Supporting Documents

  1. One (1) photo for each PA and their family members with name and date of birth written on the back.

Step 3: Fill in your forms

How to Use PDF Forms:

You cannot complete and save the application forms using your internet browser. To use the forms, you need to:

  1. use your computer (Mac or PC) - the form will not open on mobile devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones, etc.);
  2. install Adobe Reader 10 (or higher);
  3. download the PDF file to your computer and open it from your computer, using Adobe Reader (save the file in a location on your computer that you can remember);
  4. make sure you use Adobe Reader to open the form. Do not open the file directly from your internet browser.

See the Help Centre for instructions on downloading and opening PDF forms.

It’s a good idea to clear your browser cache. When we update our application forms, your browser may still use old files and if you do not clear your cache, you may see the old forms. Find out how to clear your cache.

A) The OYW Request

Required stepImportant reminders:

  • All forms must be typed.
  • Make sure the forms are signed and dated. We accept scanned signatures on forms.
  • You must provide an e-mail address so that we can communicate with you. 
    • You must provide your own personal e-mail (not the e-mail of a representative). Be careful when typing your email address. You should adjust your junk mail settings to make sure you do not miss important messages.
    • If you change your email address while the application is being processed, you must notify us immediately (see the section Updating your contact information).
  • You should only include information about a third party representative (representative’s contact information, email address, etc.) on a Use of Representative form (IMM 5476).
  • It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. We may verify the information you provide on your application.

Required stepYou are responsible to ensure that all the information contained in the application is accurate at the time you submit the application to IRCC. Failure to do so may result in the refusal of your application. If there any changes in your or the PA’s situation, you must advise IRCC promptly.

The OYW Request - Request for Processing Family Members Under the One-Year Window of Opportunity Provision (IMM 5571)

Who needs to fill out this form?

You, the permanent resident in Canada.

Type the following information:

  • your family name and given names;
  • your date of birth;
  • your telephone number(s);
  • your Unique Client Identifier (UCI). This is a number that can be found on:
    • previous correspondence with IRCC;
    • on your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5688); or
    • on your permanent resident card, if you have received it.
      It can be eight or ten digits long (for example: 0000-0000 or 00000-00000). If you do not have or do not know your UCI number, type “N/A”;
  • your complete mailing address (street number and name, city, province and postal code); and
  • your email address.

Type the following for your family members overseas:

  • their family name and given names;
  • their date of birth;
  • their current country of residence; and
  • their relationship to you.
    • Type all names and biographic information exactly as shown on the PA and family member’s passports or travel documents.
    • This information must match the names entered on the Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008).
Declaration

Read, sign and date the declaration. The signature should not be dated more than 90 days prior to the date of submission to ROC-O.

B) The permanent resident application

Who needs to fill out these forms?

The principal applicant (PA) and, if applicable, their family members.

The PA is the family member overseas you are applying to bring to Canada.

If you are trying to bring more than one family member at the same time:

  • If you are trying to bring your spouse and children, the PA is the spouse.
  • If you are trying to bring 2 or more children without your spouse, each child is a PA. You must submit a separate permanent residence application for each child.

For the principal applicant (PA) only:

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if applicable

For the PA and each family member 18 years old and over:

With the exception of the Additional Family Information form (IMM 5406) (PDF, 1.85 MB), forms are available in the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Person Abroad (IMM 6000) which also provides you instructions on how to fill out each form. For instructions on how to complete the Additional Family Information form (IMM5406), see below.

All forms are available in the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Person Abroad (IMM 6000). It is highly recommended for the PA to provide a personal email address as email is the primary method of communication with us. If for exceptional reasons, the PA cannot provide a personal email address, they must explain why on a separate page and attach it to the Generic Application form for Canada (IMM 0008). If the PA does not provide an email address, processing of the application will be delayed.

The Generic Application form for Canada (IMM 0008) must be 2D bar coded.

You must ensure that you properly validate the form after completing the form so that the barcodes are properly generated.

Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

Write all names in English and in your native language. You must answer all questions. If a section does not apply to you, answer “Not applicable” in the Name box.

Who needs to fill out this application form?

This form must be completed by:

  • the PA
  • the PA’s family member 18 years old and over.
Section A

Write the personal details for:

  • yourself,
  • your spouse or common-law partner, if applicable
  • your mother
  • your father
Section B - Children

Write the personal details for your children. It is very important that you list all of your children (even if they are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada). This includes:

  • married children
  • adopted children
  • children of your spouse or common-law partner (step-children)
  • any of your children who have been adopted by others
  • any of your children who are in the custody of an ex-spouse, former common-law partner or other guardian
Section C - Brothers and sisters

Write the personal details for your siblings. This includes:

  • brother(s)
  • sister(s)
  • half-brother(s) and half-sister(s)
  • step-brother(s) and step-sister(s)
Section D - Certification

Read, sign and date the declaration.

Part 3 – Optional Form

Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Use this form to:

  • authorize you, the permanent resident in Canada, to do business on behalf of the family members overseas you are trying to bring to Canada (for example, to provide updated information about the PA’s situation to the IRCC office overseas on their behalf):
    • While this form is optional, we strongly recommend you include a Use of Representative form with each OYW application to authorize you to act on behalf of your family members.
  • authorize a third-party representative to do business on your behalf with IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and to give you advice or guidance during the application process.

See the Use of Representative Guide and Form for instructions.


Step 4: Mail or email your application

You, the permanent resident in Canada, must submit all the above mentioned forms and documents to the Resettlement Operations Center in Ottawa (ROC-O) within one year of your arrival to Canada.

Send your application by mail or email, not both. Duplicate applications will delay the processing of your application.

If you mail your application, we recommend that you send your application via registered mail to ensure that your package is trackable by Canada Post or a courier service.

Required stepWe strongly recommend that you send one application per envelope. If you send more than one application per envelope/box, itemize the applications in a list contained in the envelope/box.

Mailing address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O)
One Year Window Unit
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1

Email: IRCC.INROCO-CORORI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Prepare the email by following these steps:

  • 2D Barcode the Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
    • As you enter information on the IMM 0008 online you must complete all mandatory fields in order to “validate” the form and create the 2D barcode.
    • Validation does not mean that the form is submitted to ROC-O, it means that a 2D barcode will be generated and printed on the IMM 0008.
    • The IMM 0008 is divided into 2 parts: the form and the signature page. We recommend the following procedure to submit the application electronically:
      1. complete the form in its entirety, then select the “validate” button located on the last page.
      2. save the PDF document as “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - IMM0008”.
      3. print only the IMM 0008 signature page – sign and date where indicated.
      4. scan the signature page separately and save it as “IMM0008-signature page”.
  • Check your scanner settings:
    • use a high resolution (at least 400 DPI);
    • we accept scanned documents in black and white.
  • Check the email attachments:
    • each attachment cannot be bigger than 5MB - if an attachment is larger than 5MB the application will be returned to you without being processed;
    • attach only PDF and picture files;
    • do not attached compressed files (such as ZIP or RAR) because we cannot open them;
    • all forms must be typed;
    • use these naming conventions for your attachments:
      • OYW request form (IMM 5571) and proof of permanent resident status. Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name – OYW req”
      • IMM 0008 (including the signature page) and IMM 0008 DEP (if applicable). Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - IMM0008”
      • Additional Family Information form (IMM 5406), Schedule 2 and Use of Representative forms. Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - Schedules”
      • One photo per applicant, which meets the photo specifications (PDF, 506 KB). Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name Refugee - Photos”
  • Email the application:
    • The subject line should be titled: “OYW Request for PA FAMILY NAME, First name”
    • The email size cannot be bigger than 10MB, if it is, send the attachment in 2 or more emails and number your email subjects. For example: “part 1 of 2” and “part 2 of 2”. If your email is larger than 10MB, it will bounce back and you will not receive an email auto-reply.
  • Ensure your application was received and is complete:
    • You should receive an auto-reply from ROC-O for each email sent; save this auto-reply.

What happens next?

Stage 1: Intake

For mailed applications:

A first Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) email is sent by ROC-O to you and the PA overseas to confirm that the OYW application package has been received but not yet verified for completeness. This AOR is generally sent within 30 days of receipt of your application and includes the name of the PA. This AOR simply confirms that ROC-O received your application.

For emailed applications:

An immediate auto-reply is sent to the email address from which the application was submitted. This email confirms that the OYW application package has been received. It does not confirm that your application is complete nor does it include the name of the PA.

Stage 2: Completeness Check

ROC-O reviews the application to ensure that all correct forms were submitted and signed and dated by you and by the PA overseas. The version of the forms must be valid, typed and filled out in either French or English.

If the application is incomplete

Required stepIf a document or signature is missing from your OYW request, ROC-O will send you an email providing you with an opportunity to submit it. Generally, we will provide you with 30 days to answer our email. If you do not answer our email or if you do not submit the required information within 30 days, the OYW request will be refused.

If the application is complete, a second AOR is emailed to you, your PA overseas and your private sponsors (if applicable), by ROC-O to confirm that all of the necessary forms are submitted and signed/dated and that the application was created in our electronic system. You will receive the application number (G number) at this time. This also means that the application has been transferred to a ROC-O officer for decision.

Stage 3: The OYW Request decision

Once your file is ready to be processed, a ROC-O officer will decide if your application meets the OYW criteria.

If the request meets the OYW criteria, it will be electronically sent to the appropriate IRCC office overseas. You, your PA overseas and private sponsors (if applicable) will receive an email confirming that the OYW request has been approved and sent to the appropriate IRCC office overseas. Please see the Guide for Convention Refugee or as a Humanitarian – Protected Person Abroad (IMM 6000) section “What happens next” for more information on processing phases at overseas missions.

If the application does not meet the OYW criteria, a ROC-O officer will refuse the application and no further processing will be done. You, your PA overseas and private sponsors (if applicable) will receive a letter indicating the reasons for refusal. Your PA overseas will not have an opportunity to find a replacement sponsor.

Updating your contact information

During the OYW request process, you must notify us of any change in your contact information (address, phone number, new email address etc.). Notify us by emailing IRCC.INPSR-PPPRRI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.

The PA overseas must contact the IRCC office overseas to change their or their family members’ contact information or changes to their personal circumstances (for example, change in their marital status, birth of a child, email address). Find out how to Change your address.

Checking your application status

Once we have created your application in our immigration system, you can check its status on-line.

If you would like a case status update, you can contact ROC-O at IRCC.INROCO-CORORI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. Use this email subject line when sending a status inquiry: PA FAMILY NAME, first name, G number, CASE STATUS REQUEST - OYW.

Keep in mind that contacting ROC-O ALWAYS takes us away from processing applications. Receiving a high volume of case status updates delays processing of your application and applications of others.

You should contact ROC-O when:

  • you sent an email OYW application and you did not receive the automatic auto-reply. Carefully review the email address from which you sent your application and your junk mail folder.
  • more than 60 days have passed since you submitted your paper application package and you have not received the first AOR;
  • more than 6 months have passed since you received your first AOR. If less than 6 months have passed since you received your first AOR from ROC-O, we will not answer your case status request;
  • if you believe that your application has been erroneously delayed overseas, ROC-O will review the case and advise the mission if an error seems to have occurred in processing the application. ROC-O will not provide you with a response on these case status requests.

If you decide to send us an email, please do not ask your Member of Parliament (MP), sponsors (if applicable) or the PA to send an email for the same question. If ROC-O receives multiple email enquiries on the same topic, we will only answer the first email that we receive.

Processing times for your application

The Case Processing Centre will review your application to determine if it is complete. If your application is not signed, if all mandatory sections are not completed, or if the required fee is missing, your application will be returned to you and you will have to re-apply.

Note: If your application is rejected as “incomplete”, it is considered to have never been submitted and therefore you would not benefit from ‘implied status’. If you reapply after your current status has expired, you will need to apply for restoration of status. See the section Restoration of Status.

If your application is complete, the Case Processing Centre will send you either:

  • a visitor record, a new work permit or a new study permit; or
  • a letter refusing your application; or
  • notification that your application has been referred to a local Canada Immigration Centre for further assessment.

If your application is referred to a local office, they will contact you to obtain additional information or clarification and if required, invite you to an interview. It may take up to three months for them to contact you.

Once they receive the additional information or clarification, the local office will complete the final stages of processing. The local office will notify you by mail of their decision.

Note: The Case Processing Centre receives large volumes of applications in the temporary resident categories each year. It is recommended that you apply at least 30 days before the expiry of your current document. However, you may want to apply in advance of this recommended period since processing times vary. Check our current processing times.

Protecting your information

Your personal information is:

  • available to IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it to provide the services to you, and
  • not disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.

For more information. For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Help Centre.

Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions by visiting the Help Centre.

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