February 12, 2013

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced significant changes as to how it will provide Visas and Immigration (V&I) services throughout its consular network in South Korea, the United States and Venezuela. V&I services for U.S.-based applicants are outlined in a new, comprehensive Operational Bulletin.

What’s Changed?

As a follow-up to our earlier alert regarding Canadian consular changes in Los Angeles, CIC has released recent Operational Bulletins notifying important cessation of V&I services at certain Canadian consular posts and a change in how future V&I applications will be handled in South Korea, the United States and Venezuela.

In those countries where Canadian consular posts no longer offer V&I services, applicants requiring Temporary Residence Visas (TRV’s) and other permit applications should submit their applications to the designated VAC facility or submit directly to the Canadian consular post having jurisdiction over their country of nationality or place of legal residence.

The current list of VAC’s can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/vac.asp

The list of new Canadian consular post jurisdictions can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

A brief of synopsis of changes in South Korea, the U.S. and Venezuela are as follows:

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – The V&I section of this consular post officially closed on January 28, 2013.

The changes to those applications already filed and for adjudication of future applications can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2013/ob498.asp

UNITED STATES – The CIC is has undertaken a major restructuring effort to streamline the V&I delivery process in the U.S.

In general, the CIC’s website advises that applications currently in process in Detroit and Seattle will continue to be processed and finalized at those offices. If necessary, any cases that are unable to be finalized in Detroit or Seattle will be transferred to the visa offices in New York or Los Angeles, respectively, for processing.

Any applications submitted by mail to the Detroit and Seattle consular posts which are postmarked after February 5, 2013 will be returned to sender.

New U.S. and Canada-based Temporary Resident applications can be submitted online to the CIC. All work permit applications will now be processed at the visa office in New York and all study permit applications will now be processed at the visa office in Los Angeles unless otherwise directed by CIC.

An overview of the new changes for 2013 can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2013/ob496.asp

CARACAS, VENEZUELA– The V&I section of this consular post officially closed on January 29, 2013.

The changes to those applications already filed and for adjudication of future applications can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2013/ob497.asp

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Companies having business visitor and assignees applying from Caracas and Seoul should bear in mind that applications will no longer be submitted to their local Canadian consular post. Applications filed after late January 2013 should be filed either online (where permitted) or with the appropriate VAC.

Through a combination of online applications and more centralized visa delivery services, the CIC is making all efforts to streamline the delivery of all Canadian immigration benefits for U.S.-based applicants.

Companies and employees intending to file visitor and work authorization applications should work closely with their Canadian and global immigration suppliers to confirm appropriate filing options and expectations of current processing times.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.

Information contained in this Global Brief is prepared using information obtained from various media outlets, government publications and our KGNM network of immigration professionals. Written permission from the copyright owner and any other rights holders must be obtained for any reuse of any content posted or published by Pro-Link GLOBAL that extends beyond fair use or other statutory exemptions. Furthermore, responsibility for the determination of the copyright status and securing permission rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Interested parties are welcome to contact the Knowledge Management Department (km@pro-linkglobal.com) with any additional requests for information or to request reproduction of this material.