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Category Archives: GCMS

COVID-19: Program delivery updates for permanent residence applications

COVID-19 program delivery instructions are for new and existing permanent residence applications in Canada and abroad.

Applications will not be refused for non-compliance, and all applications currently in progress at IRCC offices abroad and at case processing centres within the Centralized Network and within the Domestic Network will continue to be processed but may experience delays.

Application intake

IRCC will continue to accept new permanent residence applications. Incomplete applications because of unavailable documents will be retained in the system and reviewed in 90 days. New, complete permanent residence applications will be processed as per normal procedures while taking into consideration the following additional processing guidance:

If a new application is missing supporting documentation (associated fees are required), the applicant should include an explanation with their application that they are affected by the service disruptions because of the novel coronavirus. The application may then be promoted and reviewed in 90 days.

If the application is still incomplete in 90 days, officers should request the missing documents with an additional 90-day deadline.

Incomplete applications with no explanation provided, or for reasons unrelated to the disruption of services associated with impacts of the novel coronavirus, may be rejected and all fees associated with the application should be refunded to the applicant. The reason for rejection should be unrelated to the disruption of services. 

Approved permanent residence applications (COPR and PRV) 

Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a COPR and PRV and inform IRCC, by submitting a Web form, that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation should be processed as follows:

Valid COPR and PRV: In an effort to reduce the number of cancelled COPRs and PRVs, IRCC will put a note in the file explaining that the applicant is unable to travel, and the file should be brought forward to the expiration date of the COPR and PRV. If the applicant informs IRCC that they can travel prior to the COPR and PRV expiration, they are encouraged to use their existing COPR and PRV to land.  

Expired COPR and PRV: If the applicant informs IRCC via the Web form that they are unable or unwilling to travel after the expiration of their COPR and PRV, or if they are unable or unwilling to travel prior to expiration, officers are to re-open the application, and it should be brought forward for review in 90 days.  

Re-opened applications

Approved applications where the principal applicant has not already become a permanent resident can be re-opened in GCMS by cancelling the COPR and PRV and removing the final decision.

Review of a re-opened application 

Once the applicant informs IRCC via the Web form that they are able to travel, a re-opened application may be re-approved provided that the applicant and their family members, whether accompanying or not, have valid immigration medical examinations, criminal and security checks and passports.

If the 60-day waiting period elapses and the applicant has not informed IRCC that they are able to travel, a note will be placed in the application, and it should be brought forward for review for an additional 60 days.

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Immigration application processing system set for massive revamp by the Canadian Government

A complete overhaul of Canadian immigration application processing system is in the works as the government braces for post-pandemic demand for migration to Canada. When travel restrictions begin to ease, a significant surge of applications and support requirements is anticipated, putting tremendous demand on IRCC’s global operations, and supporting branches.

Meanwhile, the government has closed or significantly scaled back many of its immigration operations, including all in-person interviews and the collection of biometrics, while many private visa centers around the globe that have contracts with Canada are also closed. In the face of so many challenges, IRCC has made great efforts to adapt, for instance, by prioritizing applications from Canadians returning to Canada, vulnerable people and people who perform or support essential services.

 How the government is looking to improve application processing system?

The government is seeking to be proactive by developing new strategies, processes, and digital systems to enable it to better fulfill its mandate. For an example, IRCC would like to adapt digital processes whenever possible to minimize the need for in-person or paper-based applications. This would not only protect the safety of IRCC and the public but could also result in more efficient and faster application processing.

Ways to modernize application processing system

Develop Digital Intake Solutions: Including the provision and implementation of digital intake tools to reduce/replace physical presence and paper-based requirements for client services and processing with digital alternatives

Develop and Implement Physical Distancing Required Digital Tools: Including the provision and implementation of tools to address new physical distancing requirements, reducing physical presence requirements of both our clients and employees with digital alternatives (i.e. online citizenship testing, virtual interviewing, etc.)

Implement Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Including RPA solutions to rapidly automate simple, high volume processes, dealing with employee shortages as well as allowing employees to focus on more complex and sensitive cases.

Analytics Solutions: Including data analytics solutions to provide insights into operational volumes and processing capacities to allow IRCC to effectively respond to rapid changes in the Canadian and Global situation.

Cyber security Strategy and Services: Including the provision of tools and strategic advice to address IRCC’s increased Cyber security threat because of COVID-19.

Legacy Integration Solutions: Including the provision of technology solutions to integrate digital tools and solutions with IRCC’s case management system environment (GCMS Integration)

Advisory Services: Including the provision of advisory services to help manage the initiatives and respond to emerging operational challenges because of COVID-19.

Canada will see a major spike in permanent and temporary resident arrivals once the global health and economic situation improves. Prior pandemic, Canada was welcoming record numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and international students. By modernizing the application processing system, the IRCC should be in a stronger position to accommodate even more immigrants once the pandemic is over.

New Entry/Exit Program Instructions from IRCC

The Entry/Exit Program allows for the collection and sharing of entry and exit information of travellers entering and departing from Canada. Access to entry and exit information in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) will be based on an employee’s security clearance and organizational requirements to carry out day-to-day work activities. IRCC will obtain accurate and objective entry and exit information from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to support the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Citizenship Act and the Canadian Passport Order.

IRCC will be able to query the CBSA’s Entry/Exit Information System directly to

  • verify residency requirements to process an ongoing application to objectively verify the information provided by the client, such as applications for grants of citizenship (CIT) or permanent resident cards (PR cards)
  • verify if a temporary residence applicant may have previously overstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada
  • assist in an investigation into an individual’s entitlement to a Canadian travel document

In addition, IRCC will be able to use entry and exit information to

  • verify that sponsors are residing in Canada where required by law
  • verify relationships and compliance with conditions for spouses and partners applying or admitted under the family class
  • verify if a refugee claimant entered Canada using their travel documents
  • support investigations into possible fraud in relation to immigration, citizenship, and passport (PPT) and travel document programs
  • verify residency requirements to validate if a medical examination is required