Answers about application process
do I submit my application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
I apply to a Canadian visa office which is not responsible
for the area in which I reside?
documents should be submitted in support of my application
for permanent residence?
must I submit the supporting documentation?
what language must my supporting documentation be submitted?
I transfer my application to a different visa office after
it has been submitted?
long does the immigration process take?
is a lock in date?
sent my application to the Consulate 4 weeks ago. Why have
I not received my letter of acknowledgement?
sent my application to the Consulate 10 weeks ago. I have
not yet received a letter of acknowledgement. What should
have submitted all the required documents and I completed
my medical examination two weeks ago. When can I expect
to receive my visa?
should I do if my Student, Employment or Visitor status
expires while I'm waiting for my permanent resident visa?
have sent all the required documents to the Consulate and
I completed my medical examination 4 months ago. I received
a letter from the Consulate 2 months ago stating that they
are conducting background checks. What does this mean? How
much longer will I have to wait?
you confirm whether you have received my fax/documents that
I sent yesterday?
month I sent my file transfer fee to Nairobi requesting
that my file be transferred to the Consulate General in
Buffalo. Have you received my file? When can I expect to
receive my visa?
Q: Where do I submit
my application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa?
A: You submit your application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa
to a Canadian visa office. Every geographic region in the world
has a Canadian visa office to which your application forms and
supporting documents, along with all applicable fees, can be
submitted. Each visa office specializes in the examination of
documents from its region. Even if there is no Canadian visa
office located in your country of residence, nonetheless your
area is the responsibility of a particular Canadian visa office.
For example, the Canadian visa office in London, England, is
not only responsible for applications from the United Kingdom,
but is also responsible for applications from other countries
such as Finland and Saudi Arabia. Applicants under the Business
Immigration Program must submit their applications to one of
nine designated Visa Offices, which specialize in the evaluation
of these files. If your destination is the Province of Quebec,
you must submit an application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa
and an application for a Quebec Certificate of Selection to
a Quebec Delegation in your region. This procedure is required
because Quebec has exclusive jurisdiction to select immigrants
who intend to reside in that Province.
Q: Can I apply to a Canadian
visa office which is not responsible for the area in which I
A: You may submit your application to the Canadian visa office
of your choice. However, applications from outside the visa
office's area of responsibility may take longer to process than
applications from within its territory. These delays are often
a result of the visa office's lack of familiarity with documents
or issues which are particular to a country outside the visa
Q: What documents should
be submitted in support of my application for permanent residence?
A: Supporting documents usually include evidence of employment,
education, assets, civil status, and an absence of criminal
convictions. Each visa office has specific requirements regarding
the submission of supporting documentation. It is advisable
to seek expert guidance or instructions from your visa office
regarding the submission of supporting documentation.
Q: When must I submit
the supporting documentation?
A: Each visa office has specific timing requirements, but usually,
supporting documents are submitted at the same time as your
completed application forms and processing fees. Some Visa Offices
insist that the entire file be submitted at once, and may even
return incomplete files without acknowledging receipt.
Q: In what language must
my supporting documentation be submitted?
A: All supporting documentation in a language other than English
or French must be accompanied by an English or French translation,
as translated by a certified translator.
Q: Can I transfer my
application to a different visa office after it has been submitted?
A: You can transfer your application to a different visa office
after it has been submitted. The transfer of an application
to a different visa office takes 6-8 weeks to occur. Processing
of the file will start again from the beginning at the new visa
office. The fee for transferring an application is presently
Q: How long does the
immigration process take?
A: The average processing time of all world-wide visa offices
is approximately 18 months for applications where a selection
interview is required. Depending on the circumstances of the
case, and the office at which the application is submitted,
processing time may be as short as 6 months or as long as 42
Q: What is a lock in
A: A lock-in date is the date on which a visa office receives
a completed application form, with full payment of the processing
fees. The Canadian Courts have deemed the lock-in date to be
the date on which factors such as age must be assessed. Thus,
no points will be lost if the applicant's age changes during
the processing of the application. Processing Times
Q: I sent my application
to the Consulate 4 weeks ago. Why have I not received my letter
A: Our office's goal is to enter all applications into Immigration's
computer system within 4 weeks of receipt. At times, this is
not possible due to the volume of files received. Please allow
4-6 weeks for file creation, and up to 1-2 weeks for regular
mail delivery. A unique file number will be assigned to you.
You will be notified of your file number in our 'letter of acknowledgment'
which will be sent to you or to your representative. Quote this
file number (which always begins with the letter B) in all your
correspondence with our office.
Q: I sent my application
to the Consulate 10 weeks ago. I have not yet received a letter
of acknowledgement. What should I do?
A: If you do not receive a letter of acknowledgement within
8 weeks from the time you sent your application to our office,
please send a fax or letter to the Consulate. You must include
a photocopy of both sides of your fee payment with your complete
name and address and date of birth. This will allow our office
to check both our computer data base and our financial records
to determine if we received your application and deposited your
fee payment. In most cases, the Consulate cannot trace your
file without proof that our office cashed your fee payment.
If you submit your application without the correct fee, your
entire application will be returned to you and the Consulate
will not keep any record.
Q: I have submitted
all the required documents and I completed my medical examination
two weeks ago. When can I expect to receive my visa?
A: Please allow the Consulate time to process your application.
If you have sent all the required documents you can expect to
receive your visa, or further instructions, within 90 days from
the date you completed your medical examination. If you do not
receive anything in the mail after 90 days you may send a fax
or a letter to the Consulate. The medical results are sent directly
by the doctor (DMP) to Immigration Medical Services (IMS) in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. After the medical tests have been examined
by a medical officer at IMS, the Consulate will be notified
of the results.
Q: What should I do
if my Student, Employment or Visitor status expires while I'm
waiting for my permanent resident visa?
A: It is your responsibility to maintain your status in Canada
while your application is being processed. The Consulate's processing
times are stated in the application kits. To apply for an extension
of your temporary status, please call the Canada Immigration
Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.
Q: I have sent all the
required documents to the Consulate and I completed my medical
examination 4 months ago. I received a letter from the Consulate
2 months ago stating that you are conducting background checks.
What does this mean? How much longer will I have to wait?
A: If you have received a letter stating that the Consulate
is conducting "background checks," this means that the information
that you have provided with your application is being verified.
The Consulate wants to ensure that there is nothing in your
background that would render you inadmissible to Canada. This
process can be very lengthy. There is nothing you, as the applicant,
can do except wait. If additional information is required, you
will be informed.
Q: Can you confirm whether
you have received my fax/documents that I sent yesterday?
A: No, the Consulate receives 400-600 faxes each day. Our office
does not have the personnel to acknowledge each fax. However,
be assured you that each fax received is read and any new information
provided is added to your file. If your file is progressing
according to our service standards, you will probably not receive
a response. However, if your file is delayed, the Consulate
Q: Last month I sent
my file transfer fee to Nairobi requesting that my file be transferred
to the Consulate General in Buffalo. Have you received my file?
When can I expect to receive my visa?
A: Please allow 3-4 months for the file to be transferred from
offices outside North America to Buffalo. Files are usually
sent from one visa office to another via diplomatic mail which
is very reliable but not very fast. Once your file reaches our
office, it will be entered in our computer system and a new
file number will be assigned. You will be advised of this new
file number by mail. You should allow 4-6 weeks for this "acknowledgement
of receipt" letter. Please ensure that the Consulate has your
most recent mailing address. DO NOT send additional information
concerning your file until you have received the letter of acknowledgement
from our office. Your file number must be shown on all correspondence
sent to our office.