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Questions & Answers about application process

  Where do I submit my application for a Canadian Immigrant Visa?

  Can I apply to a Canadian visa office which is not responsible for the area in which I reside?

  What documents should be submitted in support of my application for permanent residence?

  When must I submit the supporting documentation?

  In what language must my supporting documentation be submitted?

  Can I transfer my application to a different visa office after it has been submitted?

  How long does the immigration process take?

  What is a lock in date?

  I sent my application to the Consulate 4 weeks ago. Why have I not received my letter of acknowledgement?

  I sent my application to the Consulate 10 weeks ago. I have not yet received a letter of acknowledgement. What should I do?

  I have submitted all the required documents and I completed my medical examination two weeks ago. When can I expect to receive my visa?

  What should I do if my Student, Employment or Visitor status expires while I'm waiting for my permanent resident visa?

  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 they are conducting background checks. What does this mean? How much longer will I have to wait?

  Can you confirm whether you have received my fax/documents that I sent yesterday?

  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?

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 reside?
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 office's territory.

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 CAD$100.
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 months.

Q: What is a lock in date?
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 of acknowledgement?
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 will respond.
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.

 

 
 
   

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