Operational Bulletin 585 – June 20, 2014
Earlier, officers could process certain applications made under:
- The federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and,
- The federal Entrepreneur (EN) program
However, the authorities have ceased the processing of certain applications made under these two programs. This cessation of processing of applications is effect June 19, 2014.
There could be situations where the applicants submitted IIP and EN applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). At the time of submitting these applications, the applicants would have paid certain fees to CIC. CIC would need to return the fees for processing these applications submitted under the IIP and EN programs to the person who paid them. This is a mandate, required by law. Thus, the authorities would be liable for repaying any investment made in respect of terminated IIP applications to the applicants concerned.
- Officers must not take any action on cases terminated by the operation of law
- Officers would need to consult with Strategic Planning and Delivery, International Region if they are unsure of whether the authorities have terminated a case or not
The authorities made certain amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The authorities enacted these amendments as part of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1. These amendments came into force from June 19, 2014.
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides instructions to the officers of the CIC. It guides them on the process to follow when it comes to the termination of certain federal IIP and EN applications.
The Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 terminates applications based on certain factors. The authorities have defined these factors in the Act. By doing so, the Act gets rid of the majority of the backlog in the federal IIP and EN programs. The amendments made also include provisions for:
- Returning the fees paid to the CIC by various IIP and EN applicants and,
- Returning the investments to IIP applicants in cases where the authorities have terminated their IIP applications
The authorities enacted the relevant provisions of the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1. This enactment took place on June 19, 2014. Therefore, the termination of certain federal IIP and EN applications take place by the operation of law.
Officers would need to terminate applications by foreign nationals for permanent resident visas. This would be especially so, in case the foreign nationals are members of the prescribed class of investors and entrepreneurs. Certain conditions would need to apply for officers to terminate these applications by foreign nationals. These include situations where the officers have not established before February 11, 2014 that:
- The applicants meet the selection criteria and,
- The applicants meet other requirements applicable to those classes
In addition, the province of Quebec has an IIP of its own. Officers would need to note that these amendments do not affect the processing of applications for permanent residence for investors, selected by the province of Quebec. For these applicants, the processing of applications for permanent residence would continue as before.
The Process for Establishing that the Authorities Have Made a Final Decision
Officers would consider that the authorities have made a final decision, if the authorities:
- Enter a decision in the processing system as:
- “FINDEC” in the Computer-Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS) or
- “Final – Approved” or “Final – Refused” in the GCMS OR,
- State clearly in the file notes that the final decision has been rendered, but the decision has not been entered in the processing system AND if the authorities enter the Security, Criminality and Medical decisions
- However, in these cases, visa offices do not need to review their IIP or EN inventory periodically to find such cases
- They would only need to take action by contacting the NHQ, in case they come across cases like these on a normal basis
Fee and Investment Returns
The authorities have formulated the process for returning the:
- Fees paid to CIC and,
- Investments made under the IIP
The amendments had resulted in the termination of the affected applications. Therefore, the authorities have centralised the process. The process for returning the fees and investments paid to CIC would take place at NHQ – Finance. They have taken this step in consultation with:
- Visa offices and,
The CIC bears the responsibility for:
- Returning the fees and investments and,
- Communicating with the affected applicants in a timely manner
Several unsuccessful applicants would have paid the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). They would continue to be entitled to obtaining a return of that fee they paid. This is in accordance with the existing procedures.
Responsive Communication Lines
The authorities have developed approved communication lines. These communication lines would help visa offices in responding to enquiries from people related to the legislation like:
- The affected applicants
- Immigration representatives and,
- Investment facilitators
The authorities would need to retain the files and supporting documentations. These documents would be associated with terminated applications. They would need to retain these for a period of at least two years from the last point of administrative use. This practice is in accordance with:
- Current information management practices and,
- Current retention requirements
According to the regulations, officers would need to assess the last point of administrative use. This would typically be the date on which the CIC returns fees or investments paid to it.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)