The Forms Required
The authorities require provincial nominees to complete:
- The IMM 0008EGEN application
- The IMM 0008Esch4 / sch4a and,
- Any other required forms and documents as specified in the Guide for Provincial Nominees i.e. IMM EP7000
The Roles and Responsibilities
Provinces and territories of Canada bear the responsibility for establishing their own criteria for nomination. However, they would need to ensure that the criteria they formulate is not incompatible with national immigration policy. Similarly, the federal government bears the entire responsibility for:
- Applying all statutory admissibility criteria and,
- Exercising ultimate selection authority as specified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
It is worth highlighting that the officers of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are responsible for:
- Assessing the admissibility of the candidate
- Assessing the eligibility of the candidate in accordance with the provisions specified in R87 and,
- Rendering a final decision on the eligibility of the candidates as members of the Provincial Nominee Class, in accordance with the provisions specified in R87 (2)
The Guidelines for Receiving the Provincial Nomination Certificate
Provinces will typically nominate individuals for selection in the Provincial Nominee Class. Once they do this, the provinces would need to send the certificate of nomination to the visa office directly.
The Guidelines for Receiving the Application for Immigration
Some provinces might ask the applicants for completing the immigration applications. Thereafter, they would instruct the applicants to send these applications directly to the appropriate visa office. Similarly, other provinces might choose to assist the nominee with the completion of the application. In addition, they might even send the nominee’s application to the visa office on the applicant’s behalf.
In either case, the visa office would need to create a file before the receipt of the nomination spreadsheet.
The Transitional Provisions
The authorities require officers to assess all applications for permanent residence in progress at the federal level prior to September 02, 2008 according to the regulations in effect immediately prior to September 02, 2008. This applies to all nomination certificates issued on or prior to September 01, 2008 as well.
However, it is worth highlighting that this does not mean that the authorities need to receive all applications for permanent residence by September 02, 2008. Rather, the authorities require that they receive only the nomination certificate issued by the province as of September 01, 2008 or earlier.
The authorities would continue to issue new applications with their respective nomination certificates on or after September 02, 2008. These applications and certificates would remain subject to the current regulations. All these instructions are in accordance with the provisions specified in the section titled ‘The Guidelines Concerning Passive Investment and Immigration Linked Investment’.
The Guidelines for Processing the Application
In many cases, the visa office would receive the certificates of nomination under the Provincial Nominee Class. In this scenario, the officers would need to issue the relevant medical instructions. In addition, they would need to carry out the normal security screening procedures as soon as possible. However, they would only do this once they receive a complete application.
The Guidelines Concerning Monitoring and Compliance
Situations could arise where the officers are not satisfied that the applicants would be able to meet all the prescribed criteria. In this scenario, the officers would need to request additional documentation or clarification from the applicants.
In some situations, the nomination certificates might not be sufficient indicators to the likelihood of the foreign nationals successfully establishing themselves economically in Canada. In this scenario, the officers would need to substitute their evaluations of the likelihood of the foreign nationals for successfully establishing themselves economically in Canada. They would typically substitute this evaluation with the nominating certificate. Such a substitution would typically require that the officer consult with the government that issued the certificate first. This substitution requires the concurrence of a second, appropriately delegated, officer as well.
Officers would need to re-affirm the application’s intention to reside in the nominating province. This is especially important when the officers anticipate that a significant time lag could occur between nomination and visa issuance.
Situations could arise where officers might have reason to believe that certain provinces might have nominated applicants on the basis of certain passive investments. This is especially in cases where the provinces issued the nomination certificate after September 02, 2008. In this scenario, the officers would need to proceed to interview the client first. In addition, they have the ability to request for additional documentation to satisfy the requirements specified in the following sections:
- R87 (5)
- R87 (6) and,
- R87 (9)
In many cases, the applicants would meet all the prescribed requirements. Thereafter, the officers would need to begin issuing the permanent resident visa.
The “Schedule 4A – Economic Classes – Provincial Nominees – Business Nominees” Form
The authorities designed and developed the Schedule 4A form for capturing:
- Certain background information about applicants nominated in a business, entrepreneur, self-employed or similar stream and,
- Details of the applicants’ business experience and proposed business activities in Canada
Officers would need to remember that in accordance with the province’s mandate, the province has the ability to make a determination about the likelihood of a nominated individual making an economic contribution to the province. As such, the purpose of the information captured on Schedule 4A is not for encouraging a re-assessment of the province’s nomination decision. Rather, the officers would need to examine the information provided on this form for consistency with the rest of the application. In addition, the officers would need to invite the applicant to address any concerns that might arise.
In some situations, the officers might have concerns that the applicants could have provided different information to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and to the province as well. In this scenario, the officers would need to consult the province. Similarly, situations could arise where the officers find that the applicant possesses wealth that appears to be inconsistent with the applicant’s business and personal history. In this scenario, the officers would need to request for further clarifications from the applicant.
It is worth highlighting that there is no explicit legal requirement for provincial nominee applicants to demonstrate that they obtained their assets legally. This is applicable even if the applicant applies in a business or a similar stream. This requirement is in stark contrast to the requirements applicable to federally-selected investors and entrepreneurs, as specified in the provisions mentioned in R88 (1). As a result, the authorities have not collected any detailed information as yet on the following:
- The business experience of the provincial nominees and,
- The acquisition of assets by the provincial nominees
Because of this, officers often find it hard to assess certain aspects of admissibility of the applicants. To address this gap, the authorities have developed Schedule 4A.
It is worth highlighting that the authorities cannot refuse applications merely because the source of the applicants’ funds are unclear. In addition, the authorities cannot refuse applications for non-compliance merely because the applicants have refused to reveal the sources of their funds.
The officers would need to remember that the provisions specified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act(IRPA) make it amply clear that officers do not need to ascertain the source of the applicants’ funds for considering this information for selection purposes. Because of this, it could be difficult to defend refusals purely based on the applicants’ failure to provide information. However, all applicants would need to establish that they are not inadmissible. For this, the applicants would need to account for their activities and the source of their funds. This is especially in situations when questions about inadmissibility arise. In this scenario, the officers would need to insist that the applicants provide satisfactory information. This applies even to provincial nominee class candidates.
It is worth mentioning that the authorities have published operational instructions in RIM 03-072 that provide detailed information on the subject. Similarly, visa offices with questions about the source of funds would need to consult National Headquarters (NHQ). National Headquarters (NHQ) would need to support refusals in cases where the officers:
- Are not satisfied about the applicant’s admissibility and,
- Have provided applicants with the opportunity to address the concerns raised
The Changes in the Family Composition During Processing
The provinces would only need to name the principal applicant in the nomination certificate. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R87 (2) (a). Many provinces list the applicant’s accompanying dependents on the nomination certificate as well. However, it is worth mentioning that there is no actual legal requirement that specifies that the province must specify the names of the accompanying dependents on the nomination certificate.
Because of this, there is no need for obtaining a new or amended nomination certificate. This is especially so in case the applicant’s family composition changes during the processing of the application. As a courtesy, the visa office would need to inform the province of a change in the applicant’s family composition. But, the visa office or the applicant would typically not require to request for a new nomination certificate in these circumstances.
The Guidelines for Changing the Immigration Category
Situations could arise where the province nominates an applicant who has applied in another category, but whose application is not yet in process. The provisions specified in R10 specify that applicants would need to make every application within one of the classes prescribed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). The same provisions of R10 also specify that no mechanism exists under the legislation that enables an applicant to make changes to the immigration category once the applicant has submitted the application.
It is worth highlighting that in all cases, applicants who wish to undergo assessments in the Provincial Nominee Class, would need to submit applications within that particular class. In addition, they would need to pay the appropriate fee as well.
Situations could arise where an applicant applies in another category. Thereafter, the likelihood exists that a province could nominate this applicant. In this scenario, the applicant would need to submit a new application as a provincial nominee. Once this takes place, one of the following situations will apply:
- If the authorities have not paper-screened the initial application, the authorities have the ability to credit the processing fee towards the new provincial nominee application instead of refunding it
- This is in accordance with the provisions specified in the operational instructions published in RIM 06-026
- If the authorities have paper-screened the initial application, they would not be able to refund the processing fee
- In some situations, the applicant might not wish to withdraw the initial application
- In this scenario, the officers would continue processing both the applications
- However, it is worth mentioning that the authorities would only issue one permanent resident visa to any applicant
- Therefore, before the authorities finalise the processing of any application, the applicant would need to withdraw any other permanent residence applications in process that the applicant has submitted
The Guidelines for Processing Special Cases
The Federal Provincial Territorial agreements contain various general provisions about provincial nominees. One of these provisions states that the authorities consider a nomination certificate to be a determination that:
- The applicant’s admission will economically benefit the province and,
- The applicant will be able to become economically established in Canada
In many cases, the visa officers do not scrutinise the policy intent behind the provincial nomination decision. However, situations do arise where the visa officers are not entirely satisfied about the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada. This is regardless of the fact that the individual might have a nomination certificate issued by a province. The two situations where visa officers might not be entirely satisfied about the applicant’s ability to become economically established in Canada comprise:
- Overaged Dependents and,
- Individuals who have no intent of joining the labour market