Operational Bulletin 584 – June 19, 2014
This Operational Bulletin (OB) instructs visa offices with:
- Information and,
- Processing instructions
These instructions concern the members of the International Federation of Association of Football (FIFA) Family. These individuals would be participating in the upcoming FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014.
On March 03, 2011, the FIFA awarded Canada with:
- The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 and,
- The Women’s World Cup 2015
The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) would be the official host for both the World Cups. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 would take place from August 05th to August 24th, 2014. Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton would be the venues for this event.
The Government of Canada is contributing a sum of $15 million to the World Cups. It is contributing this money via the Department of Canadian Heritage Hosting Program. Experts forecast that the 2014 and 2015 Championships would generate over $337 million in terms of Economic Benefits to Canada.
As is customary during the bid process, the host country provides certain benefits to the members of the FIFA Family. These benefits are a part of the host country guarantees given during the bid process. As part of the host country guarantees during the 2011 bid process, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) would facilitate the visa process for members of the FIFA Family.
The teams that would be taking part in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 are:
The awarding of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 to Canada has made the host country guarantees offered by Canada even more important. This is especially so because of:
- The involvement of the Government of Canada
- The high profile nature of the Championships and,
- The commitments made by the Department during the bid process
Therefore, to help facilitate the event, visa offices would need to carry out certain activities. These activities include:
- Facilitating all applications received from the members of the FIFA Family and,
- Expediting all applications received from the members of the FIFA Family
It is likely that visa offices would come across problem applications during processing. Problem applications denote applications that:
- Are incomplete
- Have some key documents missing from the application
- Concern inadmissible individuals
Keeping in mind the circumstances of the event and the involvement of various Canadian stakeholders (including the Government of Canada), visa offices would need to:
- Deal with problem cases on a case by case basis to the extent possible and,
- Work out solutions as quickly as possible by dealing directly (to the extent possible) with:
- The individual applicants and / or,
- The team officials
Visa offices would also need to consider Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs). In addition, situations could arise that involve refusals for members of the FIFA Family. In these situations, visa offices would need to notify the Special Events Unit.
Officers would need to apply all processing fees based on the applications received. These would typically include:
- Processing fees for Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs)
- Processing fees for Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) or,
- Processing fees for Work Permits (if applicable)
Letters of Invitation
The CSA would be responsible for issuing letters of invitation. They would issue these letters to:
- The participating teams (one per team) and,
- All members of the FIFA Family
The Special Events Website page for the Championships lists a number of sample letters of invitation. Officers would need to refer to this website for browsing through these samples.
To ensure that the World Cups take place without any issues, officers would need to follow expedited security screening procedures. Visa offices would need to flag cases where they receive a request for expedited processing. They could do this by proving details like:
- The client name
- Date of birth
- Case number and,
- Any other relevant details including:
- Specific concerns
- The name of the event
- The date by which Visitor Information Transmission (VIT) must be completed
Officers would need to ensure the submission of VITs ahead of time, wherever possible. This would enable officers to ensure that they complete the screening process in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, visa offices would also need to ensure that they enter all the required information into the Global Case Management System (GCMS).
Information on Teams
Each team would comprise around 30 to 40 individuals. FIFA would pay for the following expenses for 28 members of each team:
- The international flights
- Meals and,
The CSA would need to pay the following expenses for 28 members of a team:
- The ground transportation and,
- Air travel within Canada
As mentioned earlier, each team would comprise of 30 to 40 individuals. The local federations would be responsible for bearing the other expenses. The authorities have advised teams to submit group visa applications at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Teams would need to submit their group visa applications as soon as they obtain the delegation list.
Other Lists of Lists of Participants
The CSA would receive the team’s delegation lists by July 01, 2014. This is in accordance with FIFA’s rules. The CSA would forward the team’s delegation lists to the CIC. As soon as the CIC receives the team’s delegation lists, they would share it with the visa offices in the participating countries.
The authorities would need to share any other lists they get with the International Region (IR). These lists could include details of:
- Accredited journalists and,
Estimates put forth during the bid process forecast an approximate number of foreign spectators. These spectators would come to Canada for the tournament. These estimates declare that around 5,000 foreign spectators would be coming to the tournament.
Some countries plan to send a “delegation of fans”. According to the CSA, Nigeria is the only country that would be sending a “delegation of fans”, thus far. The CSA is not involved with these delegations. The CSA would also not be providing any support to these delegations.
Situations could arise where people associated with the Championship make refugee claims. These could be:
- Championship participants
- Championship spectators or,
- Anyone else associated with the Championship
In the event of any refugee claims made by an individual, officers would need to inform CIC’s Special Events Unit. While informing the CIC’s Special Events Unit, officers would need to include details like:
- The name of the individual
- The country of citizenship
- The nature of the individual association with the Championship and,
- Any other relevant information
Officers would need to select Code 14FIFA in the Special Events field on the REF-CLM application in the GCMS. This would enable them to track the application status.
Officers could also process the refugee claim in the FOSS. For this, they would need to enter the 14FIFA code in the Special Events field of the Record of Refugee Claim screen.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)