Section C – The Alternative Application Process for Persons with Disabilities
The authorities are cognisant of the fact that some foreign nationals could have a physical or mental disability. This disability could prevent these foreign nationals from:
- Creating Express Entry profiles through their MyCIC accounts
- Submitting Applications for Permanent Residence (APR) or,
- Registering with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) Job Bank
To remedy this, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has specified provisions for accommodating such foreign nationals. The instructions given below enable officers to handle such cases fairly and equitably. At the same time, they help in the prevention of fraud.
The Electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR)
The authorities would typically invite foreign nationals to apply under Express Entry. On receiving the invitation to apply, the foreign nationals would need to submit their Applications for Permanent Residence (APRs) electronically. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in R12.01 (1).
However, some foreign nationals might not be able to submit their Applications for Permanent Residence (APRs) online because of a physical or a mental disability. In this scenario, R12.02 (1) provides an exemption to these foreign nationals from this mandatory requirement.
The Instructions for Accommodating Foreign Nationals with Disabilities
Some foreign nationals might be suffering from a physical or a mental disability. Therefore, they might not be able to complete an Express Entry profile or an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (e-APR). In this scenario, these individuals would need to contact the Call Centre of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Call Centre would need to evaluate the need for accommodation. Therefore, the Call Centre would need to answer questions such as:
- What is the nature of the foreign national’s disability?
- Is the foreign national aware that the Express Entry profile and electronic APR have CIC’s web accessibility features? The features could include the following:
- Low vision
- Mobility and dexterity
- Does the foreign national have a friend or family member, access to community resources, or an authorized representative to help them with the application?
Usually, the use of assistive technology and the web accessibility features of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are useful in accommodating the disabilities of many foreign nationals. However, situations could arise where both these methods are insufficient for accommodating the disabilities of some foreign nationals.
In this situation, the Call Centre would need to e-mail CIC-NH-OMC with the subject line “Express Entry – Alternative Application Request”. The e-mail would typically contain:
- Answers to the three questions listed above
- The various personal details of the foreign national such as:
- The name
- The mailing address
- The telephone number and,
- The e-mail address (if applicable)
On receiving the request, the CIC-NHQ-OMC would consult Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) application accessibility experts. These experts would determine the best ways for accommodating the foreign national. Situations could arise where the experts express satisfaction that the existing web application would not be able to accommodate the disability of the foreign national. In this situation, the CIC-NHQ-OMC would need to contact the foreign national. Thereafter, they would need to provide the foreign national with an alternative to the online application process.
- It is worth noting that foreign nationals would need to provide the relevant documentation to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- Only on receiving this documentation would Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) be able to consider the foreign national’s request for accommodation
- Appropriate documentation could typically include medical certificates etc.
The Instructions for Paper-Based Applications
Situations could arise where the authorities determine that a foreign national has a disability that renders the individual unable to complete an electronic form. However, they find that the foreign national can complete a paper form. In this scenario, CIC-NHQ-OMC will offer to mail a paper version of the Express Entry profile questionnaire to the foreign national.
The profile questionnaire will typically include a cover letter. The cover letter will explain that the officers could consider granting the foreign national an exemption from the requirement of registering with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) Job Bank. This is especially so because the foreign national is unable to apply online because of a physical or a mental disability. In this scenario, the foreign national could receive assistance for registering with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC’s) Job Bank later. They could even avail of this assistance at a Service Canada office. However, this scenario would only materialise if the foreign national expressly chooses to do so.
The authorities would instruct the foreign national to complete the Express Entry profile questionnaire. Thereafter, the foreign national would need to mail it to the Centralised Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S). The authorities would make the necessary arrangements with the Centralised Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S). These arrangements would typically include creating a MyCIC account and an Express Entry profile for the foreign national. The creation of these accounts and profiles would enable the foreign national to become a candidate in the Express Entry pool.
Situations could arise where the authorities invite the candidate to submit an Application for Permanent Residence (APR). In this scenario, the Centralised Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S) would need to mail the program-specific paper application to the candidate. The officers would need to ensure that they send a ‘flat’ version of the application i.e. not a form that includes drop-down menus designed for a computer. After completing the form, the applicant would need to return the paper Application for Permanent Residence (APR) by mail to the Centralised Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S). A clerk at the Centralised Intake Office in Sydney (CIO-S) would receive the Application for Permanent Residence (APR). Thereafter, the clerk would be responsible for inputting the information into the Global Case Management System (GCMS).
The authorities envisage that they would need to use mail as the medium for managing all communication with the foreign national. This would include using mail for all activities including creation of the individual’s Express Entry profile to taking a decision the individual’s Application for Permanent Residence (APR). However, the authorities would only determine the necessity of this approach based on the nature and the extent of the foreign national’s disability.
Therefore, an employee from the Case Processing Region would need to monitor the foreign national’s MyCIC account. This individual would need to forward all correspondence to the foreign national by mail.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration