1,000 Additional Bhutanese Refugees

The CIC announced today that the Canadian Government will select an additonal 1,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled to Canada from Nepal over the next two years.

The CIC announced today that the Canadian Government will select an additonal 1,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled to Canada from Nepal over the next two years. The next scheduled visit to the camps is April 2013. They will be selected from refugee camps with the help of the UNHCR and some are expected to arrive in Canada this year.

Click here for the CIC News Release

Processing of files at the Cairo, Egypt Visa office – Update

Diplomatic bag service to Cairo, Egypt resumes…

The Case Processing Pilot Ottawa (CPP-O) was temporarily creating GCMS case files for refugee sponsorship applications submitted for Cairo processing when diplomatic bags were not being sent to Cairo, Egypt due to security reasons (see Update from November 25, 2011). The CPP-O has completed this exercise last summer. The Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg (CPO-W) is now sending files to Cairo in diplomatic bags as usual.

Resettling 5,000 refugees from Turkey

The Canadian Government announced a committment to resettle 5,000 Iranian and Iraqi Convention refugees in Turkey to Canada by 2018.

The Canadian Government announced a committment to resettle 5,000 Iranian and Iraqi Convention refugees in Turkey to Canada by 2018. In the public announcement, Minister Jason Kenney was quoted as stating that the focus of the resettlement would be on grounds of religious persecution and persecution on the basis of sexual orientation.It is expected that the majority of these cases be referred by the UNHCR.

To obtain more information click here to read the News Release

Gazette publication on regulatory changes

Regulatory changes published in Gazette today…

The regulations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have been published in Volume 146, No. 23 of the Canada Gazette. Regulatory changes include changes to the definition of what constitutes a ‘complete’ refugee applicatin package and changes to the eligiblity requirements for refugee applicants being sponsored by a Group of Five or Community Sponsor. Effective immediately, refugee applicants under the aforementioned groups, must be recognized as a refugee by the UNHCR or state (country of asylum) in order to qualify for private refugee sponsorship. Documentary proof of such status recognition must be included in the refugee sponsorship application submission to the Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg. For clarifications, contact us.

The publication includes a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement which includes information about the government’s concerns, the rationale and the consultation process.

Click here for the English publication of the publication in the Gazette:

New sponsorship application forms

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new, consolidated Sponsorship Applications forms…

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduces new Sponsorship Applications forms on October 19, 2012. The new forms consolidate previous forms and undertakings for Groups of Five, Sponsorship Agreement Holders (and their CGs) and Community Sponsors.

The new application package includes:


For Sponsorship Agreement Holders and Constituent Groups:

For Groups of Five:

For Community Sponsors:

Note that the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad [IMM 6000] will need to be submitted along with the above forms to the CPO-W.

You can find the new refugee sponsorship Undertaking and application forms here:

Interim Federal Health (IFH) Reform Announced

CIC announces upcoming changes to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program for refugees in Canada.

As of June 30, 2012, the products and services covered by the IFH Program will depend on the category that you as a refugee belong to at the time. Whether you are an in-land claimant, recognized Convention Refugee, government-assisted refugee or privately sponsored refugee will make a difference in the coverage you are are eligible to recevie through IFH. For most IFH beneficiaries, the biggest change will be the end of coverage of prescription medication, vision, dental and other supplemental benefits.

For more information, please refer to CIC’s:

Centralization of Processing of Refugee Sponsorship Applications

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announces that all refugee sponsorship applications are to be processed by a centralized processing office in Winnipeg as of April 2…

The Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg (CPO-W) will begin operations on Monday April 2nd, 2012 and will take on many functions that are currently carried out by local CIC offices. As of Monday (April 2, 2012) , local CICs will no longer be accepting new sponsorship applications and all new applications must be submitted to CPO-W. Following are roles and responsibilities of CPO-W, local CICs and the Matching Centre (MC) C starting on April 2nd

CPO-W is now responsible for:

  • Receiving and assessing all new (as of April 2, 2012) PSR sponsorship applications (from Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH), Groups of 5, Community Sponsors);
  • Monitoring the limits of SAHs under the global cap;
  • Creating files for cases submitted with an accompanying Application for Permanent Residence (Option 3);
  • Responding to enquiries on case-specific follow-up requests for any files approved in Canada;
  • Processing Visa-Office Referred (VOR) and Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) applications;
  • Assessing and processing sponsorship withdrawals;
  • Processing One-Year Window (OYW)/Non-Accompanying Family Member applications;
  • Processing Add Dependants forms.

Local CICs are responsible for:

  • Processing all applications (PSR as well as OYW/Non-Accompanying Family Member and Add Dependants) received prior to April 1, 2012;
  • Monitoring sponsors and sponsored refugees;
  • Providing assistance in finding a sponsor for JAS cases;
  • Mediating between the sponsor and client in cases of sponsorship breakdown/default;
  • Issuing Interim Federal Health documents;
  • Issuing in-Canada loans;
  • Managing post-arrival issues within their area of responsibility.

Matching Centre is responsible for:

  • Issuing the Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT);
  • Maintaining the JAS/VOR websites and coordinating matches with sponsors, local CICs and CPO-W.

We will be delaying implementation of a process by which the Matching Centre (MC) would issue NATs directly to sponsors. While we refine this process to align with our work on implementing the Global Case Management System, the MC will continue to issue NATs to the local CICs which, in turn, will interact with sponsors.

Please ensure that any new sponsorship applications are sent to the CPO-W office at the following address, starting April 1st, 2012.

Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg
Box #1B
400 – 25 Forks Market Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4S9
E-mail address:

Sponsors are asked to not contact CPO-W for updates on sponsorship applications already submitted to a local CIC. They should only make inquiries to CPO-W after they have received confirmation that the sponsorship has been approved and submitted to one of our Visa Offices.

The CPO-W will also be instituting the following new operational practice: Sponsorship applications submitted using Option 3 will receive priority processing. This will support our efforts towards more efficient processing overseas by eliminating delays associated with information gathering.

Should persons in the SAH community have any questions pertaining to functioning of the CPO-W or the roles and responsibilities of local CICs, they should forward these to

Canadian Visa Office in Damascus, Syria Closes

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announces the visa and immigration office at the Canadian embassy in Damascus has closed due to the ongoing unrest in Syria…

The continuing instability in Syria has resulted in the closure of the visa and immigration office at the Canadian embassy in Damascus and transfer of services to visa offices in neighbouring countries. Until further notice, CIC will not be in a position to process sponsorship applications out of Damascus and asks that sponsors not submit any applications for processing there. More information can be found on the CIC website here.

Should you have any questions pertaining to refugee sponsorship, please submit them to

Sponsors may also wish to monitor the departmental website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada for additional information on this matter or they may wish to visit the website of Department of Foreign Affairs and International trade by clicking here

Processing of files at the Cairo, Egypt Visa office

Diplomatic bags containing refugee sponsorship applications not going to Cairo…

The classified diplomatic bag has not been sent to the Cairo visa post from Canada since December 2010 due to classification of materials and border inspections in Egypt. Materials normally sent to Cairo in the classified diplomatic bag include FC priority and PSR cases. It appears unlikely, in the short to perhaps medium term, that classified diplomatic bag service will resume to Cairo. The issue has been taken up at the diplomatic level via DFAIT with Egyptian authorities.

To prevent undue delays in PSR file creation for Cairo, since mid-September, around 1,400 PSR files mailed to Cairo via the regular DFAIT address have been transferred to the Case Processing Pilot – Ottawa (CPP-O) for creation. CPP-O has already created over 1,200 of these in GCMS, assigning B file docket numbers to the applications so that the paper files may be more easily retrieved. Considering Cairo’s existing inventory of PSR files, CIC expects to be able to transfer all such paper files to Cairo before it is time to process these. CIC may eventually scan such files for e-storage in GCMS, but such a scenario is not being contemplated at the present time.

Current mailing arrangements should be maintained. Local CICs should continue sending all PSR files to DFAIT. DFAIT in turn will keep on sending Cairo PSR files to CPP-O until informed otherwise.

CIC hopes to resolve this situation as soon as possible and will keep you apprised of future developments.

Repeal of Source Country class in effect

The ‘Source Country Class’ is officially repealed…

CIC Operational Bulletin 439:

Effective immediately, the source country class (RS) and associated regulations in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) have been repealed. Unless a source country application has already passed the selection decision stage, existing source country applications must now be screened for eligibility under both of the remaining refugee protection classes (i.e., Convention refugees abroad and country of asylum). A 30-day notice regarding the lifting of direct access has also been posted on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Direct access will end in all geographically designated areas on November 5, 2011.

Please continue here to read the full announcement:

In addition, read the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, which provides CIC’s response to concerns raised about the elimination of the Source Country Class: