New Application Process for Canadian Immigration May Reduce Processing Time

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The new simplified application process, announced yesterday, seeks to expedite the Canadian permanent resident application queue.

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As of September 1st, 2006, most Canadian immigration applications for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker and Business Class immigration programs are to be submitted under the new ‘Simplified Application Process’, a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) notice (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/press/notice/notice-simple.html) announced yesterday.

Long application queues at all Immigration Canadian Visa Offices are causing delays in processing times. CIC has finally recognized this service delay and has implemented the new ‘simplified’ process in an attempt to expedite processing times.

Rather than submitting the complex set of forms and documents currently required upon initial application, the simplified application process will require skilled worker and business class applicants to submit only an amended basic Application form, the Use of Representative form and government processing fees. Any other documentation sent to the Immigration Canada Visa Office will be returned to the applicant until it is requested.

If the application is accepted, processing fees reserve applicants a spot in the queue. Applicants are not to contact the Immigration Canada Visa Office for any reason other than withdrawal from the process or a change in mailing address.

Documentation and additional information requirements will remain the same as the former system, but they will not be required until the file has reached the end of the queue and is ready to be reviewed, approximately 4 months later.

The new process will take effect at every Canadian Visa Office, with the exception of the Buffalo Visa Office, where the former process will remain in place. Applicants with Arranged Permanent Employment in Canada will also be processed under the former system at every Immigration Canada Visa Office, as these applications are expedited and therefore require all documentation upon initial submission of the file. Likewise, the new process will not apply to applicants destined to Quebec or selected by a province under the Provincial Nominee Program.

Canadian immigration attorney David Cohen from http://www.Canadavisa.com is generally pleased with the simplified application process stating, “By waiting until the time of review to submit documentation, the new system should cut down on the processing delays caused by duplicate and updated information requests from the Visa Office. This is a positive step towards expediting the process for qualifying applicants”

Applicants should beware, however, of the new system. If the basic Application form is not completed correctly, the application will be immediately returned. Given the precise specifications required on the forms, this could produce much frustration and time delays for potential applicants.

Mr. Cohen, who has already assisted over 20,000 people to immigrate to Canada, warns of another potential challenge with the new system stating: “The Application form does not allow for a full presentation of an applicant’s qualifications, especially with respect to work experience, an essential element of the Skilled Worker selection system. If Visa Officers intend to assess applications upon a preliminary review of the application form before receiving supporting documentation, then some qualified applicants will certainly be refused.” As a result, he warns that potential applicants should not equate ‘Simplified Application Process’ with ‘Easy to Succeed Application Process’.

About Canadavisa.com

The Canadavisa website is the largest on-line source of information about immigration to Canada. The site is the on-line presence of Campbell Cohen, Canada's leading immigration law firm, employing over 30 lawyers, paralegals and support staff who provide turnkey immigration services with complete preparation of permanent residency and temporary work permit applications. Campbell Cohen provides expert advice in preparation of the immigration process. In 1994, David Cohen launched http://www.Canadavisa.com and became one of the first lawyers to offer a full range of Canadian Immigration services to prospective immigrants and foreign workers over the Internet.

About David Cohen

Attorney David Cohen is a Senior Partner at the Canadian law firm of Campbell Cohen and a Managing Editor of Canadavisa.com. Cohen started his practice in 1976. He graduated from Montreal's McGill Faculty of Law, and is a member of the Quebec and Canadian Bar Associations as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Most recently, he was appointed a governor of the Fondation du Barreau du Québec.

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