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The New 'Simplified' Application Process


Long application queues at all international Canadian Visa Offices are causing delays and processing times around the world are increasing steadily. So as of 1st September 2006, most applications for permanent residence under the Federal skilled Worker and Business class immigration programs are to be submitted under a new 'Simplified Application Process". CIC has finally recognized these problems and implemented this simplified Process in an attempt to expedite processing times.

The simplified application process will require skilled worker and business class applicants to submit only an amended three page application form and government processing fee, instead of submitting those complicated set of forms and supporting documents as currently required upon initial application. If the application is accepted, processing fees reserve applicants a spot in the queue. The Visa Office will contact the client approximately four months before they are ready to process the application to request for the full application and supporting documents. Depending on the Visa Office this gap (between the acceptance of the 'simplified' form and the request for full application with documents) could range from a couple of months to more than four years.

This is a positive step towards expediting the process for qualifying applicants as mostly; people are generally pleased with the simplified application process. 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.

Applicants should know, about the new system. By using the word 'simplified' CIC may be misleading people into thinking that it is now easier to apply for Canadian Immigration. Many people may think they do not require the services of a trained professional and attempt to go through the procedure on their own. Potential applicants should not equate 'Simplified Application Process' with 'Easy to Succeed Application Process'. Potential Applicants should be aware that if the Simplified Application Forms are 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 applicants.

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; also it will not apply to applicants destined to Quebec or selected by a province under the Provincial Nominee Program.

INCREASED PROCESSING TIMES

This new process which simplifies the initial application intake will certainly lead to more applications being filed, which could lead to longer wait times and a bigger backlog. In this new processing system CIC is actually setting up Two Different Application Processing Streams -

1) The "Expedited" process (for those applicants with arranged employment; a PNP approval; who are in temporary status in Canada; or those selected by Quebec)

2) The new "Simplified" stream for all the other regular applications.

What CIC is effectively doing is formalizing an Express System of visa processing for those lucky applicants that fit within the "Expedited" processing criteria. All other applicants will wait, and will only be processed if there are any remaining visas available under the current Immigration Target Quotas for that processing year. Logically, we can expect that priority processing of the 'Expedited' stream will mean that processing delays for individuals unlucky to find them selves in the 'simplified' backlog may double or triple from current levels - it could be 10 years plus for a Skilled Worker at Beijing or Delhi.



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