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Memorandum to all Overseas Missions

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Informal Assessments: A memorandum was recently issued to all overseas visa offices under the title of Informal Occupational Assessments. Several key issues were addressed which may be of great importance to many applicants.

One of the main issues which is addressed in the first part of the memorandum is that of CCPE/CCTT evaluations. The content of the message, however, generalizes to many other occupations outside of these professional fields. The memorandum acknowledges that there are no legislative means by which such assessments can be made mandatory. This is equally applicable to one-step visa offices, which may already include such assessments in the list of materials formally required, with the possibility of an application being returned otherwise (on a side note, Manila has recently indicated that such assessments need not be provided until requested).

Most forms of informal assessments, by their nature, are general and do not have specific meaning to an individual seeking a specific position in a specific location. Visa offices were advised that applicants should be informed that, in the event of submission of such informal assessments, applicants should be advised that the results do not necessarily indicate that any guarantee exists as to their ability to meet local licensing requirements, where such may exist.

In lieu of mandatory assessments, however, visa offices were advised that “it is legitimate, in assessing Personal Suitability, to consider whether an applicant made reasonable efforts to determine whether he/she will be able to work in Canada.” Suggestion is made that applicants may be refused in the event that reasonable evidence that he/she is employable in the stated intended occupation is not provided, and the applicant is therefore not coded to an occupation on the General List.

Alternative means of providing evidence of employability are also provided, including provision of that graduation that an institution from which one has graduated is renowned in the field of that individual’s intended occupation.

2.1.2 Occupational Coding

Another issue which is addressed in the memorandum is the issue of occupational coding. In this section, it is acknowledged that visa offices are bound to the use of the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of
Occupations (CCDO) in the assessment of an individual’s intended occupation, the definition of such, and the evaluation of the applicant’s qualifications for such. Specific mention is made that the National
Occupational Classification (NOC) cannot be used for this purpose, although it may be used as a source of Labour Market Information (LMI).

Labour Market Information refers to information provided from within Canada in reference to the requirements of a specific position. Some aspects that LMI may address include:

1. Is there a mandatory requirement for licensing; will the applicant be likely to qualify for such?;
2. does the applicant satisfy all of the CCDO’s requirements for education, training, and experience?
3. does the fact that the applicant had a similar title in his/her home country reflect an ability to work in such in Canada?

2.1.3 Post Graduate Research Experience

Some discussion is given to the applicability of post-graduate research experience for the purpose of the evaluation of an applicant’s work experience. Some concern is expressed regarding the coding of an applicant to an occupation in which “they have limited or no post-university experience.”

Although the memorandum states that “the research performed may indeed provide acceptable experience for practice of the profession itself”, it is also mentions the coding of an applicant to the RESEARCH ASSISTANT (CCDO 9919-108) designation in cases where an applicant has gained experience from the research component of graduate level disciplines. The memorandum closes on this issue by stating that each case must be considered on its own merit, and without having made a firm final statement in either favor.

This emphasizes the necessity of proper presentation of post graduate work experience for applicants who wish to rely on such experience. Since the issuance of this memorandum, this office has not noticed any decrease in the levels of success of our own clients for whom such experience has been important, and in some cases critical.

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2.2 Beijing

As of January 23, 1997 and until March 3, 1997 immigrant interviews have been suspended at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Some exceptions may apply.

The purpose of this suspension has been to review all cases in which service standards have been exceeded, and to help to reduce the backlogs of cases under certain categories. Indications are that this effort has allowed for a significant increase in the numbers of interview waivers.

Accompanied by no increase in resources available to the visa office, the Embassy in Beijing has experienced an increase in cases of over 161% since 1995, represented by over 10,000 immigrant applications.

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2.3 New Delhi

Indications suggest that cases in which selection interviews are not required in New Delhi will be more efficiently processed. Cases in which selection interviews are required, however, will be “significantly delayed.” No interviews for Independent/Business cases are expected until at least April or May of 1997.

Applicants applying under the independent categories are advised that a letter from the Reserve Bank of India indicating that transferable settlement funds exist may be required.

The High Commission in New Delhi advises that CCPE assessments are not required. In the event that a case is “borderline,” however, provisions of such is recommended.

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