Meeting with Herbert Brownstein, Executive Member, Canadian Bar Association
Mr. Bob Brack indicated that a policy has been adopted at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi only to meet representatives of the Canadian Bar Association and the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants (OPIC). Due to the increase in requests they have been receiving, they are unable to meet with all lawyers and consultants.
The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi does not regularly publish newsletters. Information is provided through meetings with representatives of the CBA and OPIC.
1. GENERAL OPERATIONS:
There are currently 16,579 active files in New Delhi, of which 26% are represented by Consultants and/or lawyers i.e. 4,307 are represented by third party representatives. In 1996 only 6.43% of applicants were represented by paid lawyers or consultants.
Of these third party representatives, approximately 75%-80% are represented by consultants and 20% by lawyers. The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi has good experience with files submitted by OPIC members and Canadian lawyers. The problem is with foreign consultants and agents operating in India, the credibility of the representation being suspect. Documents must
be checked carefully in order to ensure their authenticity.
There are currently 100 locally engaged India support staff, 9 locally engaged Indian officers, and 20 Canadian officers, including 2 medical officers.
2. QUEBEC CASES:
At least 45 Quebec cases from the Quebec Delegation in Hong Kong are currently being treated by the Canadian High Commission. In the past, problems were experienced with the timely receipt of C.S.Q.’s. But now, there are no problems as an e-mail link has been established. Mr. Brack
indicated that all officers in New Delhi should have a general understanding of the Quebec regulations but with so few cases in process, not everyone has occasion to apply these regulations often.
In one Quebec case, after the CAQ was issued, the client was put into the interview queue and no medicals were issued. Mr. Bob Brack will now appoint one officer to handle all Quebec cases at the initial processing stage to ensure that this does not happen again unless there is a proper cause for an
The Quebec Delegation visits New Delhi once a year to conduct interviews based on demand. Due to low demands at times, they may delegate their authority to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to conduct interviews based on Quebec selection criteria.
3. CANADA CASES:
Processing time for independent professional and skilled workers is now 23 months. For entrepreneurs and investors, 12 months. There are 18 Canadian visa officers, 2 medical officers, and 9 Indian officers. Of these, 2 CBOs are managers, one is an Immigration Control Officer, 5 work on
non-immigrants, and the rest on immigrants. Immigrant interviews are done by 3 teams of 5 officers each led by a team leader. Interviews are held in addition to New Delhi, regularly in Ahmedabad (monthly), Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. Two officers are responsible for case analysis. Two officers are involved in litigation and appeals. Appeal and litigation officers handle all appeal cases and advise initially in the drafting of refusal letters. They also process appeal allowed cases to ensure expeditious treatment. Jean Roberge is the program manager and Bob Brack the deputy program manager. They do not conduct interviews.
In Chandigarh, one officer acts as the recipient of applications and provides information and checks to see if the applications are complete.
The backlog regarding family class has now been cleared regarding spouses and children, up to date as of February 1998. For independent economic immigrants 4,350 files are pending, out of which 2755 are from Ahmedabad alone. There are only 30 Entrepreneurial cases submitted in New Delhi. The rest are independent professional and skilled workers.
Philip Lupul, a lawyer by training, is in charge of all business cases. No paper screening of independent skilled workers or professional cases has been done since July 1997 due to priority treatment of FC-1 cases.
The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi no longer requires a letter of approval from the Reserve Bank of India (R.B.I.) for business cases. For engineers no CCPE is required as long as the applicant’s college is on the CCPE approved list.
Applications received in August 1996 should expect to be interviewed in 1998. The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi has now begun to clear the backlog of independent class cases. Temporary visitor’s visas are regularly issued to bonafide business persons who apply for immigration to Canada in order for them to conduct an exploratory trip. Double intent is recognized.
At present in New Delhi, applicants who have submitted their files prior to August 1996 have all been dealt with and have either been convoked to an interview or waiver given. For those from Ahmedabad, all clients who have submitted their applications prior to October 1996 have been dealt with. Those residing outside of New Delhi may be interviewed either in New Delhi or in their region where interviews are regularly conducted, example, Bombay, Ahmedabad, Madras.
Canadian High Commission staff officers responsible for fixing interviews are supposed to look at residential address. At times errors occur when the consultant’s and lawyer’s mailing address is indicated and the client is convoked to New Delhi. The third party representative in a covering letter
should indicate to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi where his client wishes to be interviewed.
New visa officers in New Delhi are given intensive training on India law and customs. They are also informed on how to spot suspected fraudulent documents.
Medicals are done by Designated Medical Practitioners, these medicals are then checked by 2 Canada based officers at the High Commission.