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Centres to Process Business Immigrants

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OTTAWA, May 26, 1998 — Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and M.P. for Westmount-Ville-Marie, today identified nine visa offices abroad as Business Immigrant Centres. As of June 1, 1998, all business immigrant applications — that is, as entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed — must be submitted to one of these nine offices.

“This approach has clear benefits for the Canadian public and CIC,” said the Minister. “Concentrating the appropriate personnel in a limited number of centres provides all applicants access to our expertise in business immigration. At the same time, we can better screen applications for fraud or inappropriate business activities, thereby ensuring that the integrity of the program is maintained globally.”

“We remembered our clients’ needs when choosing the locations of the centres”, continued the Minister. “Based on our statistics, we have determined that over 80% of them will find that the closest visa office, and one of the nine centres, are one and the same.”

Intending business immigrants must now submit applications at one of the following nine Centres: Beijing, Bonn, Buffalo, Damascus, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Seoul and Singapore. These Centres also have the option of forwarding business applications, after initial review and without cost to the applicant, to one of four other visa offices for interview and finalization. The four were chosen in consideration of Departmental responsibilities and applicant and provincial interests. They are: Buenos Aires, Moscow, New York City, and Seattle.

Business applications received prior to June 1 will be processed to conclusion by the visa office at which they were originally submitted.