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Q & A: Background Clearance vs. Local Jurisdiction

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Q. I’ve read in one of the recent posts that a background check is a standard procedure and everyone has to go through it. The post also said that this “background check” starts as soon as the application is lodged. This all sounds great, because I thought this check is only started AFTER the interview and is done only if the immigration officer deems it necessary. This is at least what I understood from the Overseas Processing Manual (OP Manual). The OP manual says that after the interview, should an immigration officer think it necessary, he/she can contact any other Canadian processing offices to obtain further information about the applicant.

Which is correct?

Answer: You are referring to two differing processes. A background clearance is conducted for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 65, and is started shortly after receipt of the application by the visa office. It is conducted in conjunction with the Canadian Security and Information Service (CSIS) and the government(s) of the country in which the applicant has resided.

You are referring to verification of the absence or presence of prior applications for permanent or temporary status in Canada with other visa offices. This may be done in the case of an applicant who is being processed at an office outside of the jurisdiction of their current or prior residence(s).