For some time now, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been discussing strategies to help make the processing of permanent residence applications more efficient. In some of CIC’s recent proposals, it has been suggested that a greater portion of the actual work done by CIC in terms of reviewing each application be conducted in Canada.
Currently, the vast bulk of the work is handled by CIC processing posts located outside of Canada. The perceived benefit of this method is that each processing post presumably has a greater familiarity with the region which it serves, and will therefore be able to process applications from that region more effectively.
However, because CIC has so many processing posts around the globe, the cost of maintaining and staffing them has become prohibitive. In order to partially offset this cost, CIC has been obliged to hire a number of local (i.e. non-Canadian) staff. Nonetheless, there is still a critical shortage of staff at the busiest visa offices abroad, and processing times have become longer and longer.
As Canada recognizes that it must increase the number of immigrants that it accepts, CIC has recently announced that it will conduct a “pilot project” testing of a new processing method. Under the “pilot,” family class sponsorship applications for sponsored relatives living in the following countries will be processed entirely from within Canada:
Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia India Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar Nepal Singapore Taiwan Thailand Vietnam
If interviews are required, files will be transferred back to the local processing posts where the interviews will be conducted.
CIC is considering a second “pilot project” to be implemented this fall, whereby independent applications for permanent residence from selected countries will be processed within Canada instead of at a processing post abroad.
As the results of these “pilot projects” are evaluated, one can only hope that they accomplish what they are intended to do: improve CIC’s service and shorten processing times.