November 22, 2011

Montreal – Head Office
2200 McGill College Avenue, Suite 320
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 3P8
Tel: (514) 499-1170
Fax: (514) 499-1063

We also have representatives in:
Hong Kong

1.1 Quebec Immigration Investor Program - Reorganization of the BIQ Offices

Plan of reorganization:

  • March 31, 2012
    • Closure of  BIQ São Paulo and transfer of its operations to BIQ Mexico
    • Closure of BIQ Vienne and transfer of its operation to Montreal

  • March 31, 2013
    • BIQ Paris mandate update and distribution of immigration operations to Montreal 
    • BIQ Hong Kong mandate update and distribution solely of the skilled workers category to Montreal

Consolidation of BIQ offices :
As of March 31, 2012, there will be three BIQ offices representing continents, such as:

  • BIQ Paris (Europe)
  • BIQ Mexico (America)
  • BIQ Hong Kong (Asia)

Administrative processing of the Québec Selection Certificate (CSQ) in Montreal
The Direction de l'immigration économique (DIE) in Montreal currently process CSQ applications from Canada and the United States, the Maghreb and the Middle East. As of March 2012, it will also process the CSQ applications from Eastern Europe. As of March 2013, it will also process the applications from Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as CSQ applications from skilled workers deriving from Asia.

Interview Selection
The above reorganization will not have any impacts on the selection interview locations.

BIQ Paris
It will no longer process the CSQ applications.

Business People
This reorganization will have no effect on the QIIP administration occurring at BIQ Hong Kong or any other territories.


1.2 Commission Scheme Revisited

With the introduction of the new Quebec IIP in December 2010, the MICC and IQ had agreed to offer financial intermediaries a package commensurate with the Federal IIP. This package was initially set for one year and grandfathered all new IIP files submitted during the prescribed period. The MICC informed the financial intermediaries of its decision not to renew the package and to revert to the initial agreement set out in the tripartite Agreement. 

This change should affect the referral fee paid to our agents for all files submitted after December 1, 2011.


2.1 Federal Immigration Program - CIC Proposes Changes to Improve Citizenship Program

Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is proposing changes to the way the government assesses the language abilities of prospective new citizens.

Under the proposal, adult citizenship applicants would be required to provide objective evidence of language ability with their citizenship applications. 

"The ability to communicate effectively in either French or English is key to the success of new citizens in Canada," said Minister Kenney.  "This change will encourage applicants to ensure that they can speak English or French when they apply for citizenship, thereby improving the integrity and effectiveness of the citizenship program for Canada and for new Canadians alike."

The Citizenship Act already requires that applicants be able to communicate in one of Canada's official languages.  This proposed change would not increase the language level required, but would change the way that citizenship applicants aged 18-54 prove their language ability.

Under the new system, applicants would have to provide objective evidence that they meet the language requirement when they file their application.  Applicants would be able to demonstrate language ability by submitting a variety of evidence, including:

  • the results of a third party test;
  • evidence of completion of secondary or post-secondary education in English or French; or
  • evidence of achieving CLB/NCLC 4 in certain government funded language training programs.

CIC currently uses the citizenship knowledge test as well as the applicant's interaction with CIC staff to assess language ability.  If it appears an applicant does not meet language requirements, they are invited for an interview with a citizenship judge.  There can be a significant time delay between the submission of the application and the subsequent hearing for language.

The proposed new rule that applicants must provide objective evidence that they meet the language requirement when they file their application would give citizenship judges better evidence on which to base their decision.  CIC would also be able to return applications of those who do not provide evidence they meet the requirements more quickly, thus improving application processing.

CIC is also proposing to clarify that the language skills to be assessed would be speaking and listening, and the criteria would clearly align with Canadian Language Benchmark/Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (CLB/NCLC) 4, which represents basic fluent proficiency.  This would allow applicants to understand the requirements they need to meet and to provide evidence that is correlated to CLB/NCLC 4.


2.2 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2011

Minister Kenney has tabled his report to Parliament, as required by law.



2.3 Entrepreneur Terms and Conditions

As of February 1, 2012, active monitoring of terms and conditions (Ts and Cs) for entrepreneurs under section 98 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will cease.

As part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC's) Strategic Review, a decision was made to make regulatory changes to no longer impose and monitor Ts and Cs on entrepreneur class immigrants in favour of a proposal for a more rigorous up-front assessment. Regulatory changes regarding the imposition and monitoring of Ts and Cs, however, have been put on hold pending a program review that is currently in progress.

On June 27, 2011, Operational Bulletin 319 - Updated Ministerial Instructions: Temporary Moratorium on Federal Entrepreneur Class Applications announced a moratorium on new applications under the federal entrepreneur class. In conjunction with this moratorium, and in line with the Strategic Review decision, CIC has decided to end the active monitoring of Ts and Cs until such time as the program review is complete.

Processing Instructions
Commencing December 1, 2011, overseas missions will counsel approved entrepreneur class permanent residence applicants to meet the conditions described in the IRPR 98(1) to (3); however, due to a change in policy, evidence required under subsections 98(4) and (5) or IRPR only needs to be provided if requested by a CIC official. The letter found in Appendix A of Overseas Processing Manual 8 (OP 8) has been amended and can be found at the end of this Operational Bulletin (OB).

As of December 1, 2011, border service officers at ports of entry will advise entrepreneur class permanent residents who have conditions recorded on their Confirmation of Permanent Residence that they no longer need to provide the monitoring card or complete an Application to Remove Entrepreneur Conditions (IMM 5547) unless requested by a CIC official.

As of December 1, 2011, inland officers should only request the completion of an Application to Remove Entrepreneur Conditions (IMM 5547) by an entrepreneur whose Ts and Cs are outstanding in cases where there is information that may have a negative impact on the entrepreneur's immigration status and at least three years have passed since the entrepreneur became a permanent resident. Entrepreneurs should no longer be asked to provide a Mail-in Card (IMM 5548) or Entrepreneur Monitoring Report (IMM 5486). A Web notice advising entrepreneurs that they are no longer required to provide any of the aforementioned documents, unless requested by a CIC official, will be published on December 1, 2011.
Inland officers should conclude as many active investigations of entrepreneur class permanent residents by January 31, 2012 as possible, focussing efforts on cases where the officer believes the entrepreneur is reportable under section 44 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and there are no mitigating circumstances with respect to the failure of the entrepreneur to satisfy Ts and Cs. On February 1, 2012, CIC will end all active monitoring of Ts and Cs for entrepreneurs.

Citizenship officers should not delay applicants for a grant of citizenship if they have outstanding Ts and Cs under section 98 or IRPR and there is no other information that may have a negative impact on the entrepreneur's immigration status (Non-Computer Based Entries, Enforcement Information Indexes, 44 reports, etc.). After confirming that no such information exists, citizenship officers should pass the relevant immigration clearance subactivity in the Global Case Management System.

If an entrepreneur submits an unsolicited Mail-in Card (IMM 5548), Entrepreneur Monitoring Report (IMM 5486) or an Application to Remove Entrepreneur Conditions (IMM 5547) after December 1, 2011, staff will file the submission in a general folder. Any inquiries received by staff or the call centre should refer individuals to the appropriate page on the CIC website.


2.4 Officer Name Disclosure in Correspondence Abroad

This Operational Bulletin (OB) informs staff of the new guidelines for disclosure of the name of an overseas officer.

As a result of a number of incidents that have taken place in the international context, a threat and risk assessment by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) National Headquarters (NHQ) Corporate Security Directorate was completed which has led CIC not to include the name of overseas officers on all correspondence to clients and their representatives. These instructions apply to positive and negative Permanent Resident (PR) and Temporary Resident (TR) decision letters, requests for information and any other day to day correspondence that is sent to the client from the mission.

Officers should be aware that their names may be released if there is a request for this information or where CIC is required to disclose this information under the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) legislation or pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Board and other court proceedings, unless exceptional circumstances justify further non-disclosure.

Name Disclosure in Correspondence
This OB takes effect immediately. However, a transition period of two weeks is provided to the missions to update templates and modify current procedures.

For all case types processed abroad:

  • Letter templates used shall reflect generic titles, such as Visa Officer or Officer, as found in the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act letter templates.
  • The signature of the decision-maker shall not identify the officer's name or any other identifiable characteristics.

Name Disclosure upon Written Request
The decision-maker's name or any other officer named in a file may be released if the client makes a request in writing or through appropriate channels.

The applicant has a number of options to retrieve the information related to the decision-maker's identity. These include a request made in writing to the mission, a request under the ATIP legislation or a request made by the Member of Parliament (MP) in the riding to which the applicant is destined. This OB only covers the steps required by the mission to respond to a letter from the applicant. ATIP and MP requests will continue to follow the established procedures.

If there are security or safety concerns about the release of the decision-maker's identity or any officer named in a file, a preliminary threat and risk assessment (TRA) must be requested to CIC NHQ-Security via secure means, i.e., C5. Based on the findings of the TRA, the name of the officer may or may not be released.

The following procedures describe the steps required for the applicant to obtain the name of the officer who made the decision on their file.

The decision to release the decision-maker's name falls under the authority of the Immigration Program Manager (IPM). The IPM must consult with International Region (IR) and CIC Corporate Security. The officer must be informed that a request to release their name has been made, and must be involved in the process to determine concerns around the release of the information.

  • Applicant (or representative) contacts the mission responsible for processing the application (contact information can be obtained from the CIC internet site).
  • The employee who receives the requests informs the applicant that the request must be made in writing. Once received in writing, the applicant is notified that the request will be processed and that a written response will be sent within five working days.
  • The employee who received the request logs the requests and notifies the IPM and the decision-maker in question that a request to release the name has been received. In cases where there are no concerns about the proposed release, the IPM authorizes the release of the name. 
  • In cases where the IPM perceives a high degree of risk, a TRA process is initiated through CIC security. This process will be concluded in sufficient time to allow the department to respond to the client within the prescribed turnaround time of five working days.
    Inland CIC Offices

In some cases, an applicant (or representative) may send their request to an inland office to obtain the name of the officer who rendered the decision outside Canada. The officer who receives the request will ask the person making the inquiry to contact the mission responsible for processing the application and make the request in writing or through appropriate channels. (Contact information is available on the CIC internet site).

Inland CIC Offices
In some cases, an applicant (or representative) may send their request to an inland office to obtain the name of the officer who rendered the decision outside Canada. The officer who receives the request will ask the person making the inquiry to contact the mission responsible for processing the application and make the request in writing or through appropriate channels. (Contact information is available on the CIC internet site).


2.5  CIC Is Going Paperless

CIC is transforming the way it does business. With the increasing use of technology, they are moving away from paper application forms, and are encouraging applicants to use the electronic forms that can be submitted online, or downloaded and printed from our web site. Effective December 1, 2011, with a few exceptions, they will no longer be printing or mailing paper copies of our forms and related guides.

These changes will save CIC over $4 million over the next three years in costs related to printing and mailing. The changes also reflect the fact that technology is making the application process easier to access. By 2015 the majority of CIC applications will be submitted and processed online.

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