Environmental Overview – Chandigarh – 2013

The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian Consulate in Chandigarh (the “Environmental Overview”).  The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2013-2014 planning exercise, and is current as of January 2013.

Areas in blockquote are direct passages from the Environmental Overview.

Environment

The Canadian Consulate in Chandigarh (“CIC Chandigarh”) provides temporary residence processing in northwest India.  It recorded a record number of decisions in 2012.

In partnership with Delhi and the VAC (VFS), prospective non-immigrant applications are created in GCMS overnight for all applications received by VFS in India, before the
applications are physically delivered to mission the following morning. File creation by QRC is not possible due to Indian law prohibiting the international transfer of personal data. As there is no more requirement to scan the 2D barcodes, file creation is completed much more quickly. Only consequence is that Chandigarh appears as the secondary office for all applications received in India (Delhi showing as the principal office); statistical reports and the monitoring of pending applications must take this into consideration.

The elimination of 20 barcode scanning and the overnight creation of prospective applications has freed up some time for the LE3 Registry Clerks, which has been directed to actioning incoming correspondence (no backlog) and also to the scanning of finalized applications into GCMS. Latter takes more time than traditional filing, but gains will be enjoyed downstream; eg. for actioning A TIP requests because the supporting 2013-2014 International Region Integrated Management Plan documents will already be in GCMS and will be accessible to the A TIP section at HQ.

A full-time resource is devoted to responding to the 75-100 e-mail communications that CIC-Dakar receives each day.

Temporary Resident Program

CHADG experienced an overall18% increase in the number of non-immigrant applications in 2012 compared to 2011:45617 vs 38603. TRVs up 19%; Students up 13% and Workers up 31%

Visitors

TRV applicants are rarely interviewed. The vast majority of applications are submitted via the VAC. Applicants are able to submit urgent applications (eg. funeral) in person outside of regular public hours.

PG1 applications account for approximately 15% of total TRV applications. These applications involve more processing as all applicants require medicals and many are furthered, which requires resources to action and monitor. For the first 4-6 months after the introduction of the PG1 category, applicants were given the opportunity to submit additional documents to satisfy PG1 criteria; this prolonged processing and increased the resources required to process such applications.

Religious workers (WX1) also require more processing compared to other TRV applications: involves confirming invitation with Canadian Gurdwara which is given 15 days to respond.

An analysis of CHADG’s TRV processing times as reported by OPMB revealed that it was often cases such as the Religious Worker which tipped CHADG’s processing times to 14 days, whereas 70-75% of cases had actually been processed within 5 days.

The Study Permit approval rate is 64%.  The increase is attributed to the mandatory IELTS requirement of the SPP.

Working closely with ACCC and Scotia bank, we began offering SPP students the ability to purchase a $10,000 GIC to show the ability to cover their first year’s living expenses. There was a strong uptake in this program and over 1 980 GICs were funded for the January 2013 cohort. We are currently working to make this a mandatory requirement for the SPP program and anticipate this will address the issue of fraudulent bank loans which continues to be a problem.

Study Permits

Student applications increased by 13%: 1145 more applications than in 2011. However, only 7 more SPs were issued. This is due to the large number of applicants who reapply after refusal. 21.8% of total student applications in 2012 were repeat applications. This also has the result of increasing CHADG’s refusal rate which increased from 52.7 in 2011 to 57.7 in 2012.

The reapplication rate is most likely driven by the consultants. Fraud continues to be encountered in SP applications, mainly misrepresentation of IEL TS and academic record. For integrity purposes, IELTS is verified 100%.

Work Permits

The number of applications increased by 31% in 2012. The refusal rate is very high: only 21.5% were approved in 2012, same as in 2011. And yet, the worker category has the highest rate of refugee claims, approximately 8% of visas issued.

WP applications are largely for long-haul truck drivers or low-skilled. Approved truck drivers usually have overseas (UAE) experience and have submitted reliable evidence of English language ability. Refused truck drivers have not submitted reliable evidence of English. The low skilled (agricultural workers, janitors, counter attendants) are usually refused for bona fides.

An analysis of refugee claims from TFWs revealed that the claims are often submitted 1-3 years after entry to Canada, are from low-skilled who showed no English. This suggests that they do not have the skills to qualify for PNP or any other avenue for PR.


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