Last Updated on January 30, 2013 by Steven Meurrens

On January 28 and 29, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced the closure of two overseas offices, and further restructured its North American Processing Network.  The restructuring includes the closure of immigration sections of the Canadian consulates in Detroit and Seattle.

Closure of Detroit and Seattle Visa Offices

Effectively immediately, the visa offices in Seattle and Detroit are closed.  As well, the visa office at Washington D.C. will be very limited in the services which it provides.

New U.S. and Canada based Temporary Resident Visa, Study Permit, and Work Permit applications can now be submitted on-line, or to the appropriate visa office as described in the table below.  In brief, study permits will be processed in Los Angeles, and work permits will be processed in New York.

Individuals with applications in processing do not need to take any steps to ensure that the processing of their applications will continue, as their files are being transferred to their respective new offices.

Online New York Los Angeles Washington D.C.
Visitor Visas Visitor Visas Visitor Visas Services for diplomats, government officials, and their family members
Work Permits Work Permits Study Permits
Study Permits Temporary Resident Permits Temporary Resident Permits
Rehabilitation Rehabilitation
Authorizations to Return to Canada Authorizations to Return to Canada

As well, permanent residence applications in the economic programs and the Family Class will no longer be referred from the Central Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia (the “CIO“), or the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario (“CPC-M“), to visa offices in the United States.

Ending of Immigration Services at the Canadian Embassies in Seoul and Caracas

Effective immediately, CIC is no longer processing applications at the Canadian Embassies in Seoul, South Korea, and Caracas, Venezuela.  Depending on the type of application, applicants are now required to submit their applications either on-line, to the CIO, or to CPC-M.  Individuals with applications being processed in either South Korea or Caracas do not need to re-submit their applications, as CIC has transferred them to new visa offices.

Specifically, the rearrangement is as follows:

Visa Post Where to Send Your Application
New Existing
Temporary Residence Economic Permanent Residency Family Class All
Seoul Online CIO CPC-M Transferred to Manila
Caracas Online or at the Visa Application Center CIO CPC-M Transferred to Mexico City

The closures of the visa offices in Detroit, Seattle, Seoul and Caracas are only the latest CIC overseas office closures.  In 2012, CIC closed its offices in Belgrade, Berlin, Buffalo, Damascus, Detroit, Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur, Seattle, Taipei, Tehran, and Tokyo.

It also in 2012 closed its Canadian offices in Barrie, Charlottetown, Gatineau, Kelowna, Kingston, Lethbridge, Moncton, Nanaimo, Oshawa, Prince George, Quebec City, Regina, Saint John, Sault Ste Marie, Sherbrooke, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Trois Rivieries, and Victoria.