Last Updated on December 17, 2013 by Steven Meurrens
The following is a summary of the Environmental Overview of the immigration functions at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi (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.
The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi (“CIC New Delhi”) is CIC’s largest overseas mission. It provides permanent resident processing for India, Nepal, and Bhutan, with the assistance of Chandigarh for temporary resident processing. It also processes medicals nationals of the above countries, as well as for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Canadian vetting procedures for Indian military, police and intelligence officers still continue to be a significant bilateral irritant. Although there have been no refusals of temporary resident applications for these types of applicants in 2012-13 and requests for additional information for screening purposes are no longer made, the Indian government continues to raise the issue with Canadian officials at the highest levels. Countering the impact of refusals that were given media attention in 2010 still remains a challenge.
A full-time resource is devoted to responding to the 75-100 e-mail communications that CIC-Dakar receives each day.
VAC Data Transfer
With assistance from GCMS and in cooperation with VFS, a system was set up from mid-December 2012 whereby 2D forms for TR applications are scanned using handheld scanners at the time of submission which are then transferred via secure download to the visa office. The data is then uploaded to GCMS using a watch folder. This has eliminated the need for 2D bar code scanning creation o 95% of our TR applications.
Permanent Resident Program
Although the termination of pre-C50 Federal Skilled Worker cases in 2012 resulted in a reduction of Delhi’s permanent resident inventory by more than 97,000 persons, Delhi still retains the largest inventory of any mission abroad (over 40,000 persons).
The economic application intake in 2012 was only 56% of 2011. CIC Delhi processed 6,655 applications, resulting in a reduction of the active economic class inventory by 3,559 cases. However, Delhi has approximately 5800 Skilled Worker applications, of which 78% are Ministerial Instructions 1 applications.
Fraud was uncovered in about 5% of FSW files finalized in 2012 resulting in A40 refusals. In addition to marriages of convenience, refusals involve misrepresentation of work experience and fraudulent AEOs.
The number of judicial review applications for FSW refusals has decreased steadily over the last few years (the 53 JRs filed in 2012 are one third of the total in 2009 and is 4% of total number of refused FSW cases in 2012). Delhi attributes this decline to ongoing training provided to officers by the Appeals and Litigation Unit. To date, Delhi has also received 497 applications for leave for judicial review on the cases terminated by the operation of Section 87.4.
Provincial nominees are time consuming for CIC New Delhi to process due to efforts to conduct field investigations and adhere to procedural fairness requirements. 7% of PV2 applications finalized in 2012 were refused on misrepresentation. The fraud was particularly detected in trade occupations such as welders, hairdressers, sales occupations.
The inventory of business cases is currently 8,788 persons.
In 2012, approximately 63% of family class refusals were appealed to the IAD. Marriages of convenience continue to be of serious concerns. The FC1 approval rate decreased from 2011 to 2012 (83.5% to 80.2%). Overall, applications are 23% lower from 2007.
Delays incurred by the transfer of files from Abidjan to Dakar, verifications conducted at a distance, and difficulties related to contacting applicants are the cause. The goal is to reduce processing times to under one year. Refusal rates vary between 15-20% in the Family Class.
Delhi has the second largest temporary resident program globally with 111,145 applications received in 2012. This represnted an increase of 11%. .
The verification of Indian education, employment and financial documentation is labour intensiveand often without conclusive outcomes. Organized fraud by unscrupulous consultants continues to impact our refusal rates, especially for students.
The overall processing standards were met in all categories through a continued shifting of resources from PR to TR processing to meet intake in the peak season. The approval rate returned to 78% for Visitors (from 80% in 2011) and study permit approvals rose to 64%, while work permit approvals rebounded to 81% (was at 68% in 2011) as more applicants took advantage of accelerated LMOs.
An overall median processing time for the year was maintained at 3 days by continuing to shift resources to the processing of visitor applications on peak days to prevent the development of file backlogs.
Delhi has seen a 21% increase in applications under the Business Express Program with 89% of applications processed in one day (up from 83% in 2011) and an approval rate of 99%.
The Business Express Program was created and implemented in 2008. There are currently 60 companies registered in the program. In 2012, there were 2 784 applications received with a 99% acceptance rate. On average, 89% of the cases were processed the same or next day.
The Worker Express program was implemented in 2009 and the same 60 companies are registered. In 2012, we received 4,281 applications and approval rate was 94%. On average, 76% of the cases were processed within 7 calendar 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.
Work permit applications continue to increase. The approval rate increased from 61% to 81%.
The movement clearly divided between fairly high quality software and other high-skilled workers and low-skilled applications characterized by frequent fraud, difficult verifications, a much higher refusal rate, and increasing litigation.
WEP companies continue to submit large numbers of applications as intra-company transferees (C 12) which requires considerable scrutiny to determine if applicants qualify under the exemption for specialized knowledge. Additionally, we have seen a rise in the use of NOC codes of lower mlevel positions to attempt to lower the average prevailing wage. For example, a software engineer will be submitted under a NOC code of a Computer technician.
There have been some issues noted where companies have LMOs with one NOC code; however, the duties as described in the letter of employment are in more in line with a different NOC code. Our understanding of the back-end audit done by HRSDC is that it will look only at salary paid and whether proper advertising for the position was done. There are concerns that greater numbers of companies could NOC codes in the LMO that do not reflect higher value work as they have done with the C12 applications.
CBSA Liaison Program
Delhi has two CBSA Liason Officers. One is focused on anti-fraud, who is engaged by 4 locally enegaged staff. In 2012, the unit conducted 1,403 desk top investigations, which included 1,250 telephone verifications with a fraud rate of 57%. They also undertook 198 field investigations.