Regional Management Plan – Port of Spain

Meurrens LawImmigration Trends

The following is a summary of the International Region Integrated Management Plan of the immigration functions at the Canadian Embassy in Port of Spain (the “Environmental Overview”).  The Environmental Overview was prepared as part of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2014-2015 planning exercise, and is current as of January 2013.


The Canadian visa office in Port of Spain (“CIC Port of Spain”) provides visa services to residents of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, French Guyana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, MarieGalante, Martinique, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Saint Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Area travel can be problematic between countries in the Caribbean as there are few direct links and some of the airlines are notoriously unreliable. Often travellers are required to transit through Miami or Panama.

Along with the pooling of PA resources, PR unit also pooled files so that all files are placed in the file location and whichever PA or officer gets it, must process it. For example, one officer may conduct the initial review of a file and then queue for interview, however, another officer may do the interview. This has created an equitable distribution of work as well as consistency as officers must process files knowing that another officer may carry it forward.

Permanent Resident Program

Intake in the economic classes has been extremely low in the region for the past few years.

Intake in economic classes has been extremely low for this region over the past few years. The closure of a large quantity of pre-C-50 FSW cases and the introduction of an occupational demand list under Ml may have had a chilling effect on overall demand in the region. Following a push to close out all old files and as a result of the very low intake, Port of Spain’s economic inventory was received almost entirely from late 2014 and early 2015.

The family class has also witnessed inventory not meeting targets.

In 2014, the established target far exceeded the available inventory and Port of Spain initiated a work sharing project with Kingston and Port-au-Prince in order to assist them in reducing their own processing times and to allow it to achieve its own target. A total of 300 FC1/FCC/FCE files were transferred to Port of Spain, and a majority of them have already been finalized.

Port of Spain required DNA testing on 3.25% of family class cases in 2014, mostly in the FC3 movement. Though this number is in itself relatively low, it represents a 64% increase over the previous year. This is likely due to going directly to DNA testing for any concerns regarding parentage as listed, or not listed, on the birth certificate. Of those tested, 54% of the relationships were favourably established and 18% of persons tested were found to have a 0% probability of parentage; however, it is also of note that 22% of requests to complete testing went unanswered or did not show for their scheduled collection date. These cases are typically refused for non-compliance and failure to meet the definition of a dependent child.

As a result of procedural changes, processing times at CIC Port of Spain are plummeting.

More than 62% of the PR caseload in Port of Spain was processed faster than the same PR LOBs in 2013. Notable among these were: SW1-Fed where processing time in 2014
took only 56% of the time it took to process than 2013 (9.83 months); FC1 and FC3 took 86% and 84% respectively (about 16 months); FC7 took 40% (9.77 months) and FC9 took 51% (13.93 months) as much time as similar cases finalized in 2013.

Temporary Resident Program

The Caribbean diaspora in Canada has an important economic and social impact in the region in terms of economic integration in areas, for example of labour mobility, trade and investment. A diaspora of more than 120K + Canadians of Trinidadian or Guyanese origin guarantees the continuing, if not growing need for the movement of persons from this region to Canada to visit, study, and work. T&T nationals are the top 20 list for both number of TRVs by citizenship and number of Temporary Workers by citizenship processed abroad. To the extent that there are established movements from the English-speaking countries of this region, there exists potential to encourage residents from the French-speaking regions to come to Canada. Though the ties between these islands have traditionally been towards France, our geographic proximity and comparative advantages make Canada an attractive option for francophone-Caribbean foreign students, workers and tourists alike.

The move to online applications has doubled the amount of time it takes to process visitor visas, although application processing times still decreased slightly.