Last Updated on May 29, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

Restructuring of North American Processing Network

On May 29, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) restructured its North American Processing Network.  The restructuring included the closure of immigration section of the Canadian consualte in Buffalo, as well as the realigninment of the immigration functions of the Canadian consulates in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Detroit, and Seattle (the “US Consulates”).   Concurrently, CIC has introduced changes that will allow applicants who currently have a Work Permit or a Study Permit to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (commonly referred to a a “visitor visa”) within Canada.

Closure of the Buffalo Consulate

CIC has announced that it will be closing the visa section of the Buffalo Consulate.

Applications that are currently being processed in Buffalo (including Federal Skilled Worker, Quebec Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program , and Federal Investor applications) are being transferred to the Case Processing Pilot Office – Ottawa (“CPP-O”).

Re-Configuring the U.S. Network

Effectively immediately, the Seattle, Detroit, and Washington D.C. consulates will no longer be processing new Work Permit or Study Permit applications.  Only the Los Angeles and New York consulates will process new Work Permit and Study Permit applications.  Furthermore, applicants residing in the United States will not be able to choose which consulate to submit their application to.  Applicants living in the United States east of the Mississippi River (including in Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and St. Pierre et Miqueldon) must apply to the New York Consulate.  Applicants residing in the United States living west of the Mississippi River must apply to the Los Angeles consulate.

Applicants residing in Canada who need to apply for an initial Work Permit or a Study Permit may apply at either the Los Angeles Consulate or the New York Consulate.

Applications for Temporary Resident Visas, Temporary Resident Permits (“TRP”), Criminal Rehabilitation (“Rehabilitation”), or Authorization to Return to Canada (“ARC”) may still be submitted to any of the US Consulates.

The following table more clearly shows the breakdown of the new immigration duties of the US Consulates. 

New York Los Angeles Washington D.C. Detroit Seattle
Visitor Visa Visitor Visa Visitor Visa Visitor Visa Visitor Visa
Study Permit (U.S. Residents East of the Mississippi) Study Permit (U.S. Residents West of the Mississippi)
Work Permit (U.S. Residents East of the Mississippi) Work Permit (U.S. Residents West of the Mississippi)
Rehabilitation Rehabilitation Rehabilitation Rehabilitation Rehabilitation

Individuals with applications in processing do not need to take any steps to ensure that the processing of their applications will continue.  The Washington D.C., Detroit, Seattle, and Buffalo consulates will continue to process work, student, and visitor visa applications that they have already received.  However, all TRP, Rehabilitation, and ARC applications currently being processed at the Buffalo Consulate are being transferred to the Washington D.C. Consulate.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa Inside Canada

Previously, study permit and work permit holders from countries where a visa is required to visit Canada could apply inside Canada to have their visitor visa renewed, but they could not apply for a new one.  As such, with limited exceptions, they could not exit and re-enter Canada without first applying to an embassy or a consulate outside Canada for a Temporary Resident Visa.  Effective immediately, CIC has introduced a pilot project that will allow applicants residing in Canada on valid work permits or study permits to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa at CPP-O.

If an interview is required, the application will be sent to the nearest United States Consulate.

More information about how to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa from within Canada can be found here: