Operational Bulletin 179 – January 18, 2010

Processing applications submitted with Democratic Republic of the Congo passports

Issue

Only the “B” series of Democratic Republic of Congo passports are acceptable for international travel.

Background

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced that effective January 1, 2010, only the latest “B” series of DRC passports are acceptable for international travel and all earlier issued passports are no longer valid. The “B” series passport has a serial number beginning either with “OB” (ordinary passports), “SB” (special passports) or “DB” (diplomatic passports). Only DRC passports with serial numbers beginning with “OB”, “SB” or “DB” are valid.

The following instructions provide guidelines on how to deal with applications for temporary or permanent residence submitted with DRC passports that do not start with serial numbers beginning with “OB”, “SB” or “DB”.

Instructions

New applications for temporary residence or permanent residence, renewals or extensions of temporary resident status, (i.e. study permits, work permits, visitor records) or applications for permanent resident cards submitted with a DRC passport that does not bear a serial number beginning with “OB”, “SB” or “DB” should not be accepted. Applicants must be advised that their application cannot be considered unless accompanied by a valid “B” series passport.

Applications already in the inventory submitted with a DRC passport that does not bear a serial number beginning with “OB”, “SB” or “DB” will continue to be processed while waiting for a new passport. Letters must be sent to these applicants advising them that their applications will not be finalized until a valid passport has been submitted.

There may be cases where a permanent resident visa has been previously placed in a non-“B” series DRC passport, but where the holder has not yet arrived in Canada. As these passports are no longer considered valid for travel to Canada, visa offices are asked to assist these clients by cancelling the visa in the old passport and re-issuing a new visa with the same validity date in the new passport.

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