Glossary of Terms and Concepts

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Acceptance Rate: Unless otherwise stated, Acceptance Rate is calculated as positive outcomes divided by the sum of positive and negative final outcomes. The calculation includes final decisions made in Canada; negative decisions at paper-screening and selection decision stages; and positive and negative decisions at final decision stage for applications processed overseas. The calculation does not include Withdrawn or Abandoned outcomes.

Administrative Withdrawal: Withdrawal made by CIC officer.

Approval in Principle (AIP): Positive determination of eligibility in a permanent residence application processed in Canada. Similar to a positive selection decision made overseas.

Business immigrants: Permanent residents in the economic immigrant category selected on the basis of their ability to establish themselves economically in Canada through entrepreneurial activity, self-employment or direct investment. See separate glossary entries for Entrepreneur, Investor, and Self-employed

C50 Eligibility Determination: Pre-processing stage that comprises the two reviews of the application against Ministerial Instructions that occur at CIO Sydney and at the visa office responsible for the application. Once this stage is complete, processing either begins with a positive eligibility determination or the application is closed and processing fees are refunded.

C50 Final Eligibility Determination: Review of the complete application against Ministerial Instruction eligibility criteria performed at visa office after referral from CIO Sydney. This review draws on local expertise crucial in evaluating supporting documents submitted to the visa office that are not initially provided to CIO Sydney.

C50 Initial Eligibility Determination: Review of the preliminary application received at CIO Sydney. A positive decision regarding eligibility for processing (Paper-screening decision “4”) results in the electronic transfer of the application to the responsible visa office abroad. The date of this decision constitutes the lock-in date for processing. Processing time service standards are calculated from this date.

C50 Processing: In the Book of Basics refers to selection and final decision stages of processing. Paper screening decisions entered at CIO Sydney and at the visa office responsible for processing are included in the eligibility determination stage.

C50: On June 18, 2008, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was amended to give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration authority to issue instructions under A87(3) to ensure that application processing supports the attainment of immigration goals set by the Government of Canada. The first set of Ministerial Instructions was issued on November 28, 2008 and applies to all Federal Skilled Worker applications received after February 28, 2008. In the Book of Basics, the terminology C50 and pre-C50 simply refers to the two subsets of Federal Skilled Workers created by this date. (See glossary entry Ministerial Instructions, C50 Eligibility Determination, C50 Initial Eligibility Determination, C50 Final Eligibility Determination and C50 Processing for more detail)

CAIPS: Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System – The electronic processing system for applications abroad. CAIPS is integrated with the data warehouse and is the source for all data on overseas processing.

Canadian Citizen: Any person defined as a Canadian citizen under the former Canadian Citizenship Act; and/or as a citizen under the Citizenship Act currently in force. 

Canadian Experience Class (CEC): Category that permits foreign nationals that have completed a prescribed legal period of work or education within Canada to apply for permanent residence.

Case Processing Region: Case Processing Centres Mississauga, Sydney and Vegreville.

Category: Immigration categories are shown for the three main groups of permanent residents—family class, economic immigrants and protected persons—as well as for “other” immigrants who do not qualify in any of these categories.

CBN: Canada Bank Note Co. – currently contracted to produce the Permanent Resident Cards.

CBSA: Canada Border Services Agency.

CCS: Card Control System – CCS is the primary system used for Permanent Resident Card processing. It acts as an information hub, facilitating collation of card requests, client data, and image elements. It also has an interface with FOSS.

CIO Sydney: Centralized Intake Office located at CPC-Sydney responsible for performing pre-assessments of eligibility on all C50 Foreign Skilled Workers.

Citizenship Grant: The final stage in an application for citizenship before the Oath of Citizenship is taken. A delegated citizenship officer at the local CIC grants citizenship.

Citizenship: Unless otherwise specified, Citizenship refers to Client Country of Citizenship

Country of Birth: Unless otherwise specified, Country of Birth refers to Client Country of Birth.

Country: Unless otherwise specified, Country refers to Country of Citizenship.

CPC-M: Case Processing Centre-Mississauga.

CPC-S: Case Processing Centre-Sydney.

CPC-V: Case Processing Centre-Vegreville.

CRI: Citizenship Registration Index Database – data processing system used prior to CRS. Citizenship data in CRI was merged with CRS in April 1998.

CRS: Citizenship Registration System Database – system used by CIC to process citizenship applications and to validate proof of citizenship based on past and present legislation. CRS has not been in use since December 2008.

DROC: Deferred Removal Order Class – Permanent residence issued under this class is included in the other immigrant category. This category was established in 1994 to resolve the cases of certain failed refugee claimants who could not be removed from Canada. It is no longer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, however there are residual cases.

DWS: Data Warehouse Services – A CIC data source for immigration statistics. The unit within the CIC Information Management Branch that provides extraction of information from the Data Warehouse and the administration of Immigration Statistics.

Economic immigrants: Permanent residents selected for their skills and ability to contribute to the Canadian economy. The economic immigrant category includes skilled workers, business immigrants, provincial or territorial nominees and live-in caregivers.

Entrepreneurs: Economic immigrants in the business immigrant category selected based on their demonstrated past ability to operate a qualifying business.

Family class: Permanent residents sponsored by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident family member. Family class immigrants include spouses and partners, dependent children, parents and grandparents, and others (children under the age of 18 whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada, orphaned brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and grandchildren under the age of 18).

Final Decision: Terminal decision point in a permanent resident application, signifying either that a case has met all statutory and regulatory requirements and shall be issued a visa or that it has not met these requirements and has been closed.

Foreign students: Temporary residents who enter Canada mainly to study and have been issued a study permit (with or without other types of permits). A study permit is an official document that authorizes a foreign national to study in Canada.

Foreign workers: Temporary residents who enter Canada mainly to work and have been issued a work permit (with or without other types of permits). A work permit is an official document that authorizes a foreign national to work in Canada. Some temporary jobs in Canada may not require a work permit—for example, news reporters, public speakers, performing artists, foreign government officers.

FOSS: The Field Operations Support System (FOSS) is a database and the central repository of information on all persons who have been, may be or are wanted to be seen by Immigration staff. FOSS is the main operational support system for immigration operations in Canada.

GCMS: Global Case Management System – used to process Citizenship cases at CPC Sydney and inland offices. It is the primary source of data for citizenship lines of business. It has a stand alone reporting capability and does not link to the Data Warehouse.

Government-assisted refugees (GAR): Permanent residents in the protected persons category that are selected abroad for resettlement to Canada and receive resettlement assistance from the federal government.

GTA: Greater Toronto Area.

HC1: Overseas this category is used for applications submitted in the economic or refugee class for which H&C consideration has been requested. In-Canada, HC1 is used to designate requests for H&C consideration that aren’t accompanied by a sponsorship.

HC2: Sponsored H&C application submitted In-Canada

Humanitarian and Compassionate cases (HC): In exceptional cases, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act gives the authority to grant permanent residence to foreign nationals who would not otherwise qualify in any category in cases where there are strong humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations, or for public policy reasons (See separate entries for FCH, HC1, HC2, and PP1).

In-Canada: All points of service in the CIC network located in Canada.

Initial Processing Area: Office at which application was finalized as opposed to office where admission occurred.

Inland Offices: CIC’s inland network is composed of offices in the following regions: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies/NT, and BC/Yukon.

Inventory: Permanent residence applications for which no final decision has been reached. No inventory data is captured for temporary residents.

Investors: Economic immigrants in the business immigrant category who are required to make a substantial investment in Canada.

IRB: Immigration and Refugee Board

Land-border: CBSA manages the access of people and goods to Canada at 119 land-border crossings.

Level of education: Six levels of education are shown for foreign students:

  • Primary: primary educational institutions in Canada
  • Secondary: secondary educational institutions in Canada
  • Trade: vocational trade at non-university educational institutions in Canada (such as technical and vocational institutions, CEGEPs and colleges)
  • University: divided into 4 categories – undergraduate, postgraduate (master’s), postgraduate (doctoral) and other studies at university institutions in Canada
  • Post-secondary: post-secondary level of study, not at the university or trade level, including language institutions, private institutions and university qualifying programs
  • Other Studies: foreign students not classified in any of the above levels of study and Residents and Interns (Medical)

Live-in caregivers: Permanent residence category that enables persons that have met the requirements of Canada’s temporary Live-in Caregiver Program to apply for permanent residence.

Ministerial Instructions: The Ministerial Instructions were issued as per IRPA 87(3) on November 28th, 2008 and apply only to applications submitted on or after February 27, 2008. They do not apply to refugees, protected persons or persons making a request on humanitarian and compassionate grounds from within Canada. The Ministerial Instructions establish the following criteria that foreign skilled workers must meet in order to be eligible to apply:

  • have an offer of arranged employment, OR
  • be a foreign national living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student, OR
  • be a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one of 38 prescribed occupations.

Mission: A generic term that refers to Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad.

Network: Network refers to all of CIC’s Points of Service, In-Canada and Overseas.

New Citizen: Status acquired after the Oath of Citizenship is taken and signed, and a certificate of citizenship is received as proof of the acquisition of citizenship.

NOC: National Occupation Classification

Occupational Skill Level: Skill levels for Temporary Foreign Worker category are grouped according to the NOC designation:

  • Skill level 0 – Managerial
  • Skill Level A – Professional
  • Skill Level B – Skilled and Technical
  • Skill Level C – Intermediate and Clerical
  • Skill Level D – Elemental and Labourers

Office: The CIC office where a document originated.

Outcome: A decision at any point in processing that results in the application being finalized. Includes: positive, negative, abandoned, withdrawn, or administrative withdrawal.
Overseas: Network abroad is sub-divided into four Regions: Asia and Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

Paper Screening Decision: Preliminary assessment stage in a permanent residence application processed overseas.

PDRCC – Post-Determination Refugee Claimant Class: Pre-IRPA class that granted permanent residence to persons facing the threat of death, torture or cruel and unusual treatment in their country of origin. Members of the PDRCC in Canada class are included in the other immigrant category.

Percentage Change: The change (variance) in a value between two specified timeframes expressed as a percentage.

Permanent resident: Person granted permanent resident status in Canada.

Permit Holder Class: A permit holder is a foreign national who holds a valid temporary resident permit (formerly called a Minister’s Permit) issued to those inadmissible for health and other grounds (excluding security, human rights violations, serious criminality or organized crime grounds) in exceptional circumstances.

POE: Port of Entry – There are 250 ports of entry located throughout Canada. Only one fifth of them (50) actually have a representative from Citizenship and Immigration on site. An officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) normally conducts the primary examination.

Point of Service: Location within the CIC network where any stage of processing is undertaken. Points of Service can be grouped in different ways. e.g. Overseas, In-Canada, Inland, Airport, Border, Region, Country or Office.

PP1: Applications pursuant to A25(1) based on public policy processed in accordance with Ministerial guidelines. Visas and authorizations issued under this category fall under the H&C Class.

Principal applicant: The foreign national applying for assessment of his or her eligibility according to the permanent residence class in which he or she has applied. Accompanying dependents are not required to meet eligibility requirements but all applicants must meet statutory requirements.

Protected Persons in Canada: Upon the acceptance of their claim by the IRB, refugees and other designated protected persons in-Canada may apply for permanent residence in Canada.

Province or territory: The province or territory of intended destination in Canada.

Provincial or territorial nominees: Economic immigrants selected by a province or territory to meet specific labour market needs.

PRRA: Pre-Removal Risk Assessment – Prior to the execution of a removal order, a risk assessment is undertaken to determine if the applicant faces risks in the country where he or she is to be removed.

PSR: Privately Sponsored Refugees – Persons resettled to Canada in the Convention refugee abroad class, the Source Country class, or the Country of Asylum class that receive financial sponsorship and moral support for the period of one year by an organization or group of individuals.

Refugee claimant: A foreign national who claims refugee protection from Canada at a port of entry or inland office.

Refugee dependant: Foreign national that is the dependent of a protected person in Canada whose application for permanent residence is processed concurrently with that of the principal applicant in Canada. Refugee dependants may be living abroad or in Canada.

Refugees: Permanent residents in the refugee category include government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, refugees landed in Canada and refugee dependants. With the introduction of IRPA, “refugees” are referred to as “Protected persons” but “refugee” continues to be in common use.

Region: Includes both Overseas and In-Canada points of service within the CIC Network. See Appendix A for a complete list.

Selection Decision: Stage at which determination of eligibility is made in a permanent residence application processed overseas.

Self-employed: Economic immigrants in the business immigrant category selected on the condition that they can, and intend to, create their own employment in Canada and contribute significantly either to the Canadian economy or to the cultural or athletic life of Canada (e.g. farmers, artists, actors, writers or professional athletes).

Skilled workers: Economic immigrants selected for their ability to participate in the labour market and to establish themselves economically in Canada.

Skilled workers (Federal): Permanent residents that have experience in one of the occupational categories named under the Ministerial Instructions; or who have an arranged employment offer with a Canadian employer; or who are residing legally in Canada for at least one year as foreign workers of international students. Prior to the Ministerial Instructions, Federal Skilled Workers were required to have at least one year of experience in an occupation classified under skill levels 0, A, or B of the National Occupation Classification in order to be eligible for processing.

Skilled workers (Quebec): Skilled workers selected by Quebec’s Ministère de l’immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec (MICC).

Source Country: Unless otherwise specified, Source Country refers to the Country of Alleged Persecution.

Spouse and dependants: Permanent residents who are the spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children of the principal applicant.

Study permit: A permit authorizing a foreign national to enter and study in Canada on a temporary basis. The study permit identifies the level of study and the length of time the individual may study in Canada. Students do not need a study permit for courses shorter than six months.

Temporary resident permit holders: Persons included with other immigrants who have been granted permanent residence under the permit holder class. A permit holder is a foreign national who holds a valid temporary resident permit (formerly called a Minister’s Permit) issued to those inadmissible for health and other grounds (excluding security, human rights violations, serious criminality or organized crime grounds) in exceptional circumstances.

WIP: Workload, Inventories and Priorities Report

Work permit: A permit authorizing a foreign national to work in Canada on a temporary basis. Some temporary jobs in Canada may not require a work permit.

3(1)(a): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person born in Canada, on or after February 15, 1977.

3(1)(b): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person born outside of Canada on or after February 15, 1977 and, at the time of birth, one of the parents was a Canadian citizen.

3(1)(c): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person who were granted or acquired citizenship pursuant to section 5 or 11 and, in the case of a person 14 years of age or over when the individual is granted citizenship, that individual has taken the Oath of Citizenship.

3(1)(d): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person was a Canadian citizen immediately before February 15, 1977.

3(1)(e): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person entitled to be registered as a natural born citizen under the provisions of the former Act and was registered on or after February 15, 1977.

5(1) – Adult Grant: Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to an adult.

5(2)(a) – Minor Grant: Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a minor. For this, either parent may apply on behalf of their minor child.

5(2)(b): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person born outside of Canada, in wedlock, on or after January 1, 1947, and prior to February 15, 1977, to a Canadian mother and a non-Canadian father.

5(4): Grant of citizenship to a person to alleviate special and unusual hardship or to reward services of exceptional value to Canada.

11(1): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a person who has ceased to be a Canadian citizen (resumption of citizenship). The residence requirement to resume citizenship is one year from the date of re-entry for permanent residence.

11(2): Section of the Citizenship Act that provides for granting Canadian citizenship to a women who lost British subject status prior to January 1, 1947, by marriage to an alien or because of a change in their husband’s nationality status, can automatically acquire Canadian citizenship by writing to the Minister with proof of their former status. No oath is required.

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