Protected persons – Processing applications for permanent residence – Stage 2: family members overseas

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Processing the application and issuing visas

Protected persons must list all family members living inside and outside Canada on their application for permanent residence. They may, however, choose which family members they want to include in their application as accompanying.

The Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V) notifies

  • the visa office serving the country where the family members abroad are residing; and
  • the principal applicant to let them know which of the required forms their family members abroad must complete and submit to the visa office:
    • the IMM 0008 form (Generic Application Form for Canada);
    • the IMM 5669 form (Schedule A-Background/Declaration); and
    • a copy of the CPC-V letter.

On receiving the application for permanent residence from the family members abroad, the visa office will have the family members undergo the necessary medical examinations and security clearances.

Visas should not be issued to family members abroad until the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office in Canada confirms that the principal applicant has been granted permanent residence.

Protected temporary residents class (PTRC)

Officers at CPC-V are not required to contact the visa office for the concurrent processing of all family members of a member of the PTRC class. Under R140, non-accompanying family members of a PTRC class applicant are automatically processed in the same refugee class as the principal applicant under the One-Year Window Provision (OYW) R141(1). If they fail to meet the criteria, of the principal applicant’s in-Canada protected person application for permanent residence, they can be assessed in their own right by the visa office as either a member of the Convention refugee from abroad class or the humanitarian-protected person abroad classes. Visas may therefore be issued to family members outside Canada before the IRCC office in Canada confirms that the principal applicant has been granted permanent residence.

Family members whose whereabouts are unknown

Family members whose whereabouts are unknown may apply for permanent residence under the one-year time limit [see subsection R176(2)].

When a family member cannot be located,

  • the visa officer will advise the CPC-V by email; and
  • the CPC-V will contact the protected person to request current contact information.

Should the family member remain untraceable, the CPC-V will inform the protected person and advise them that their family member’s application may be processed if they apply within one year of the protected person becoming a permanent resident. In such circumstances, granting permanent residence to the principal applicant will not be delayed. A protected person may be granted permanent residence even if family members abroad for whom permanent residence is sought do not meet all the requirements of subsection A21(2).

Application of the one-year time limit

The officer at the CPC-V will have informed the visa office of the inclusion of a family member abroad. If the permanent resident locates the family member within the one-year time limit, they may advise the CPC-V in writing. The CPC-V will notify the appropriate visa office, confirming that the family member was included in the initial application, and ask the visa office to have the family member

  • complete the IMM 0008 and IMM 5669 forms; and
  • undergo the necessary medical examinations and security clearances.

While the visa office will act on such requests as quickly as possible, it is incumbent on the family member to make an application within one year after the day on which the protected person in Canada became a permanent resident.

Protected persons’ minor children who are at risk

When both parents are protected persons in Canada, or if only one parent is in Canada and the other parent is deceased or their whereabouts are unknown, officers must be aware of the risks to which these children may be exposed if there are delays in finalizing the application in Canada for permanent residence. The situation may be particularly acute if the children are residing without the care and protection of an adult guardian, such as an older sibling, aunt, uncle or grandparent, in an area where a civil or international armed conflict is occurring.

Officers should arrange for the expedited medical examination of children (under the age of 18 years) when the particular circumstances increase the risk to their physical safety. Once the medical examination is completed, or where rapid medical clearance is not feasible and the child is at risk, visa officers should consider the option of early admission to Canada through the use of a temporary resident permit.

Removing a family member from the application

Protected persons may remove a family member from their application any time up to the point of being granted permanent residence. The individual who is “removed” from the application will not be granted permanent residence or issued a visa as a result of the application. The processing fee for that person will not be refunded once processing of the application has commenced.

Since the removal of a family member from the application will not change the fact that the family member has been listed in compliance with R10(2)(a), that family member may be sponsored in the future, provided that the individual remains otherwise eligible for inclusion in the family class at the time that the sponsorship application is submitted.

Because permanent separation may result, applicants must be asked to sign a declaration acknowledging this possibility before removing the family member from the application.

Dependent children, spouses or common-law partners who are determined to be protected persons and have applied for permanent residence may have their applications severed from the principal applicant’s application and be granted permanent residence apart from the principal applicant, provided they meet statutory requirements.

In cases where an included family member was never determined to be a protected person and wishes to be severed from the principal applicant’s application (for example, the principal applicant has left Canada), they should be instructed to apply for permanent residence under humanitarian and compassionate considerations. Included family members who are not protected persons are subordinate applicants, and the validity of their application is entirely dependent on the granting of permanent resident status to an eligible protected person (applicant).

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