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>>>>JANUARY 2019 AoR

A very happy New Year, and all the best for the application!!

Starting a new thread for all those who intend or have received their AoR in January 2019.

Sharing some useful info here:

Visa Office

There has been an obsession of finding which visa office the application is at. Many threads on this forum start with explaining how to find your visa office. Let’s get to the crux of it. Finding the visa office was very relevant pre- express entry. Even after the introduction of express entry in 2015, the same practice was followed which usually was for the paper based application, but that is no longer the case. Earlier all application followed the following trajectory:

Central Intake Office – Case Processing Centre – Local Visa Office

However, this has radically changed and for all express entry, all application follow the following:

1. Central Intake Office –
The R10 (completeness check) is done at the Central Intake Office for all classes (FSW / PNP / CEC). Now even the criminality and medicals are done at CIO.

2. Case Processing Centre – There are 4 case processing offices of IRCC, which are as follows:

Sydney, Nova Scotia – deals with the following:

  • provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – Non-Express Entry applications
  • Centralized Intake Office – Immigrant Investor Program (IIP)
  • Centralized Intake Office – Quebec Skilled Workers (QSW)
  • Centralized Intake Office – Start Up Business Class
  • Centralized Intake Office – Self Employed (SE)
  • Centralized Intake Office – Quebec Business Class (QBC)
  • Centralized Intake Office – Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Now has started doing eligibility for EE applications in limited numbers.

Vegreville, Alberta
Deals with Specialized permanent resident application. Those following in the category of Medical needs, work permits, work permits for spouses, study permits, co-op permits. EE applications which have a downgraded category.

This is the place where you EE application will land if any of the members in the application have a medical condition. This is where determinations of refusal, monitoring etc are made.

Now has started doing eligibility for EE applications in limited numbers.

Mississauga, Ontario
Only deals with family class PR applications.
No EE applications are dealt here so far.

Ottawa, Ontario
This is the most important processing office for all EE, and it is also the Local Visa Office for in-land applicants and those applying from USA.

This is based on the most recent information. IRCC has officers across Canada and some temporary offices that are used to process application based on workload distribution.

Local Visa Office – This is the office where you will be asked to submit your passport after your application has been approved. Usually the consulate in your home country.

These days all application after starting at CIO (where R10 is met), either start the processing of eligibility at CIO itself, or move to CPC (wither Ottawa, Sydney, or Vegreville), or are straight sent to the LVO. The trend has been to complete most of the processing between CIO and CPC. Since the applications are electronically stored, there is no movement of physical files.

SUGGESTION – There is no point sending emails to ask which VO your application is at, as that process is moot since the eligibility can even start at CIO. So save yourself some time and efforts and also save the human resources of IRCC and stop sending emails. Even if you know which VO your application is at, it means nothing. Most applications which are processed within weeks and get PPR, are processed at CIO, and this is a much faster way.

A few applications will see eligibility passed, and then go to not started when the application is sent to the LVO. This is because the final review is done at the LVO, and the local agent may decide to conduct additional review, or identification before the eligibility is finally set to PASSED.

Tracking your application

Unfortunately the only thing that you see is your MyCIC account. There has been a growing trend of speculation where change of status on MyCIC has been attributed to eligibility being passed, etc. The whole NA, IP IP2 is speculation and has no bearing on determining which stage your application is at. While any change of status is a good sign, but merely relying on NA and IP is not the correct way.

Most applicants will find it irrelevant, as their applications will be processed and approved within the first 3-4 months. It is those who wait for more than 4 months, where things go crazy as they keep relying on NA, IP etc, and see no movement or progress. Many other are stuck on so called IP2, and the PPR never seems to come.

So put these speculative theories to rest. As per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, regulations and the ministeral instructions every application goes through the following stages:

R10 (Completeness check)
A11.2 Eligibility (The most important stage)

To read more on each stage click here. While most applicants will not need to go this deep, but for those who have concerns about the application or it is taking too long should see which stage they are at. Also, the only way to determine the stage is by GCMS notes. To read more on GCMS notes, see the thread here.

ECAS (Electronic Client Application Status) –

This was the most important tool pre EE to track an application and provided much more in-depth status than what MyCIC does. However, after the IRCC moved to the Global Case Management System (AKA GCMS) applications are no longer linked to ECAS.

So there is no point going there and checking.

Letter of Explanation –
As the name suggests, the LoE is exact what it sounds like. It is not an idea for the documents and you do not have to explain each document you are submitting in your application.

The simple rules to follow for LoE –

  • Should be 1-2 pages in length. If you cannot explain it in 1-2 pages, it is probably not worth it.
  • Only use LoE to explain an issue. Eg. you could not obtain a reference letter on letterhead, could not meet PoF 6 months avg balance, seeking exemption or extension from PCC, or to explain something in your application which is not clear.
  • IRCC Agents do read LoE, but if its too long and not to the point, it loses its importance.
  • You DO NOT need an index for your documents. There are placeholders for the documents just put each document there and when it is stored on the IRCC system it is names and stored in an organized way.


**Guide to Landing and Setteling**
**Proof of Funds**
**Age and EE**
**Stages of EE Application **
**GCMS Notes**
**Keep GCMS Notes Safe**
**Add Spouse to app**
**PNP and its obligations**

All the best!!


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