Sharing some useful info here:
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 – These are 4 CPCs in Canada
CPC in Edmonton
The case processing centre in Edmonton processes:
extensions for temporary resident status and temporary resident permits
work and study permits
applications for permanent residence from protected persons and convention refugees in Canada
applications for permanent residence for live-in caregivers
applications for permanent residence under Caring for Children and Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathways
applications for permenent residence under the temporary resident permit holder class
loans for the right of permanent residence fee
CPC in Mississauga
The case processing centre in Mississauga processes applications to sponsor family members living in Canada and abroad.
CPC and CIO in Sydney
The CPC in Sydney processes:
applications for permanent resident cards (new and renewals)
citizenship applications (new, renouncing, revoking and resuming)
The centralized intake office in Sydney (CIO-S) receives all applications in the following categories:
Federal Skilled Worker
Federal Skilled Trades
Canadian Experience Class
Provincial Nominee Program
Quebec Investors or Entrepreneurs
Quebec Skilled Workers
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Class
Federal Self-Employed Persons and Quebec Selected Self-Employed Persons
CPC in Ottawa
The case processing centre office in Ottawa (CPC-O) processes:
visitor visa (temporary resident visa) applications from within Canada for applicants with valid status (students or temporary foreign workers only).
permanent resident visa applications from the United States and Canada, after they have been received and deemed complete by CPC-M or CIO-S.
OSC in Ottawa
The Operations Support Centre (OSC) processes the following applications:
International Experience Canada work permits
In-Canada temporary resident applications submitted online
Verification of Status (VOS)
Replacement of valid temporary resident documents
Amendment of immigration documents and of valid temporary resident documents
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.
SOME USEFUL LINKS:
**Guide to Landing and Setteling** – https://goo.gl/8vQzcd
**Proof of Funds** – https://goo.gl/mPejMN
**Medicals** – https://goo.gl/Xpmj5e
**Age and EE** – https://goo.gl/u8bqAU
**Stages of EE Application ** – https://goo.gl/AmdtgR
**GCMS Notes** – https://goo.gl/Jhk1Un
**Keep GCMS Notes Safe** – https://goo.gl/97J7AT
**Add Spouse to app** – https://goo.gl/ZgRP6C
**PNP and its obligations** – https://goo.gl/XUva1e
All the best!!
THESE ARE MY VIEWS AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THESE. IF YOU HAVE CONTRARY VIEWS, JUST IGNORE IT AND DO WHAT YOUR CONSULTANT ASKED YOU, OR WHAT YOU DEEM FIT.