OTTAWA, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT
Notice is hereby given, under subsection 87.3(6) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has made the following Ministerial Instructions that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada. The Instructions are consistent with the IRPA objectives as laid out in section 3 of the Act and are compliant with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Authority for these Ministerial Instructions is pursuant to section 87.3 of the IRPA. Instructions are directed to officers who are charged with handling and/or reviewing applications for permanent or temporary visas to enter Canada.
These Instructions do not affect the authorities where it is justified in the circumstances to give discretionary relief facilitating entry to Canada.
Recognizing that there is an outbreak of a communicable disease in several regions of West Africa;
Recognizing also that the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada;
Recognizing also that the entry into Canada of persons who have recently been in those regions may introduce or contribute to the spread of the disease in Canada; and
Noting that the IRPA objectives as laid out in section 3 of the Act provide that one of the objectives with respect to immigration is to protect the health and safety of Canadians:
These Instructions are made in order to assist in the prevention of the transmission and spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in Canada.
Scope and application
These Instructions will come into force on October 31, 2014 and apply to pending applications (applications received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada [CIC] before the coming into force of the Instructions, and in respect of which a final decision has not been made) and new applications received by CIC offices on or after October 31, 2014.
Any categories for which Instructions are not specifically issued, including visa-exempt foreign nationals and applicants who have not travelled to Ebola affected countries, shall continue to be processed in the usual manner.
For further clarity, these Instructions do not have any effect on holders of valid visas, protected persons, permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
Ebola affected country
For the purpose of these Instructions, “Ebola affected country” shall refer to countries identified by the World Health Organization as having widespread and persistent/intense transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease.
Applications for temporary residence
CIC will not process new visa applications nor continue to process pending visa applications for temporary residence in the worker, student or visitor class of foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola affected country (which includes having resided, travelled or transited), within three months prior to the date the application is received by CIC.
CIC will not process new visa applications nor continue to process pending visa applications from foreign nationals who are intending to travel to an Ebola affected country.
These Instructions do not apply to renewals, extensions, and restorations of temporary resident status of foreign nationals who are in Canada at the time of application and at the time of decision on renewal, extension, and restoration.
Applications for permanent residence
CIC will not process new permanent resident visa applications made by foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola affected country (which includes having resided, travelled or transited) within three months prior to the date the application is received by CIC.
These Instructions do not apply to applications from foreign nationals with valid temporary resident status applying for permanent residence while in Canada.
In order for an officer to issue an approval (final positive decision) of a pending permanent residence visa application, the officer must be satisfied that the applicant has not been in an Ebola affected country (which includes having resided, travelled or transited) in the three-month period prior to the issuance of a visa or other document under section 11 of IRPA.
Foreign nationals with new visa applications or pending visa applications for temporary residence who do not qualify for processing shall be informed that their application will not be processed and their processing fees shall be returned.
Foreign nationals with new visa applications for permanent residence who do not qualify for processing shall be informed that their application will not be processed and their processing fees shall be returned.
Pending permanent residence visa applications affected by these Instructions shall be retained.