FAQ   28 comments

Welcome to the FAQ page. This page will grow and grow as more common questions come up!

Q: Ok my application arrived at CIO, now what?
A: Please have a look at the process and timelines pages of this blog for the complete up to date picture of exactly what is happening with Federal Skilled Worker applications after 26 June 2010.

But basically you are now looking at up to 2 weeks for your credit card/bank draft to be charged, and around 4 months to hear from CIO about whether or not you are eligible for processing.

Q: I got my PER from CIO but I can’t check my status online on the CIC website?
A: This is perfectly normal. Even applicants from May and June this year are still unable to check their status online using the ECAS system. It seems that CIO are abandoning the system for new applications.

Ideally this would be fully automated but it seems it’s a manual thing for them to add your details to the system, and a manual process to update it.

UPDATE 22 Jan 2011: CIC are reputed moving fully over to Global Case Management System (GCMS) around April 2011, so I think new applications are now being added to that system rather than ECAS. Whether we are able to access it as early as April 2011 probably depends on CIC workloads/backlog etc.

Q: What’s all this about cap limits? How can I find out if my NOC has reached its limit yet or not?
A: In order to ensure they did not receive more applications than they were able to process, from June 26 2010 CIC introduced cap limits for FSW1 applications. This means that they will only consider 1000 applications for each category, with a total of 20000 applications for FSw1. So once a NOC reaches 1000 they will turn away any further applications for that NOC code until next year (1st July 2011). If the total applications reach 20000 then they will not accept any more FSW1 applications until 1st July 2011.

FSW2 applications (i.e. those with a job offer) are unaffected and are not subject to cap limits.

In order to check the cap limits look at the following page on the CIC website:
They update this approximately once per week.

Q: What’s the deal with police clearance certificates, should we include them with our application or not?
A: Ok, CIO have changed their mind several times regarding police clearance certificates (PCC)
From 26th June to around mid-August – Rules were that you HAD to include your PCC with your application
From mid-August to around mid-November – They changed the rules and asked you not to include it, but wait until visa office requested it later in the process
From mid-November onwards – CIC changed the rules again and are now STRONGLY ADVISING you to include it but you may leave it if you want and wait for visa office to request it

So why now make this optional? PCCs are valid for 12 months. My guess is that CIC seeing that the number of new applications was relatively low compared with last fiscal year are fairly confident that most applications will be finalised within 12 months, and therefore it makes things quicker and easier to include your PCC with your application.

However, for some countries it can take up to 2 months to get the certificates, and some people are “racing” to get their applications in before their NOC category reaches the 1000 cap limit. Therefore, they are making this optional so that applicants from countries which take a long time to get PCC are not unfairly disadvantaged by getting in their application in good time to be within the cap.

So my advice is to include your PCC if you can, but if you see the NOC limit approaching and it’ll take a while to get your PCC, then mail your application without it and the visa office will ask you later in the process to get one.

Posted January 20, 2011 by Wayne

28 responses to “FAQ

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  1. Thanks Wayne

    Its very useful information. I really appreciate your efforts to guide the people who want to migrate.I think after migration you join the Law profession,i hope you will be quite successful in it.
    God Bless

  2. Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for this post. Very helpful! Question though, since the PCC’s are good for one year, does that mean that the NBI clearance from Manila is the same? How about the FBI clearance? I got my NBI and FBI clearances together with my other documents before sending to CIO but did not include them ‘coz I read that it’s ok not to include them and just wait for the VO to ask.

    I should’ve included them in the first place. I’m just afraid that I might have to get them again which will take time. My application reached CIO on July 4, 2011 by the way.


    • Hi, as far as I know all clearance certificates (from any country) CIC view as having a 1 year lifetime. Therefore if they do not finalise your case within a year they will ask for new ones. Usually they will make a call with medical requests – our PCCs were 9 months old when we got medical requests so they asked for new PCCs to be on the safe side. We got our visas 4 days after the original PCCs expired.

      However please note that although they have a 1 year validity, they can be no older than 3 months old when they reach CIC. Really you should have sent them with your original application and probably you would not have had to re-obtain them. As it stands now, you don’t have any way of sending additional documents until your application reaches the visa office. If they are fast with your eligibility review you might just be able to send to visa office once you get your file number (worth a try), but also be prepared that you may have to re-obtain them when visa office ask.

      Best of luck,

  3. Dear Wayne,

    i am sending my application to rich cic intake on date 18/07/2011, how to know cic accepted or reject file , how much take time file transfer to London visa office , i am in Qatar here , what about in future submit any doc . photo copy submit , its should be attested or Notarization or Indian embassy attested , which one accepted,

    how many year pcc required to visa office

    i am apply under noc -8222 supervisor oil gas

    pls give reply



    • Have a look through “The Process” and “Timelines” pages of this blog (linked at the top) – this is why I have written them.

      Generally it’s about 4 to 8 weeks to hear from CIO about your eligibility review, then about 1 month transferring to visa office and you can expect anywhere between 6 and 9 months processing at the visa office. This is very general though – timelines can vary greatly from visa office to visa office and applicant to applicant.

      I am struggling to understand some of your questions about notarization and PCC certificates – but police certificates are valid for 1 year, and must be no older than 3 months old when they reach CIC (CIO or visa office). If the PCC starts to get towards expiry and your case has not been finalised, then the visa office will ask you for new ones.

      Hope this helps.

  4. hi wayne,
    hope ur fine i am new on this forum plz tell that
    Q.No.1 how much time will take london chc for my application it is still RBVO since 30/07/11?
    Q.No.2 I am AEO applicant and my level of english is low (L5.5 R4.5 W5.0 S5.5) is it any problem with my IELTS ?

    • Hi regarding your questions
      1) Hi I get a lot of these types of questions and with respect I am not a psychic and I can’t really predict the future, despite popular belief to the contrary πŸ™‚ Everyone’s application is different. Some people are lucky and get medical requests within a month or two of their application reaching CIO. Others, especially it seems FSW2, have had to wait a while. Some good friends of mine sent their application September 2010, RBVO February 2011 and still they have not had medical requests yet. So it is a matter of luck and patience.

      2) Ok usually as long as you still score 67 points then the IELTS scores aren’t incredibly important. Some professions may require a particular level of score, and also the visa officer can at his/her discretion refuse an application if they believe the low language ability will render the applicant not viable to establish themselves economically in Canada. But in MOST cases as long as you still score 67 points or more, then low-ish IELTS scores are not a problem.

      However, I should warn you that it will not be easy getting a job in Canada if you do not have strong language skills. So even if you manage to get your visa, I would strongly advise working hard to improve your language to give you a better chance of securing a job when you are there.

      Best of luck πŸ™‚

  5. hi & thanks wayne
    for meaning full reply.
    as you know i am fsw2 applicant & i didn’t receive news my status is still rbvo since 30/07/2011 it is almost 100 days. so should i do may i write a letter to chc (London) for delay in process or wait plz give the idea about writing letter to chc

  6. Dear Wayne,

    Our file was received at CIO on August 2, 2011, my husband’s NOC is 3112, VO is Bufallo…Sept. 21 we sent an enquiry on the status and the response was a short note giving us a file application number and that the application is awaiting assessment.
    Yesterday my husband received a check from CIO amounting to the application fee without a letter of explaination whatsoever. We arer very confused and even our agent could not explain why- this is like a refund check for rejected application right?
    Hoping for the best and thank you!!!

    • Hi. Usually a refund check would be after a rejection, but they tend to send a rejection letter first – with the refund following some time later (a few months).

      I would contact CIO – you can send them an onlie query via their website – to clarify what has happened. Usually they would send you a NER (negative eligibility review) if you specified an email address on your application, then they would send you refund to you.

      Have you checked through your junk email to ensure nothing from CIO has been received and junked by mistake?

      Sorry but I think this is most likely rejection.

  7. Been reading your site and yes it is clear that our application did not pass the eligibility review which I have yet to find out why….no correspondence/letter from them and yet we have the refund check on hand already. tsk tsk.
    Thank you for this very informative Wayne!

  8. Yes, Oct. 12 they sent replied to my query regarding the status of our application and even gave us a File number….Nov. 11 we were surprised to receive the check without any message whatsoever….no email was sent coz i check daily… now we are just waiting for them to respond to our query re the check that we received, thanks Wayne!

  9. I applied in May 2011, got my PER in August with an application.\file number. ECAS also revealed application moved to CHC Accra. In November got a mail askiing for additional information, which I compiled and sent by courier with courier tracking confirming delivery in December. 2011. I later discovered that I missed out putting my application number on the parcel of information I sent. I. Am worried as I do not know how this will affect my application, but I have sent a mail to the CHC accra informing them of this mistake.
    What is your take on this and what do you advise I do next. Thanks

    • I think the mail you’ve sent is all you can do, however visa offices are very busy and sometimes won’t even respond.

      The visa office will have opened the package and therefore should be able to ascertain which file it is for as long as the file number is on the documentation inside.

      Best of luck,

  10. Hi Wayne… great posts…. I have a question… My employer refuses to provide me with a letter indicating job roles and responsibilities despite the fact that I have worked for a number of years in the category of NOC code i am willing to apply… is there any other way I can certify my experience – may be a notorized self declaration of my job or something else like that? I am really bummed about this so if you can share something, that’d be really great. Thanks.

    • Regrettably there is really no way you will be able to apply based on a self declaration – CIC simply won’t accept it. If they did, there’d be a lot of applications from people who say “Oh yes, I can confirm I did those duties” without a shred of evidence. Realistically there’s no way they can verify it.

      So you really will need your employer’s co-operation in order to obtain satisfactory work references.

      I would re-visit the issue with your employer, explaining its importance and that you need the reference to emigrate to another country.


  11. Thanks for confirming my doubts Wayne.. I do understand but one of the immigration consultants I spoke to mentioned that if my ex-manager (neither he nor me are with the same company) can confirm these details including roles and responsibilities for the time I worked with him, this will be considered. So essentially, he said that even if the declaration doesn’t come from company but from my ex-manager while we both worked for that company, it is sufficient.Obviously, my ex-manager wouldn’t be able to certify on my company’s letterhead. Any idea about this?

  12. how long it will take to get the approval letter from manitoba embassy after the enquiry of person who is sponsoring

    me. the enquiry has been done on 10-feb-12

  13. Hello Wayne

    I’m new to this forum, and I would like to know more about the Police certificate. It was said earlier that the validity of PER is only 1 year, and I sent my file to Sydney for about 1 year and 1 monthwhich was transferred to the visa office since Geb 2012, I’m waiting for visa from the VO in Nairobi because I’ve done my medical, and the fee was paid, PP sent since september, up to now I haven’t heard from the VO. Are they going to ask me another PER, then?

  14. Hello Wayne,
    Doing a great job. Cant say enough. I have a little query of my own. CHC London has asked for my passport copies( Referred to it as final stage of my case) as they said it is not possible to send original passports from Pakistan to another country. I have to meet the dead line given by CHC but in the letter they also said inform us if your family composition has changed and mine has as I was blessed with a baby girl. I already have informed them about this and asked if I have to stick with same set of instructions as already they have mailed me or a new set of instructions shall be sent. Till date no response from them. Please let me know as time is really short for me. Looking forward for your guidance. Also i am forwarding you the mail send by CHC.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    This is regarding your application for permanent residence in Canada.

    Please be advised that your file has reached the final stage of processing. Attached is the letter requesting copies of your passports. Please read the letter carefully before sending us copies of the passports. We look forward to hearing from you within the next 30 days.

  15. Hello Wayne.

    Your blog is great! I have applied in 2013 for FSW1. Do you know how the cap is counted – i.e. if the application is complete or the count is based on successful PER? Any ideas?

  16. Hi ,

    Can you please help as did for others.

    I got request from Delhi Immigration to undergo medical examination and our family did.In past I stayed in US for 6 months and for the same I have to get PCC from US ( FBI ) according to Canada Immigration policy.

    My deadline for submitting US PCC is 10th Jan and I have applied but difficult to get in stipulated time.

    Can I submit my passports and remaining PCC ( INdia ) to immigration office and request them for submitting my FBI clearance certificate later.Also I have state ( Newyork ) PCC which I will be submitting with the documents.

    In Conclusion , can I submit my document without PCC ( but I have evidence that FBI has receive my fingerprint card)

  17. Hi ,

    Can you please help me

    i have applied for FSW at CHC new delhi from india.

    CHC had asked for Medical examination, PPR, RPRF and PCC in single letter and background declaration from also .
    i have submitted all the documents along with passport to new delhi on 26/05/14.
    also have checked with bank that my RPRF DD has been encased by CHC on 06/05/2014.

    can you please tell me does it mean my visa has been approved ?
    and in how much time i will get it?
    How much is the chances of getting VISA?

  18. Hi correction in date ,

    Can you please help me

    i have applied for FSW at CHC new delhi from india.

    CHC had asked for Medical examination, PPR, RPRF and PCC in single letter and background declaration from also .
    i have submitted all the documents along with passport to new delhi on 26/04/14.
    also have checked with bank that my RPRF DD has been encased by CHC on 06/05/2014.

    can you please tell me does it mean my visa has been approved ?
    and in how much time i will get it?
    How much is the chances of getting VISA?

  19. Hi,
    can you pl. Help me i have applied under code2263 in fsw-2013 program. I have sent my application package on jan 17, 2014 by the time it reach to cic it reached 300 application so till now 6 months are over but i have not recived any feed by or mail from cic i have neither i have got my application back, now cap is opened agine and i want to re apply. Can u pl. Help how i can able to know about my application. I have written emails to stll which are also un answered can you able to help me

  20. Hello Wayne,
    Appreciate your efforts. If you can help me know how CIC verifies the financial proofs submitted by us.Supposedly the FD statement I furnished had been matured or withdrawn afterwards.How this suffices the fund requirements they are asking for?

  21. My partner has a student loan. I have a job offer. I have a lot saved up to prove net worth but my partners student loan puts me considerably under, in fact a – amount. The loan only gets paid back if she earns a certain amount… and in low instalments.

    Please give me some on honesty advise. The immigration is in my name, the loan in hers. Thanks

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