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Changes to Submission of Family Class Applications

Q. What is an up-front medical examination?

A. An up-front medical examination allows applicants (your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent children) to take the medical examination before the applications for sponsorship and permanent residence are submitted to Case Processing Centre (CPC) Mississauga.

With the examinations done at the beginning of the process, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will be able to process the permanent residence application faster.

Q. What are the benefits of the up-front medical examination?

A. When CIC tested the joint application and up-front medical examination process, processing times were reduced by over 50% for routine cases.

Q. Why is CIC changing the way these types of applications are handled?

A. The new application and submission process will make the processing of applications more streamlined and faster. It is the next step in improvements to the processing of sponsorships and permanent residence applications made on behalf of spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children. The first step was the introduction of the joint application kit on June 28th, 2002.

Q. When does this new application process start?

A. The new application process comes into effect February 17, 2003. The new application kits will be available on this Web site and from the Call Centres on this date.

Q. Are all sponsorship and permanent residence applications for spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children automatically subject to the new processing system?

A. No. The new application process is only for spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children applying for permanent residence outside of Canada.

Q. So, what exactly is the entire new process for applying as a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child from outside of Canada?

A. The sponsor will receive the new joint application, including the sponsorship and permanent residence applications, and instructions for completing the medical examination. The sponsor must complete the sponsorship portion and the relative (and the relative's family members) must complete the permanent residence portion.

Once all of the documents have been gathered to support the applications, the relative being sponsored (and the relative's dependent children, if applicable) should contact a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP), which is a doctor who is authorized by CIC to perform the medical examination, to take the medical examination.

After the medical examination is completed, the DMP will give the person examined a document showing that the medical examination has been done. The relative must then send this document (one for each family member) to the sponsor along with the completed permanent residence application and all supporting documents.

The sponsor will put together the permanent residence application, including all supporting documents, the proof that the medical examination has been done, the sponsorship application and the sponsorship documents, and then submits the package to CPC-Mississauga.

CPC-Mississauga will first determine if the sponsor is eligible to sponsor and then will send the permanent residence package by courier to the Visa Office. The Visa Office will then process the permanent residence application. By the time the Visa Office receives the permanent residence application, the medical assessment should also have arrived at the Visa Office--unless there was a medical condition that required further assessment.

The Visa Office will then process the permanent residence application and decide if a permanent resident visa may be issued.

Q. Do I use the new application process if I live in Quebec?

A. Yes. You and your relative will also benefit from the new application process. However, as per the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec has a role in determining the eligibility of sponsors living Quebec. The Quebec process is initiated after CPC-Mississauga has completed its assessment of your ability to meet federal sponsorship requirements. CPC-Mississauga will courier your relative's permanent residence application to the Visa Office and will advise Quebec of the federal decision, so that the Quebec process can be started. If you meet Quebec's eligibility criteria, then the Ministère des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'immigration (MRCI) will issue an Engagement and Certificat de sélection du Quebec (CSQ) to you. A copy of each document will be sent to the Visa Office for inclusion in their process.

Q. Does my spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child, have to do an up-front medical examination?

A. Up-front medical examinations are not mandatory. However, only applications with up-front medical examinations will benefit from quicker processing times.

Q. What happens if the up-front medical examination results expire because of delays?

A. CIC has instituted processing changes and given priority processing to these applications to minimize situations in which medical results will expire before the application process can be completed. In non-routine cases, where the medical results expire, a new medical examination will need to be done.

Note: medical results are valid for one year from the date of the medical examination.

Q. How and when will my spouse and I find out about the results of the medical exam?

A. The results of the medical examination will be sent to the Visa Office that will be processing your spouse's permanent residence application. Therefore, it is very important to correctly fill out the form that starts the medical examination process to ensure that the medical results go to the correct Visa Office.

Q. What happens if my spouse or dependent children fail the medical examination?

A. The Visa Office will advise your spouse or dependent child if they fail the medical examination.

Q. Why are adopted children not included in this initiative?

A. Adopted children are not included in this initiative because there are already priority processing instructions for dealing with these cases, which are working very well.

Q. I recently mailed in an old joint sponsorship application to CPC-Mississauga. What should I do now?

A. You do not have to do anything else unless requested to do so by CPC-Mississauga or the Visa Office. The old application will be accepted by CPC-Mississauga, as the new application will not be available for use until February 17th, 2003.

Q. I have completed and am ready to submit my sponsorship and my common-law partner's permanent residence application, which were done with the old applications. Do I have to get a new kit and do everything all over again?

A. No. If you can submit the complete joint application (sponsorship and permanent residence applications) before February 17th, 2003, you will not have to use the new applications.

Q. Where can I get more information on the new kit?

A. Updates on the new application and submission process will be available on our Web site. However, the new applications will not be available until February 17, 2003. At that time, you may order the applications from the Call Centres or download and print them directly from this site.

Q. Can other people in Family Class (parents, grandparents) get up-front medical examinations too?

A. No. The up-front medical examination process is only available to spouses, common-law partners and dependent children. If any other members of the Family Class (i.e., parents, grandparents) use the up-front medical examination process, the medical results will not be valid and will have to be re-done.

This is because under the new immigration legislation, (IRPA) medical requirements for spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children are different from the medical requirements that must be met for other members of the Family Class.

Q. Will my application be rejected if I do not use the new application?

A. The old applications are to be used until February 17th, 2003. After that date you should use the new applications. There will be a short grace period (until May 30th, 2003) during which CPC-Mississauga will continue to accept applications made on the old forms.

Q. I have just completed the old joint application and am waiting for my spouse to complete and send me the permanent resident portion of the application. Should I tell my spouse not to send it in because there will be a new application kit?

A. If your spouse can complete and return to you the permanent residence portion in time for you to submit it to CPC-Mississauga by February 17th, 2003, you should tell them not to wait for the new application kit. However, if the application cannot be completed in time, your spouse should start gathering all of the documents that are required for the permanent residence application (the documents required to support the application will remain the same) and then use the new application, when it is available.

Please note that the applications will be available on February 17th, 2003, on this Web site and can be downloaded and printed directly by your spouse. However, you may use the receipt that shows proof of payment of the application fees, which you received with your old application, for submission of the new application.

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