On December 30 2011 Citizenship and Immigration Canada published Operational Bulletin 368. According to the bulletin, all Canadian Experience Class applications must now be submitted to the Centralised Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia. This change became effective on January 1 2012.

On receipt, the CIO will assess each experience class application for completeness. An application must include all of the forms and documents listed in the generic document checklist for experience class applicants in order to be considered complete by the CIO.

If the application is incomplete, the CIO will return the entire application package (including fee payment) to the applicant. For complete applications, the CIO will enter the application information into the Global Case Management System and recover the processing fee. The CIO will then send complete applications to the appropriate visa office for processing; these offices will process the applications according to existing procedures and processing priorities.

Until January 31 2012, all visa offices continued to accept experience class applications filed directly with them; the applications were then forwarded to the CIO. However, as of January 31 2012, all experience class applications filed with visa offices are now returned to the applicant with instructions directing them to submit the application to the CIO.

For further information on this topic please contact Henry J Chang at Blaney McMurtry LLP by telephone (+1 416 593 1221), fax (+1 416 593 5437) or email (hchang@blaney.com).