The algorithm of a standard application is as follows:
1. Enter the EE pool.
2. Receive the ITA.
3. File application and supporting documents.
4. AoR – Automatically acknowledged, usually on the same day as submission, within a few hours at most.
5. The first step is to check for completeness. This usually triggers the application review “IN PROGRESS.” This is done at the Centralized Intake Office (CIO).
6. Next stage is the R10 review. This is the first stringent check of the application against the EE profile you created.
The Regulation 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations imposes a strict liability on the applicants to account for all documents uploaded, satisfy what was stated in the EE profile, and ensure that there are no gaps.
If you do not provide the documents or they are filed incorrectly, your application can be rejected due to the strict liability on the applicant under this regulation.
However, a lot depends on the agent reviewing the file.
Under the R 10 review your IELTS and ECA are checked against the websites to ensure that there is no misrepresentation. (R10 review is done within the 1-3 months of filing the application). If an applicant’s age has changed from EE profile to ITA, then the same is recorded and his score determined. There is an exception clause for when the age changes, it keeps the CRS score intact. This is also done at the CIO level. Most of the applications are rejected here because they are incomplete.
7. At the R10 review, if you have any documents missing, the application is rejected, or more time is given to file the document if there is a Letter of Explanation (LoE). It largely depends on the agent reviewing it. Some are brutal and will reject the application even for a minor error.
8. Usually, by this stage, the medicals are also passed. Some applicants may receive a request to re-access their medicals when the file reaches the Local Visa Office (LVO). But in most cases, once the medicals are passed, they are good until the final review stage.
9. The next stage is to determine eligibility, i.e. whether the application meets the program prerequisites under which it is filed. For FSW, your experience, letters of reference, education, etc are in order. For the PNP, FSW and your nomination is present, for CEC, your Canadian experience is on file.
The objective here is to review whether you meet the program threshold and what you claim is correct. If there is any suspicion, or things don’t sound good, the agent can send your application for further review. Which includes an interview, additional document request, etc.
If the applicant meets the requirements, and his score is over the cut off for the ITA she received, his eligibility is passed. If there are issues, they will be addressed. This usually happens at the LVO.
This stage happens when the application is usually 4-5 months into the process. At this stage, if the eligibility is met, the chances of refusal go down considerably, unless there is a criminal history.
However, if your score goes down due to CIC not acknowledging your experience, NOC and reference letters not matching, or a change in age, the application is rejected.
10. As soon as the eligibility is met, comes the security and criminality (or background check). Usually the criminality is met through the Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) uploaded with the application.
If the applicant has been to a country which is suspicious, or your travel history does show frequent visits to a country without any explanation, the same are recorded and evaluated.
If things look good, your criminality is passed. A lot of applicants receive a request for Schedule A at this stage to ensure no gap time is present and the history is clear.
11. The last and the final stage is the security. This is a serious & time-consuming stage, involving many agencies, including Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), International Police (INTERPOL), Criminal Database Checking & touching base with Local Police.
Many things are considered here: Number of countries visited, Applicant coming from ‘certain’ countries, past law enforcement or military record, Prolonged stay in a country without sufficient documents to prove cause, frequent traveling to certain nations, your Name (sadly, especially in the current political climate), Inter-Religion/Nationality Marriages, etc.
If everything is simple & straight-forward, the file soon gets into the ‘final review’ stage. If there are any ‘red flags’, the case goes into a ‘spin’. Then the file might go to the local Police/intelligence agencies; the outcome/time frame of which is beyond the control of CIC.
And there the time frame can be anything – sometimes beyond 1 year. But, usually this stage should be over within 1-2 months.
A point to be noted – the applicant can also be called for an Interview at this stage, due to this reason. For some people the security has a quick turn around. But for some, they can be stuck in this stage for months.
12. At the final review, when the security results come in, the PPR is issued.