CIC gives you 30 days to submit your documents and passports once they send you the PPR (Passport Request) email (Subject line on the email: Ready for Visa).
As stated previously, for some reason, the email stated that we needed to submit our passports and photos to the London, UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). Now, I don’t know why this happend, but I wasn’t taking chances of us missing the deadline, or sending the passports to or through the wrong VAC.
On Tuesday, I searched online (specifically the CanadaVisa forum), and voila!, I came across another applicant with a similar issue. He did what I was planning to do – went to his local VAC office and submitted his passport there, and he did not have any issues regarding the issuance of his visa and having his passport returned to him correctly. This gave me some hope that the course I had planned on for the next day was the correct one.
VFS Global in Dubai is one of the designated VACs in UAE for Canadian Visas, and this is where we had gone back in October to give our biometrics. Their other office is based in Abu Dhabi.
The address in Dubai is (for anyone who needs it):
Canada Visa Application Centre
Wafi Mall, 3rd Floor, Falcon, Phase 2
Umm Hurair 2 – Dubai – UAE
The documents we needed to submit through VFS Global are:
- Passport Request Letter from IRCC – print out the email/PDF and fill out Appendix A – Updated information chart. The information required here is: Surname and first name as stated in passport, passport number, date of passport expiry, height in cm, eye colour as per the chart provided, and Native language.
- Passport(s) – of the Principal Applicant and accompanying spouse and any children. The passport(s) must be valid for at least 12 months and have a minimum of 2 blank pages available in it.
- Photos – x2 for each person mentioned in the application. The exact specifications can be found here. Luckily, Z and I still had photos left over from when we submitted our PR application, so no need to go and take more photos for us. 🙂
- VAC Consent Form – I received this at the VFS Global office, and only had to fill in and sign the 2nd page as the principal applicant. You can download the consent form here.
- VAC process fees – for passport transmission to the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Ours came to 206 AED each. Please note: they only accept CASH or a Bank draft if you submit in person, so make sure you have that on hand when you go. You can check the breakdown for the fees here.
- Contact information – email address, phone number and return address written on a separate sheet of paper.
So as planned, on Wednesday I went to the VFS Global Dubai offices with the first 3 of the required documents (PPR letter, passports and photos). As it was pretty early in the morning (they open at 9 am), there were not many people at the office at the time. There was only one person before me in the initial queue.
Now, before you are allowed into the offices, you have to go through a security check. Although they allowed me to take my handbag in after checking it, I had to give up the USB I had in my bag and get a token to collect it again when I left. Not really sure why the USB is not allowed, but eh, those are the rules.
When I got to the Canadian Visa counter, I explained to the officials that I had received the PPR letter, but that it stated that I needed to submit my passports through the London VAC. They alleviated my fears immediately, stating there was no need to worry about that, as it simply meant that my application had been processed at the London CIO, and that I could definitely submit our passports at the Dubai VAC for processing.
Oh, the relief! Alhumdulillah! It was like a heavy weight had been lifted off my shoulders. What a good thing I had come prepared to submit the passports.
They gave a ticket and directed me to the inner office where I had to submit the passports and other documents. There were about 10/12 other people there at the time, but my ticket number was called within about 5-7 minutes of waiting.
Once I was at the counter, the official checked my IRCC Passport Request letter, and then gave me the VAC consent form and a separate paper to fill out with my details and sign. He then took all my documents and the processing fees (412 AED in total), and gave me the receipt for them, containing the tracking numbers for the passports. According to him, the passports should be processed and ready for collection within 2 weeks, or at most a month.
And that was it.
It’s au revoir! to our passports for now, with the eager hope that in Sha Allah we will have them back in hand soon, with the beautiful Canadian PR visa stamps on them.
Here is our timeline from the beginning until now:
- NBPNP EOI: 1 May 2018
- NBPNP ITA: 11 June 2018
- NBPNP AOR: 26 June 2018
- NBPNP Nomination: 20 July 2018
- CIC ITA: 25 July 2018
- CIC AOR: 10 September 2018
- CIC MEP: 5 October 2018
- CIC RPRF Request: 8 November 2018
- Ghost Update: 25 November 2018
- CIC PPR Letter: 14 January 2019
- Passports Submitted: 16 January 2019
- Visa Received: Soon, in Sha Allah
Keeping faith, trusting in Allah’s plans for us, and looking forward to planning for our big move to the Country of Maple Leaves in the coming year, in Sha Allah!