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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Changes in immigration forms

and supporting documents

by Michael Scott

It does not come as any surprise that things change in the immigration world. How many of you have been required to submit “new” or “updated” forms to IRCC? Changes are not confined to forms alone but also include documentation. In an otherwise quiet summer, unless you are focused on the American presidential race, the commencement of the Olympic games in Brazil, or the world threat of terrorism, it is always a good time to catch up on changes. I shall use this time to inform readers of changes in forms and – for applicants from the Philippines – documentation.

In the first instance the primary form in the sponsorship of family members from abroad, or from inside Canada, there is the Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM1344). Sound familiar? This form is used as part of the sponsorship of family members from outside Canada and well as from inside the country. Yes, it is possible, in certain cases to do one or the other. The IMM1344 was updated just last month, July 2016. This means that anyone submitting a sponsorship application from the date of the change must use the updated version of this form. If you are in doubt about whether or not the form you hold is correct or not, look at the lower left hand corner and check the date. If the date is July 2016 the form is good to go. If not, make sure you use the new form and, yes, it must be submitted with original signatures.

The changes in Canadian immigration forms are only one thing that applicants have to deal with. There is also the documentation from abroad. Way back in December 2013, the Philippines announced that they have merged the National Statistics Office (NSO), National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) and the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BSCB) into the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). All civil registry documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, CENOMAR, and Advisory on Marriages shall be issued under the PSA. We are seeing more evidence of the use of the PSA during the transition period from NSO stamps. Don’t be surprised if you now must provide such documentation. It does not help that Manila still posts specific instructions reference the NSO. If you or your relatives are now obtaining the documentation listed above, try and obtain PSA stamps. There is a chance that the NSO stamps will still be accepted, especially on documents that were stamped before the change of name. Like the change from CIC to IRCC, we have to adjust to using PSA not NSO.

If or when there are further clarifications about this matter I shall report on this. Otherwise if you are doing your own immigration forms, make sure that all the forms you use are current. Look at the checklist and focus on the dates of the form and check these against the dates in the lower left hand corner. If or when the visa section abroad or the processing centres in Mississauga, Sydney, Ottawa or Vegreville request new documentation, the rule of thumb, that I have learned through thirty years of experience, is to give them what they want.

Michael Scott BA (Hon), MA, is a 30-year veteran of Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program who works as an immigration associate with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. (204) 783-7326 or (204) 227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

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