How to learn what is happening to an immigration application?
Applicants who have submitted an immigration application to any authorities be those either federal immigration authorities or provincial authorities may find themselves wondering what stage their application is at, what are the concerns the authorities may have on their application, when the next step of their application is going to be, etc.
Usually, an application is processed within the processing times that are made available to the public.
The processing times are set to give an applicant an idea when his application may be finalized. However, when an applicant quite naturally wishes to know more about his application and what is going on with it, it is highly recommended to make an access to information request to learn all the particulars of the application processing.
Depending on what authorities the application was submitted to, an access to information request may be submitted to different authorities. In case the application was submitted to the federal agency, for example to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, a request should be sent to the government body administering release of information to a requester that is the Public Rights Administration Division.
The information received upon such a request is often called CAIPS – Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System – and it contains all the details about the submitted application and its processing, what stage it is at, what immigration authorities are about to do, etc. In the event the application was submitted to a provincial body, for example to Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles au Quebec, a request should be submitted to the same body. This kind of request also allows to get the internal information about an application in process or to learn in great details the reasons why it was refused so that an applicant may try to correct mistakes and resubmit an application again.
It is very important to stay informed throughout the whole application process to know what is going on with the application and to be able to take corrective actions if necessary (submit additional documents, give some explanation of events, provide your opinion to have it considered, etc.). For example, the information received from the federal authorities on a Federal Skilled Worker application may shed lights on whether immigration found supporting documents to be credible, how many points were awarded to an application, whether the applicants were found to be medically admissible to Canada or whether security and criminal checks revealed any adverse information, and most importantly what is the next step and the next date immigration officials plan to deal with the application further.
For example, the abbreviation “BFD” – bring forward date - means a reminder to an immigration officer to pull out a file and deal with it and that usually means some new development on the case and hopefully good news for the applicants.