Help Improve IRCC Express Entry PR Application Processing Time at London Visa Office
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We are a group of potential immigrants to Canada based on economic programs such as Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) with our Express Entry (EE) application files transferred to the Canadian visa office in London, United Kingdom, based on our nationalities and countries of residence. We have some concerns about our EE applications, which are currently being processed at the London visa office and these concerns are explained as follows.
Firstly, according to IRCC, the processing time for complete EE applications is six months or less for 80% of cases. However, we have noticed that whereas many other IRCC’s local visa offices, such as New Delhi and Singapore visa offices, process most of the EE applications within this timeframe, London office is lagging far behind the rest of the visa offices. For instance, while New Delhi and Singapore visa offices have cleared most of their EE applications for May to September 2017 and have already commenced processing October and November 2017 PNP and FSW applications, London office still has a huge backlog of PNP and FSW applications for April to September 2017. Although most of our colleagues, whose applications were submitted around the same time as ours and their files were subsequently processed at these other efficient visa offices, have received their confirmation of permanent residency, most of our EE applications from April to September are still awaiting processing at London office. The EE application processing is usually completed after 6 months at London visa office, and in fact, we still have many April-July applications currently awaiting processing at this office.
Secondly, we have observed that London visa office does not follow IRCC’s best practice of processing EE applications sequentially for each application category but instead, pick applications at random for processing. For instance, while many June and July 2017 PNP and FSW applications are still in long queues awaiting processing, London office has already commenced processing some October 2017 FSW applications. This haphazard manner of processing our applications deviates greatly from the best practice adopted by IRCC’s Central Intake and other local visa offices. For example, the Central Intake Office does not skip older applications for newer ones, rather, the office processes applications as they are submitted by primary applicants with earlier applications under a specific category processed before later ones. Moreover, the New Delhi office cleared August PNP applications before processing September PNP applications. This is also the trend with Singapore office and virtually all IRCC's visa offices except London office. This unfair practice adopted by London office introduces high uncertainty for many of us. As more applications are submitted, our waiting time increases as many older applications are abandoned for the newer ones and many of us are unable to timely join our families and friends in Canada in spite of submitting our applications much earlier.
Lastly, we have noted that the London office has recently started a practice of requesting for re-submission of documents which were previously submitted along with our electronic application for permanent resident. Such a practice also contrasts with the way of working in other IRCC's visa offices and, no doubt, further delays the entire EE application processing.
In summary, we are very dissatisfied with the inefficient and haphazard manners in which our EE applications across PNP and FSW categories, are being processed at the London visa office, and therefore, humbly request for your urgent intervention for a solution to address our concerns. Towards achieving improvement in our immigration services experiences, we have provided the following recommendations for your consideration:
- Speedy processing of all our 2017 Express Entry applications at London visa office
- Our applications should be selected for processing as they are submitted or transferred to London visa office
- Both PNP and FSW applications should be treated with equal priority
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