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CIC announces new bar-coded temporary resident visa application form

On March 27, 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) began testing its Application Form for a Temporary Resident Visa [IMM 5257B Pilot Project] and its accompanying Schedule 1 at select overseas missions. However, this application form could not be saved electronically and the information on the form could not be scanned into existing CIC systems.


As CIC’s Global Case Management System (“GCMS”) is deploying this year to extend case processing capabilities overseas, a new Temporary Resident Visa (“TRV”) application form is being implemented. Bar codes have been created on the TRV application form to facilitate data entry into GCMS.

This new TRV application form is the first electronic application form for overseas applicants which can now be saved electronically by the applicant. Once the new TRV application form has been successfully implemented, the student and worker application forms will be next, followed by other lines of business.

The implementation of this new TRV application form mirrors similar efforts by the U.S. Department of State, which initially implemented a bar-coded Form DS-156 for visa applications. It later implemented a web-based online Form DS-160 to replace Form DS-156, although Form DS-160 continues to suffer from bugs and is frustrating to complete.

Effective October 14, 2010, a new Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form, the corresponding Instruction Guide [IMM 5256], Family Information [IMM 5645] form, Schedule 1 [IMM 5257-Schedule 1] and Document Checklist [IMM 5484] will be made available to all clients. Each individual applicant must complete and sign the new Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. This means that Principal Applicants can no longer complete an application form on behalf of all accompanying family members. Consequently, each applicant aged 18 and over must complete and sign their respective application form (i.e., a family of three will submit three individual forms). Those applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent or a guardian sign on their behalf. All family members must be indicated on the new Family Information [IMM 5645] application form. This form must be completed by all applicants aged 18 and over who are travelling to Canada and who require a TRV.

The new TRV application form must be accessed electronically and applicants can save a partially completed application form. To assist applicants to accurately complete the new IMM 5257, they will be prompted electronically as they complete the new TRV application form.

The new TRV application form facilitates data entry into GCMS by incorporating barcodes which will be generated when applicants complete their form electronically. The barcodes will only appear on the IMM 5257 application form once all required information has been correctly completed and the validate button (located at the top and bottom of the application form) has been pressed. The barcodes, which will print on the last page of the form, will contain all of the data entered by the applicant, and may be scanned for direct upload into GCMS.

Henry Chang
Blaney McMurtry LLP

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Henry J. Chang, Dentons LLP

Corporate immigration lawyer at Dentons LLP
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the firm’s Employment and Labor Group. He currently practices in the areas of Canadian and United States business immigration law, international business law, and cannabis law. Read more
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