CANADA Online Entry VISA Application Process for Seafarers - Revised Procedures to Obtain Entry Visas for Seafarers for Crew Changes


Crew Change – New VISA Process


Below is the newly revised procedures to obtain entry visas for foreign seafarers in order to allow for crew changes:         

   

Procedure for entry visas:


1. Please note that all crew members will need to apply online to obtain temporary resident visas (TRVs) in order to enter Canada.


2. Once they have applied, they should email IRCC at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca explaining they are members of a crew and ask to be exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

On this site, seafarers need to indicate that their travel is essential (non-discretionary purpose). After following step 1 on the website, they will receive a notification (either via their IRCC Secure Account or email) confirming that their application is approved or refused or requesting more information so that IRCC can make a decision.


3. For any questions, please email: IRCC.IPGVisitorsUnitAdmin-AdminUnitedesVisiteursOPI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca


To apply for a visa for your seafarers you may submit the applications online. To apply online, please refer to this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/account.html.

 

ADVISE FROM:

IRCC-Manila

Embassy of Canada in the Philippines

www.philippines.gc.ca

MANILimmigration@international.gc.ca

·        

Se  Seafarers require a visitor visa ($100 CAD) and not a transit visa.  Please ensure you are applying for the correct visa as application will be cancelled if submitted under the wrong category and without the application fee.

·         Biometrics for seafarer applications will not be collected at this time.

·         Do not submit passports at this time.  We are piloting a new process that will not require passport submission.  Information will be sent as the application nears completion.

 

The following documents/information must be submitted with the application form at the time of online application:

·         Proof of TRV processing fee payment ($100 CAD) for each application.  

·         Letter of invitation (LOI) that indicates the vessel joining details (crew members, positions, duties, name of vessel, port, and estimated date of joining).

·         Copy of seaman booklet and pages of passports with travel stamps/visas and copy of passport biographic page.

·         Completed Use of a Representative [IMM 5476] (PDF, 648.31KB) form for each applicant appointing you/your office as representative.  Please ensure that your email address and phone number as the authorized agent are included on the form.

·         Copy of the flight itinerary:  itinerary should be valid for travel at least five (5) working days from date of application, moreover, itinerary cannot include transit through the United States.

 

Once you have successfully submitted the application online, you must provide us the name of the Seafarers and their application/file number in tabular form via email. Indicate in the subject line the name of the vessel, # of crew, name of your agency and the expected travel date.  (i.e. MV ABCD 11 crew (Eastgate) Sept 1 ).

 

Processing Time:

 

Visa applications for Seafarer are normally processed within 1 week (5 working days) of receipt by our office provided that the application submitted is complete with all the required documents/information.  Incomplete application will cause processing delays.

To further assist you with visa applications for your seafarers and answer frequently asked questions to avoid any unnecessary processing delays, please find attached guide on the application submission process.

 

 SAMPLE PAPER CANADA VISITOR VISA


UPDATE

AUTO-REPLY TO OUR APPEAL FROM: 

COVID-Travel Exemptions / Exemptions de voyage-COVID (IRCC) <IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca>

NEW – Since June 9, you will be exempt from the travel restrictions if entering Canada for a period of at least 15 days to be with an immediate family member who is a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident.  You do not need a written authorization from the Government of Canada.

 

NOUVEAU – Depuis le 9 juin, vous serez exemptés des restrictions de voyage si vous entrez au Canada pendant une période d’au moins 15 jours pour être avec un membre de la famille immédiate qui est citoyen canadien ou résident permanent. Vous n'avez pas besoin d'une autorisation écrite du gouvernement du Canada.

 

UN MESSAGE EN FRANÇAIS SUIVRA.

 

*** This is a copy of an automated reply. ***

 

Good day,

 

This inbox is only for those who:

 

  1. Need to request a written authorization from the Government of Canada to reunite with an immediate family member (residing in Canada and who is NOT a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident) for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose; or
  2. Want to tell us they are exempt from the travel restrictions AND their TRV (visitor visa) application received before April 9 is still in progress AND travelling to Canada for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose.

 

ALL OTHER ENQUIRIES RECEIVED THROUGH THIS INBOX WILL NOT BE ANSWERED.

1. Written authorization from the Government of Canada

Who needs to request a written authorization from this inbox?

1.       You are a foreign national wanting to reunite with an immediate family member residing in Canada that is NOT a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident; and

2.       You hold a valid visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or applied for one before April 9, 2020 and the application is still in progress; and

3.       You are travelling to Canada for an essential purpose.

Who is considered an immediate family member?

Spouse or common law partner, dependent child, dependent child of a dependent child, parents or step parents, guardian or tutor.  

How do I apply for a written authorization letter?

Email us at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca and provide all the following information for you and your immediate family member in Canada:

·         Full name

·         Date of Birth

·         UCI

·         Application Number

·         Passport Number

·         Detailed purpose of travel

·         Proof of relationship with an immediate family member in Canada

·         Proof of immigration status of the immediate family member in Canada

·         Proof of Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization

If you have already submitted an incomplete request but meet the above criteria, please resend all documents and information in a single email.

 

2. Exemptions from the travel restrictions

Who needs to tell this inbox they are exempt from the travel restrictions?

·         You are a foreign national who applied for a visitor visa before April 9, 2020 and the application is still in progress; and

·         You are exempt from the travel restrictions; and

·         You are travelling to Canada for an essential purpose.

Who is exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Canada without written authorization?

·         Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident

·         Temporary foreign worker who has a valid work permit or was approved a work permit

·         Student who has a valid study permit or was approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020

·         Foreign national who is coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from the United States

·         Immediate family member of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, in Canada or abroad.

·         Other exemptions

What to do if I’m exempt and need to apply for a TRV (visitor visa)

·         Starting April 9, you must apply online

·         You must tell us why you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and why you’re travelling for an essential purpose.

·         When answering the question on the application form about the purpose of travel, enter the following information exactly as written to ensure your application is prioritized:

a)      For question 1 a) purpose of travel, choose “other” from the drop-down menu.

b)      For question 1 b) description field, write COVID-19 exactly like this (you must use capital letters).

 

 

For all other information, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html.

 

If you still need assistance, you may submit your question through our webform at https://secure.cic.gc.ca/enquiries-renseignements/canada-case-cas-eng.aspx. Note: If you are submitting your question via the webform and do not already have a UCI, you may enter 00000000 in the webform UCI field.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

UPDATE AFTER FOLLOW-UP (2 DAYS AFTER APPLICATION)

For seafarers who need to travel urgently and are not able to send their passports to the Embassy, we are now issuing foil-less visas to facilitate this travel.

 

What does this mean?

 

  • Do not submit passports to the Embassy.
  • A physical visa will not be issued. 
  • IRCC will issue a visa letter that authorizes the seafarer for one (1) entry to Canada. 
  • Travel to Canada is authorized under the WX-1 category and is for the sole purpose of a seafarer to join a vessel at a Canadian port.  

 

What are the next steps?

 

  • IRCC will issue the visa letter for each seafarer.  This letter will be sent to the agent’s email address acting as the authorized representative (the email address provided on the Use of a Representative form). 
  • Travel on this visa letter has been facilitated based on the travel itinerary or ticket provided with the application.  Please notify us immediately via MANILIMMIGRATION@international.gc.ca if there are any changes as this may cause problems during travel.  Please note that a new visa letter will need to be issued.

 

What documents does the seafarer need when travelling?

 

To facilitate exit from the Philippines and entry into Canada, please ensure your seafarer has his Passport and Seafarer’s booklet along with electronic copies of the following documents that can be displayed on a mobile device (paper is also acceptable):

  • IRCC visa letter
  • Joining letter from vessel agent in Canada (this serves as proof of meeting a travel restriction exemption)
  • POEA registration
  • Philippines manning agency letter



_________________________________

Related News: Coronavirus: Canada Takes Steps To Facilitate Crew Change, Creates New Visa Procedures For Seafarers

Canada Transit Visa - How To Apply


About Canada transit visas

A transit visa is an official document that we put in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements to transit for up to 48 hours through a Canadian airport.

It can be valid for 1 or 2 entries, depending on your travel plans. You must use your transit visa before it expires.


Visitor visa: About the document


A visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that we stick in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.

Most travellers need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need one if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport on your way to your final destination.



For further information. 


This was sent by the Philippine Consulate. 


The Department of Labor and Employment has activated a tracking system called OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) for all overseas Filipino workers intending to return to the Philippines during the Covid-19 pandemic. All Overseas Filipino Workers planning to come home during the pandemic are required to register in the OASIS which may be accessed via oasis.owwa.gov.ph at least five (5) days before the scheduled repatriation. Attached is the process flow to guide the returning seafarers in the on-line registration.

By registering in the OASIS, OFWs are providing necessary information to the Department which will enable us to respond to the OFW concerns and provide appropriate services such as repatriation. testing, quarantine, transportation as we as reintegration and/or re-employment programs. The OASIS forms must be properly accomplished by the seafarers to enable us to provide the necessary assistance. All information that will be provided through the portal shall be used in accordance with the Philippine Data Privacy Act of 2012.

I asked the question:

What if it is not possible to have 5 days to register?  

Answer:       

We were advised that the Philippine Airlines will distribute the OASIS Forms during the flight together with the Customs Declaration Form. If the forms are not made available during the return flight, our seafarers may register at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Desk (OWWA) upon their arrival in Manila.

 

Please also note this website http://balikpinas.ph/ which was sent to me by a company.


Procedure for entry visas:

 

1.       Please note that all crew members will need to apply online to obtain temporary resident visas (TRVs) in order to enter Canada.

 

2.       Once they have applied, they should email IRCC at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca explaining they are members of a crew and ask to be exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions. On this site, seafarers need to indicate that their travel is essential (non-discretionary purpose). After following step 1 on the website, they will receive a notification (either via their IRCC Secure Account or email) confirming that their application is approved or refused or requesting more information so that IRCC can make a decision.

 

3.       For any questions, please email: IRCC.IPGVisitorsUnitAdmin-AdminUnitedesVisiteursOPI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

 

 

Click here to view this circular online  

Circular 020-073                                    Monday, 10 August 2020

Updated Crew Change Visa Application Process

 

We had asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to waive the visa requirement for crew changes, however this is unlikely to happen in the near term. Attached is Transport Canada’s latest guidance for foreign seafarers joining ships at Canadian ports and it reflects a number of improvements that are intended to streamline the process. We continue to work closely with TC and IRCC to improve the system and the feedback and engagement of our membership has been very helpful to improving the system and addressing specific case challenges.

 

For seafarers requiring a Temporary Resident Visa, it is crucial to complete the questions on the online application exactly as described in the attachment. When the “Purpose” section is filled out correctly, the application is flagged for priority processing. IRCC officers are delegated authority to waive the requirement for biometrics in certain instances when attaining them is not possible or problematic because of local circumstances. If you of your crewing departments encounter challenges with this requirement, we highly recommend that you get in touch with the Chamber. In some recent cases, we have worked with TC and IRCC to waive this requirement when there is reasonable justification. It is also important to have a confirmed itinerary and provide updates to IRCC of any changes. Several recent foreign seafarers have been refused boarding of aircraft because their issued itinerary was different from their actual flights.

 

Finally, we have noticed challenges recently with seafarers flying to Canada through the United States. In all three cases, the situation was resolved by the seafarer flying to Seattle and then being driven to the Canadian-US border. In these situations, CBSA officials were provided the details of the seafarer’s arrival in advance, which facilitated unimpeded entry into Canada.

 

Please do hesitate to include the Chamber’s staff in your crew change planning and execution. We appreciate the importance of facilitating crew changes and the associated complexities. 


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