Montreal, April 3, 2009 — As of March 31, Lebanese nationals applying to immigrate to Canada may select the visa office in Beirut, Lebanon, as their main point of service, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“This change follows up on last year’s announcement, which gave immigration applicants from Lebanon the option to have their interviews conducted in their own country rather than have to travel to Syria,” said Minister Kenney. “That was a first step. We have now expanded the services offered in Beirut to provide citizens of Lebanon access to all visitor and immigration services.”
Until this change was made on March 31, 2009, Beirut’s visa office only processed temporary residence applications (temporary resident visas, students and temporary workers).
As of March 31, most permanent residence applicants living in Lebanon now have the choice to either be served by the visa office in Beirut, Lebanon, or in Damascus, Syria, as their main point of contact.
Federal Skilled Worker applicants will need to submit their application elsewhere – to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is the process for all applicants in this class.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring their family will continue to send their applications to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. On their application form, they will be able to select the office in Beirut as their primary point of service.
“People in Canada wanting to sponsor relatives in Lebanon can rest assured that their family members will now be able to receive immigration services from the visa office in their home country,” said Minister Kenney.
The visa office in Beirut will receive applications, collect fees, reply to inquiries, provide visas and return other documents to applicants. Two additional locally engaged staff members will be added to accommodate this service expansion.
Applicants requiring an interview can continue to choose whether to be interviewed in Damascus or Beirut. As is currently the case, immigration officers will travel from Damascus to Beirut to conduct the interviews.
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