Copy-Pasted from Indira's blog http://indiraprabhakaran.com/blog/THE PROCESS
The processing is done @ 2 different places the CIO in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Visa Offices.
As a rule of thumb, one has to submit ALL the documents specified in the CIO checklist and the Visa Office checklist(these checklists include pretty much everything needed for a PR application to Canada), with the initial application to CIO, NS. One exception to the above may be the PCCs, as they will be asked for later by the corresponding visa office, although it's makes sense to send it together with the initial application.
The below are the different stages of processing for applications received on or after June 26 2010 under FSW.
1. They crack open our couriers and do a initial documentation check for completeness and compliance of the application.
# Check if the application forms are all COMPLETELY FILLED, payments are OK, all required documentation are enclosed.
# Check if we have a valid 1 year experience in the claimed NOC(a part of the 29 occupations list)
# Check the CAP has been reached for that NOC yet.
# They accept the payment as submitted with the application and that's the last stage of the completeness check.
2. If the application passes the completeness check, it's put in the queue for the Eligibility Review. If not they send the application back stating the reason for return.
3. During the Eligibility Review, they check and award points for the 6 selection factors, including Education, Work Experience, Age, Language proficiency, Adaptability, Arranged Employment. In addition to these 6 factors, they check for the proof of funds as per the guidelines. They also do the background check for the above at this point before awarding points(eg, they confirm the Job duties comply with the requirements for that particular NOC and that the experience documents are satisfactory.
4. If the applicant gets 67 points or more, then his/her application will be transferred to the visa office identified by the applicant on the IMM 0008 for a final selection decision'. CIO will send out an email confirming this which will indicate a Positive Final Determination of Eligibility for processing. If the application fails Eligibility review, again CIO sends an email out to confirm the reasons for the same, and that they are initiating a refund of the processing fee.
5. Once an application receives a Positive Final Determination of Eligibility for processing from the CIO, applicants will be able to check the ECAS status of their application. We can use the application number/UCI number/Payment receipt number, all of which we can get from the email that CIO sends out, to check the ECAS status.
6. Once the file reaches the visa offices, the background checks and documentation checks are initiated for the application. They may request for an interview if they are not satisfied with the documentation provided.
7. Most VOs will send out a typical AOR email once they are ready to process that application, while some VOs are sending them out by normal snail mail. For example, New Delhi VO sends them by normal post.
8. The next step is the VO issues medicals, RPRF, PCC and PP requests as appropriate by post. For New Delhi VO, please expect a registered post for the same.
9. By the time the VO receives the medicals results, they would be done with the background checks and they will have initiated the security checks for the application.
10. Once the security checks are through, the passports are stamped and sent out. It is thought that they will also want to have the applicants' passports in their hands before making a final decision.
11. There are certain variations of how the VOs work during the last stages, as to request for the passports, RPRF etc.,(New Delhi would prefer to request all of them(medicals, RPRF, PCC and PP) together in 1 go.
12. All refused skilled worker applicants, including those refused for non-compliance with processing requirements, will be sent or otherwise provided a formal refusal letter. The letter must:
• inform the applicant of the categories or circumstances under which the application was considered;
• provide a listing of the points awarded in respect of each selection factor;
• fully inform the applicant why the application has been refused.