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Agent told me my file is with "BC itinerant services". Is this a good thing?

ybjianada

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07/2021 applicant from Kamloops, BC. So I was speaking to an IRCC agent on a different matter, and I asked her to check which is my processing office. I know there are two in BC: Surrey and Vancouver.

The agent told me that it is "BC Itinerant services" and said that she does not know what that means!

A quick googling of the term "itinerant services" shows this:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/itinerant-services-canada-immigration.html

Itinerant services are used to provide services in the areas where IRCC does not have an office. Services may include:

  • citizenship testing
  • citizenship interviews
  • citizenship ceremonies
  • immigration interviews
  • immigrant landings
  • permanent resident card distribution, etc.
So it seems that "itinerant services" are separate from the existing processing offices (in BC, that would be Surrey and Vancouver).

Has anyone else's file been processed in such itinerant services? And if so, what was the experience like in terms of the speed of processing? Is it better or worse off than having the file processed at the regular processing offices?

Thanks!

====================================================

Ok. I have done some digging. Perhaps I can attempt to answer my own question.
1) Itinerant services are offered at remote locations where IRCC does not have regular, permanent offices. Such services are offered infrequently, often once a year, and lasting 2-4 days per occurrence. Such services are for IRCC-related activities that require in-person attendance such as citizenship tests, ceremonies and hearings.
2) Therefore, related to 1), the speed of processing in such cases will depend on when such services are offered at specific locations.
3) Because the citizenship judges (and other related staff) are only in those locations for 2-4 days, usually, the test and ceremony can be done on the same day to achieve efficiency for itinerant services.
4) As of early 2020, itinerant services have been cancelled. But maybe, the fact that my file has been transferred to "BC itinerary services" means that such services will be resumed (though not sure when). This in turn has to mean that IRCC plans to resume in-person testing and ceremonies (again, not sure when). It would make no logical sense to contemplate/organize itinerant services if the testing and ceremonies were to continue to be conducted online.
 
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dpenabill

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Apr 2, 2010
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You have largely answered your query.

Other than how Covid has affected things (mostly temporary, but a rather long-term temporary at this juncture), itinerant services is very common and, actually, is how citizenship application processing is done for the vast majority of applicants who do not live in or somewhat near one of the larger urban areas.

Been there. Did that. My interview (during a test event, but even back then I was well over the age for which knowledge of Canada is required) was mid-day on a Monday and my oath ceremony was Wednesday morning. That was almost eight months to the day after I mailed in my application (for person sitting next to me during the ceremony, it was just six months). At the time I applied the routine processing timeline was 18 months (but that was for 80 percent of routinely processed applications; lots of evidence that the mean timeline, that is for 50 percent, was closer to 8 to 10 months . . . timelines have almost always varied widely even among those who sent in their applications the same week).

Notice for the oath came the same day as notice of the interview and test (test notice was erroneous as to me, as I was test exempt; IRCC relies rather too much on boilerplate notices), about a week prior to the test/interview, and I also got a telephone call from a processing agent just two days prior to the test/interview (a Saturday morning call). At the interview the interviewer, a processing agent, explained the oath was contingent on approval by a Citizenship Judge (this was before change in law that now allows this decision to be made by a Citizenship Officer) but I should plan to attend unless I was informed otherwise by Tuesday morning.

Not sure, however, about your inferences as to what it means, at least in terms of timing. Very little doubt that IRCC will resume in-person testing and oath ceremonies; open question remains as to when. IRCC has resumed, at least to some extent, in-person interviews.

In the meantime almost every citizenship applicant's processing is bogged down in extraordinarily long processing timelines, and that is on top of the typical variability in processing timelines. So trying to forecast the timing of anyone's particular timeline is, well, a fool's errand.

Further Clarifications Regarding Itinerant Citizenship Services:

Not all itinerant services are created equal. Impact on timeline can depend on the particular location and how often itinerant services are provided in that location.

I live in a city of approximately a hundred thousand that has a substantial immigrant population, so in many years CIC/IRCC would provide itinerant services locally for citizenship applicants at least two times a year, and usually at least three times a year. Which meant that even for applications processed at approximately the same speed, there were four to six month jumps in the timeline, based on the four to six months that would pass from one event until the next time there would be tests and oath ceremonies.

Some locations have far less frequent itinerant services. Some even less often than once a year. So, if processing an individual's citizenship application was still short of scheduling the test at the time itinerant services were being provided at that location, it could be a year or more before the next opportunity to schedule the test and oath.

Impact could be very individual. If, for example, a concern requiring the applicant to present additional documents or information came up during the interview, that would result in canceling the oath for that individual. Here, where I live, that would have meant an additional four to six months, minimum, before the oath could be scheduled, since it would be that long before itinerant services were back in town. Even if the applicant was able to provide the requested material within days.

In a location where a whole year can pass between itinerant services in the location, that would mean an additional year, minimum, before the oath could be scheduled . . . unless the applicant was given a choice to attend an oath ceremony earlier at another location (last I knew, again except for in the times of Covid, IRCC was giving some applicants, in some of the less frequently serviced locations, this choice).

Note that the citizenship application is nonetheless "processed" at the primary local IRCC citizenship office. The "itinerant services" part is about where the in-person events take place, requiring the IRCC personnel in the primary local office to travel to the location where the itinerant services are provided.

I am not sure, but I suspect that the way files or applications are handled at the local office varies some depending on which local office. For example, the Mississauga, Ontario local office is the facility where applications are processed for multiple locations where itinerant services are provided. For some time (I am not familiar with more recent practices) there were separate silos within the Mississauga office for processing applications from the different locations. So, for example, while Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Windsor applicants were all being processed in Mississauga, internal processing in Mississauga for each group was at least somewhat separate (again, I am not familiar with whether this continued right up to Covid, let alone how it is organized for the post-Covid period). It may be different for citizenship applications processed in Calgary and Vancouver, for applicants in locations provided itinerant services by those offices, respectively. The main thing is that the file, the application, is still more or less in and the responsibility of the primary local office, but in-person transactions or events are scheduled for itinerant services in locations some distance from the primary local office.


07/2021 applicant from Kamloops, BC. So I was speaking to an IRCC agent on a different matter, and I asked her to check which is my processing office. I know there are two in BC: Surrey and Vancouver.

The agent told me that it is "BC Itinerant services" and said that she does not know what that means!

A quick googling of the term "itinerant services" shows this:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/itinerant-services-canada-immigration.html


So it seems that "itinerant services" are separate from the existing processing offices (in BC, that would be Surrey and Vancouver).

Has anyone else's file been processed in such itinerant services? And if so, what was the experience like in terms of the speed of processing? Is it better or worse off than having the file processed at the regular processing offices?

Thanks!

====================================================

Ok. I have done some digging. Perhaps I can attempt to answer my own question.
1) Itinerant services are offered at remote locations where IRCC does not have regular, permanent offices. Such services are offered infrequently, often once a year, and lasting 2-4 days per occurrence. Such services are for IRCC-related activities that require in-person attendance such as citizenship tests, ceremonies and hearings.
2) Therefore, related to 1), the speed of processing in such cases will depend on when such services are offered at specific locations.
3) Because the citizenship judges (and other related staff) are only in those locations for 2-4 days, usually, the test and ceremony can be done on the same day to achieve efficiency for itinerant services.
4) As of early 2020, itinerant services have been cancelled. But maybe, the fact that my file has been transferred to "BC itinerary services" means that such services will be resumed (though not sure when). This in turn has to mean that IRCC plans to resume in-person testing and ceremonies (again, not sure when). It would make no logical sense to contemplate/organize itinerant services if the testing and ceremonies were to continue to be conducted online.
 

ybjianada

Hero Member
Sep 6, 2015
435
125
Category........
Visa Office......
Singapore
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
20-01-2016
AOR Received.
20-01-2016
Med's Done....
Passed on 24-01-2016
Passport Req..
06-12-2016
VISA ISSUED...
23-12-2016
Note that the citizenship application is nonetheless "processed" at the primary local IRCC citizenship office. The "itinerant services" part is about where the in-person events take place, requiring the IRCC personnel in the primary local office to travel to the location where the itinerant services are provided.

I am not sure, but I suspect that the way files or applications are handled at the local office varies some depending on which local office. For example, the Mississauga, Ontario local office is the facility where applications are processed for multiple locations where itinerant services are provided. For some time (I am not familiar with more recent practices) there were separate silos within the Mississauga office for processing applications from the different locations. So, for example, while Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Windsor applicants were all being processed in Mississauga, internal processing in Mississauga for each group was at least somewhat separate (again, I am not familiar with whether this continued right up to Covid, let alone how it is organized for the post-Covid period). It may be different for citizenship applications processed in Calgary and Vancouver, for applicants in locations provided itinerant services by those offices, respectively. The main thing is that the file, the application, is still more or less in and the responsibility of the primary local office, but in-person transactions or events are scheduled for itinerant services in locations some distance from the primary local office.
Thanks a lot for your reply! It's informative.

I was wondering about this point as well. If, as the agent told me, my file is with "BC itinerant services", does it mean that my application has already been processed by one of the main processing offices in BC and is deemed ready for the last few steps (test, interview, ceremony)?

Of course, even if that were the case, it is probably nothing to be excited about, as it can be quite some time before the "itinerant services" are actually scheduled.
 

ybjianada

Hero Member
Sep 6, 2015
435
125
Category........
Visa Office......
Singapore
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
20-01-2016
AOR Received.
20-01-2016
Med's Done....
Passed on 24-01-2016
Passport Req..
06-12-2016
VISA ISSUED...
23-12-2016
@ybjianada Did you get your test/Ceremony? If so, How long you waited for your test? Mine is sitting at "BC itinerant Services"
No, I have not received my test invite yet. No updates since November 2021.

Where are you located?
 
 

ybjianada

Hero Member
Sep 6, 2015
435
125
Category........
Visa Office......
Singapore
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
20-01-2016
AOR Received.
20-01-2016
Med's Done....
Passed on 24-01-2016
Passport Req..
06-12-2016
VISA ISSUED...
23-12-2016
Sorry for the late response, I am from Clagary. Originally my file was in Edmonton
That's very strange, that they would assign your file to 'BC itinerant services' considering that you are in Alberta.
 

ybjianada

Hero Member
Sep 6, 2015
435
125
Category........
Visa Office......
Singapore
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
20-01-2016
AOR Received.
20-01-2016
Med's Done....
Passed on 24-01-2016
Passport Req..
06-12-2016
VISA ISSUED...
23-12-2016
I got the test invite last week and completed it a few days ago, It came from Calgary office.
So did I! See the timeline in my signature. I received the invite on the 13th and did the test on the 16th.

However, my test invite came from DNVANBCISTESTS@cic.gc.ca, and I think the "BCIS" part must mean "BC Itinerant Services".

Anyway, my tracker status for the test has not been updated to Completed yet. How about yours?
 
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iceman55

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May 1, 2022
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So did I! See the timeline in my signature. I received the invite on the 13th and did the test on the 16th.

However, my test invite came from DNVANBCISTESTS@cic.gc.ca, and I think the "BCIS" part must mean "BC Itinerant Services".

Anyway, my tracker status for the test has not been updated to Completed yet. How about yours?
My job allows telecommute and I'm planning to move from GTA to a smaller suburb in the West which is not covered by an IRCC main office but by a temporary IRCC office. I'm assuming 'temporary offices' are same as the 'Itinerant Services' based on the discussion in this thread.

Do you have any advice on whether I should stay a little longer in the GTA, submit the application and then move or file the application to the smaller office after moving. I have some flexibility to decide when I can move. I'm a single applicant and planning to apply on paper.

Appreciate any input. Thank you.
 

ybjianada

Hero Member
Sep 6, 2015
435
125
Category........
Visa Office......
Singapore
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
20-01-2016
AOR Received.
20-01-2016
Med's Done....
Passed on 24-01-2016
Passport Req..
06-12-2016
VISA ISSUED...
23-12-2016
My job allows telecommute and I'm planning to move from GTA to a smaller suburb in the West which is not covered by an IRCC main office but by a temporary IRCC office. I'm assuming 'temporary offices' are same as the 'Itinerant Services' based on the discussion in this thread.

Do you have any advice on whether I should stay a little longer in the GTA, submit the application and then move or file the application to the smaller office after moving. I have some flexibility to decide when I can move. I'm a single applicant and planning to apply on paper.

Appreciate any input. Thank you.
Honestly, I can only say that I don't have any useful input about your situation.

I guess you are trying to find out which office is more efficient. Based on my own experience, the BC itinerant services is not all that efficient. I am about 10.5 months into the application. Right now, I have my background check and citizenship test statues as completed. The others are 'not started'.

I ordered my ATIP file (access to information and privacy) from IRCC, and see that the other pre-oath components (prohibitions, residence, language) have a due date in late September 2022. I don't exactly know what that means. Presumably, they will take a look at those components around that date.
 

iceman55

Hero Member
May 1, 2022
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Honestly, I can only say that I don't have any useful input about your situation.

I guess you are trying to find out which office is more efficient. Based on my own experience, the BC itinerant services is not all that efficient. I am about 10.5 months into the application. Right now, I have my background check and citizenship test statues as completed. The others are 'not started'.
Thanks. It's always been very difficult to compare processing times between offices because of the number of variables. GTA seems like it's on the faster side but even they have long wait times for 2020-early 2021 applicants and individual applicants always have varying experiences irrespective of the ircc office location.
Luck appears to be a big factor, any attempt to optimize seems useless.

I ordered my ATIP file (access to information and privacy) from IRCC, and see that the other pre-oath components (prohibitions, residence, language) have a due date in late September 2022. I don't exactly know what that means. Presumably, they will take a look at those components around that date.
From other posts on the forum, I think the due date itself has no practical value but it might have some meaning internally within ircc.