console embassy immigrationA key player in obtaining a visa to Canada is often a consular office or Embassy of a country.  The consular office of importance is often the one corresponding to your own country of citizenship, or of a country you resided in for more than six months.

Your own consulate would have to be contacted if your passport has expired because Canada’s immigration department won’t (in most cases) issue you a visa if the validity  on your passport is less than six months in duration.

Aside from passport issues, a consulate may have to be contacted for a police clearance, showing you have had no adverse criminal history when residing in a country other than your home country. General instructions for a police clearance are provided by CIC.  However, consulates can be peculiar entities.  Many consulates are characterized by truncated hours of operation, indifferent or a small number of staff, and additional requirements  that are not always revealed in a timely way.   This may make obtaining the required document, be it a police clearance, or new passport, a difficult endeavor.

For example, some countries’ consulates will not issue a police check if there was an immigration/visa violation committed in that country.  This may even apply to a relatively minor violation such as overstaying on a visitor visa for a few days.  In those circumstances the consulate might refer you to a police or other government department within the country you visited.  This may necessitate your obtaining a third party such as a lawyer or attorney to make enquiries within the country, if not physically travelling to the country to deal with the matter yourself.

Consulates from certain countries, for example, Saudi Arabia, expressly provide no venue through which an applicant can approach said consulate for a police clearance. Rather, an official letter must be issued from the Canadian immigration department addressed to the Saudi authorities,  specifically requesting a police clearance.

Some consulates won’t issue passports if you have made a refugee claim or if you are of a certain religious or ethnic minority within your country of citizenship, such an Ahmadiyya Muslim in Pakistan.  The failure to possess a passport makes Canadian visa issuance extremely difficult.

In such circumstances, an immigration lawyer in Canada may be retained to deal with matters such as requesting a waiver of a passport, or providing advice about what alternative steps may be taken to deal with an outstanding police clearance.   Feel free to contact Toronto immigration lawyer Max Chaudhary of Chaudhary Law office in such matters.


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