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What does that mean background check?

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raincouver View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 3:27pm
Today I call CIC and ask if they have received the RCMP fingerprint verification report. the agent confirms that and says that CIC is doing background check. After the background check is done, they will send the test invitation letter to me. 

Does anyone know how long would be the background check before receiving the test invitation? What is the background check for? 
citizenship application received (December 2012); In Process (March 2013);
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EasyRider View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EasyRider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 3:57pm
Nobody knows how long it will take, for the majority of applicants all checks are straightforward and done in mere days/weeks, but some do get stuck on some of the checks, supposedly mostly on CSIS check. It can take months in such cases.

Someone posted GCMS/ATIP excerpt, so you can see there are 3 different types of checks here, but the issue with CSIS check is that it's completion date and status are secret and not disclosed, making it harder to figure out what's going on. But if every other check is complete, it's likely a CSIS clearance that is holding the case.

3
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: BLANK
Type: CSIS Clearance
Status: BLANK

3.1
Created Date: BLANK
Updated Date: BLANK
Type: Request Security Clearance
Status: BLANK

4
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: August 2013
Type: FOSS Clearance
Status: Passed

4.1
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: August 2013
Type: Request Immigration Clearance
Status: Passed

5
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: September 2013
Type: RCMP Clearance
Status: Passed

5.1
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: September 2013
Type: Request Criminal Clearance
Status: Passed
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raincouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raincouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 7:11pm
Originally posted by EasyRider EasyRider wrote:

Nobody knows how long it will take, for the majority of applicants all checks are straightforward and done in mere days/weeks, but some do get stuck on some of the checks, supposedly mostly on CSIS check. It can take months in such cases.

Someone posted GCMS/ATIP excerpt, so you can see there are 3 different types of checks here, but the issue with CSIS check is that it's completion date and status are secret and not disclosed, making it harder to figure out what's going on. But if every other check is complete, it's likely a CSIS clearance that is holding the case.

3
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: BLANK
Type: CSIS Clearance
Status: BLANK

3.1
Created Date: BLANK
Updated Date: BLANK
Type: Request Security Clearance
Status: BLANK

4
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: August 2013
Type: FOSS Clearance
Status: Passed

4.1
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: August 2013
Type: Request Immigration Clearance
Status: Passed

5
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: September 2013
Type: RCMP Clearance
Status: Passed

5.1
Created Date: August 2013
Updated Date: September 2013
Type: Request Criminal Clearance
Status: Passed

Thanks a lot, easyrider. 
citizenship application received (December 2012); In Process (March 2013);
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Chatham2008 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chatham2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 9:09pm
Hi raincouver,

Did you do your fingerprints electronically, and after how long you called CIC to confirm?

I have been asked for fingerprint too. 

My timeline is;

Sent Application : Feb 13 2013
In process: April 10 2013

Requested for Fingerprint Dec 10 and submitted fingerprints electronically on Dec 11

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fedup2013 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 9:49pm
Chatham2008,

What is your local CIC office?
If you don't know, can you mention the city or nearest city you live in?

Thanks,

Simon
Landed Immigrant: Oct 2009
Sent Application: Mar 2013
In-process: Jun 2013
Received Letter: Jul 2013
File transferred to Mississauga Office: 15 Aug 2013
Written Test: 18 Jan 2014
Oath : 23 Jan 2014
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raincouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raincouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by Chatham2008 Chatham2008 wrote:

Hi raincouver,

Did you do your fingerprints electronically, and after how long you called CIC to confirm?

I have been asked for fingerprint too. 

My timeline is;

Sent Application : Feb 13 2013
In process: April 10 2013

Requested for Fingerprint Dec 10 and submitted fingerprints electronically on Dec 11

Thanks

Yes, I did my fingerprint in November. Today I called CIC and got their confirmation.
citizenship application received (December 2012); In Process (March 2013);
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chatham2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2013 at 10:53pm
My local office is St.Clair 

I live in Chatham, ON 

I feel my file should have gone either to London or Windsor local office as they are closer to me then St Clair office in Toronto.


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dpenabill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dpenabill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2013 at 3:54am



Regarding Background Checks: Clearances

Overall, generally, most applicants are not likely to encounter any more than minimal delays due to background clearances. Some will, most will not.


There are three formal clearances (background checks) required for grant citizenship applicants.

These are: GCMS; RCMP; and CSIS

They are essentially, respectively:

GCMS: immigration (confirmation of status and admissibility)

RCMP: criminal background, which can be more robust than just the name-record criminal history check, which probably means it can involve queries beyond arrest and disposition records, such as into whether any law enforcement body is conducting an investigation or the individual is a suspect or has known connections to those known to be involved in criminality (the name-record criminal history check is done periodically throughout the process, and is similar to one often conducted during any secondary examination at a POE, and it is mostly a query run against an arrest and dispositions database based on individual's name and date-of-birth)

CSIS: security background (while obviously the scope of this is not public information, it is readily recognized that it at least involves queries into intelligence sourced databases, and other government security databases, which might reveal activity or ties related to organized crime, terrorist organizations, suspect military history)

These clearances are all requested by CPC-Sydney upon the application being placed "in process." The RCMP and CSIS requests are done by referral to, obviously, the RCMP and CSIS. (Thus, the RCMP and CSIS clearances are not done by CIC, but by referral to the respective government body.)

Previously, for sure, and probably still the case, the fact that clearances are outstanding does not preclude the application moving to the next step in the process until the test/interview step. It appears clear, though, that any outstanding clearance will delay scheduling the test/interview; note that other participants have recently reported receiving letters specifically indicating their scheduling for the test/interview "may be delayed if security, criminal and immigration background checks are not complete."

In this regard, however, there may be a difference between whether the original clearance, in response to the referral from CPC-Sydney, is complete, in contrast to an expired clearance which is in need of an update.

For sure, clearances will be need to be current, and thus those expired need to be updated, before the oath will be scheduled.



Updating Clearances

Where the required clearances have been obtained, and are part of the file, the process for updating expired clearances should not involve much of a delay to further processing unless there has been something which triggers a more extensive check since the original one. The referrals for updated clearances are done in batches, up to one hundred applicants in a single referral, and the process appears to be largely perfunctory.

The problem for some applicants, as alluded to by EasyRider, is that it is very difficult to ascertain whether the original CSIS (security) clearance has been obtained. When CIC refers to possible delays if "clearances . . . are not complete" they do not distinguish between an original clearance still being outstanding (not obtained) versus the need to update one that has expired.

Most applicants have little reason to anticipate the background checks will cause much of a delay, at least not those whose cases are approaching a year old or older. Even if the clearances are expired, again the updating process appears to be (for most, not all) somewhat perfunctory, particularly if nothing has changed (no problematic POE encounters, no criminal investigation or charges, no travel to areas of the world tending to raise security issues). Applicants are aware what has been happening in their life and thus most should easily discern if there is much of a chance that an admissibility, criminal, or security concern might be lurking when the respective agency does the background update. (Applicants who have recently traveled to Yemen, for example, might anticipate there could be some delay in updating their CSIS clearance; the applicant who has a former roommate or business associate who has ended up on a no-fly list, anticipate a delay; and so on.)

Some applicants will suffer delays related to the RCMP or CSIS background checks. And, again, it is difficult to know if the original CSIS clearance has been completed or not, and it appears that for some this can be outstanding for quite some time, as in years. This is an area that CIC is most secretive about and CSIS is even more secretive, but my sense is that the delays, if there is one (again, this only affects some applicants, probably not a large number), are often related to CSIS making a referral to an overseas office for further inquiry, and the delays derived from that . . . whether a referral to a non-Canadian government body is involved, and thus there is no control on compelling a timely response, is not clear but seems to be a likely suspect.


The main take-away, though, is that for the large majority of applicants, particularly those for whom there was no delay involved in obtaining the security clearance in their original PR application process, by the time they are a year into the process all the clearances should be initially complete, so only an update of expired clearances would need to be made before proceeding to the test or oath, and those are routinely done in batch-processing, so usually (which is not always) this is not something which delays things much at all. (Although, I suppose by the time a year and a half has slipped into the past, another two months or so may seem like a significant delay.)    



Bureaucracy is what bureaucracy does, or When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions.



BTW: Not an expert, not a Can. lawyer, never worked in immigration
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raincouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raincouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2013 at 1:59pm
wow, thanks for the detail.
citizenship application received (December 2012); In Process (March 2013);
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raincouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raincouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Dec 2013 at 3:24pm

I just called CIC today and asked if the background check is the security background check done by CSIS. The agent confirmed that CIC has received the verification report from RCMP after I done the electronic fingerprint. She said that my security background check has already been done before and CIC now sent my fingerprint to the agency who will do the background check for other things. When CIC receives the report from the agency, they will schedule the test for me. so it is the last step before the test.

Does anyone know what the other things mean? and how long it will take?
citizenship application received (December 2012); In Process (March 2013);
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