As a result of Canada’s travel restrictions aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus, foreign nationals can no longer apply for a temporary visa, such as a study permit, work permit or visitor visa, by flagpoling.
Flagpoling refers to a process whereby foreign citizens inside Canada go to the Canada – US border, enter the United States briefly, and then file for a visa upon re-entering Canada.
There are some key advantages to applying for a visa via this method, and each highlights the extra care and attention that must be given to application now that flagpole is not acceptable.
Bypassing Processing Times
When a visa application is filed through the visa office or consulate, processing times can be very long, depending on the type of visa and where the application is lodged.
Contrarily, when you flagpole, your visa application is processed immediately so you normally know the result of your application the same day.
But, because this is no longer possible now, it is essential that visa applications be done correctly the first time. It would be a waste of time to file an application only to discover later that a document was missing or a wrong form was filled out. The additional processing time could have severe consequences in time-sensitive immigration situations.
Easier Application Process
When you flagpole you don’t need to worry about where to file your application, or whether to apply online or on paper. Instead, you present the necessary documents to the immigration officer in front of you, and the visa application is processed right there before you. If there is a document missing or the incorrect fee was paid, the immigration officer can notify you and the error can be rectified quickly.
Now that flagpoling is no longer an option, an unnecessary mistake can cause an application to be delayed. It is important to submit an application to the right visa office in the right manner. Failure to do so could lead to wasted application fees and wasted time, not to mention potential denials or rejection that could have been easily avoided.
You can make explain the contents of your application
When you are flagpoling, you are interacting face to face with an officer. If there are doubts about your eligibility or intentions to apply for a particular visa, these can be discussed with the officer who will decide the outcome of your application.
Without flagpoling there is no opportunity to explain the particulars of an application, nor is there an opportunity to deny a potential motive of refusal put forward by the immigration officer. The understanding and clarification that can be presented via dialogue are lost without that personal interaction.
As it stands now, filing for a visa is a more formal process in which there is less freedom in terms of subjective assessments and the discretion of the officer plays a less important role.
For all the reasons highlighted above, now more than ever it is essential to submit a perfect application. Be as clear as possible as per the satisfaction of the eligibility requirement. Do not create any room for the immigration officer to doubt as to why you want the particular type of visa for which you are filing, or why you are using a particular application method.
Because the application process involves no live interaction, immigration officers are likely to be less forgiving in the consideration of an application. Also, there is far less room for mistakes when completing and submitting these applications.