Canada Shutting Down Borders amid COVID-19
The Prime Minister of Canada delivered travel updates on March 16th, 2020, which include:
Borders are closing to those who are not citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.
There are designated exceptions: aircrews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canada citizens, and U.S. Citizens
Airlines will ban all travellers with symptoms from boarding planes. Anyone who has symptoms will not be able to come to Canada.
Only 4 Canadian airports will be accepting international flights as of March 18th, 2020
The Canadian Government also released new program instructions for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). These instructions outline new procedures for temporary and permanent residence and citizenship applications in Canada amid the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
General Processing Measures for COVID-19
All applications currently in process in IRCC offices abroad, at Case Processing Centres, and within the Domestic Network will continue to be processed but they may experience delays.
Expedited Processing for Immigration Applications (COVID-19)
Immigration Canada has stated that at this time, no significant expedited processing requirement is foreseen. However, Calver and Associates will monitor this and update you should any changes arise.
Extended Time Allowances for Additional Documents
Immigration officers are extending the 30-day requirement for applicants to submit additional documentation with their application. Additional documentation includes police certificates, biometrics, passports, and medical examinations.
What you need to know:
Officers will send a request letter and allow 90 days for the applicant to respond;
If a request for additional documentation was sent but the applicant was unable to comply within the deadline, officers will allow an additional 90 days for the applicant to respond;
The Biometrics Instruction will still advise applicants to submit biometrics within 30 days, however, applicants will be allowed 90 days to submit biometrics
Citizenship: COVID-19 Program Delivery Update
Officers will reschedule appointments for Canadian citizenship applicants who will miss knowledge tests, retests, interviews, hearings, or oath ceremonies. They will be sent a new notice to appear and it will be treated as the first notice.
Temporary residence: COVID-19 Program Delivery
Foreign nationals who are in Canada and whose temporary resident status may soon expire may apply for an extension online. They must still meet all requirements, including associated fees. There is no fee waiver for any temporary residence applications or extensions.
Foreign nationals who have an extension application currently in progress will benefit from implied status and may remain in Canada until a decision is made regarding their application.
Foreign nationals whose temporary resident status has expired may apply for restoration. They must still meet the eligibility requirements and pay the associated fees.
Permanent residence: COVID-19 Program Delivery
IRCC will continue to accept permanent residence applications. Files that are incomplete due to unavailable documentation will be kept in the system and reviewed for 90 days. This allows applicants additional time to obtain documents. Complete permanent residence applications will be processed as per normal procedures.
If a new application is missing supporting documentation, IRCC asks applicants to include an explanation with their application that they are affected by the service disruptions as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The application may be promoted and reviewed in 90 days. Incomplete applications that are not accompanied by a letter of explanation may be rejected.
If a permanent residence application remains incomplete for 60 days, the officer will request missing documents and issue an additional 90-day deadline.
Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and permanent resident visa (PRV) must inform IRCC that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation by submitting a web form. Once a form is submitted, officers will place a note in the applicant’s file indicating their inability to travel due to the novel coronavirus.
Stay Calm, Stay Informed
We understand that this is a confusing and stressful time for many. We encourage all permanent residents, temporary residents, and citizenship applicants to remain calm. We will continue to monitor updates from Immigration Canada and update our website accordingly. Please stay tuned for further information.
To our clients, we are here to support you during this time and answer your questions as they arise. At this time, we are currently offering all appointments via video or phone call as a precautionary measure.
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.