Immigrating to Canada During COVID-19
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on immigration to Canada. Earlier this year, borders were closed and many applications were paused until temporary policies were announced. Now, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada have implemented temporary/interim policies surrounding immigration programs and entry to Canada.
Many people who were considering immigrating to Canada are unsure of their ability to come to Canada during covid. Today, Jade answers some of the most frequently asked questions we have received regarding immigration to Canada during covid-19.
Can I start the Canadian immigration process during covid?
Yes, you can start the immigration process during covid. IRCC has continued to process applications for Permanent Residency throughout the pandemic. However, there are some changes.
IRCC is not processing applications at the typical speed they processed files prior to covid. Earlier in the pandemic, many visa offices were closed and as a result, backlogs of applications have accumulated. Unfortunately, IRCC cannot provide accurate processing time estimates because of these delays. Therefore, the processing time calculator should be used for a rough estimate of processing time only.
Applications submitted in Canada are being prioritized for processing as the applicants are already in the country.
Applicants missing documents due to covid (e.g. police certificates, biometrics, passports, medical exams, etc.) are automatically given an extra 90 days to acquire the documents to support their application.
When your application is accepted, you must get a letter from IRCC to authorize you to come to Canada. Once you have approval, you have 60 days to arrive.
Is Canada accepting new immigrants in 2020?
Yes, you can come to Canada and become a permanent resident now if your permanent resident application was approved before March 18th, 2020. You may also be eligible if you are exempt from the travel restrictions and you plan to say and settle here.
You cannot come to Canada temporarily with the intention of leaving immediately. You must plan to come for a minimum of 15 days and you must have a quarantine plan upon arrival.
Is Canada accepting international students? Visitors?
Canada is now allowing some international students to enter the country. If you plan to come to Canada as an international student after October 20, 2020, your DLI must be on the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 readiness plans before you travel to Canada. You must also have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit.
If you’re already in Canada, you can continue studying at the DLI on your study permit. If you leave Canada, you may not be able to return if your DLI doesn’t have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory in which you live.
In terms of visitors, most discretionary/non-essential travel is still restricted. Even if you have a valid visitor visa/eta, you may not be able to enter Canada. You can travel to Canada if you’re already a citizen/PR. There are some exceptions, which I’ll cover in a separate video.
I will note that Canada now has a rule that requires visitors to have a quarantine plan when they travel to Canada to show they will quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.
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.