Canada continues immigration processing despite COVID-19
Posted on April 1, 2020
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian government has introduced several travel restrictions and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced several measures to help immigration applications.
Travel restrictions for COVID-19:
Due to COVID-19 Canada has closed its borders and ports of Entry at airports and the Canada – U.S. border. However, the IRCC has made certain exceptions to the travel restrictions, these include:
- Immediate family members of citizens of Canada and permanent residents
- Temporary work permit holders or those waiting to get their approved work permits
- International students who have a valid study or had been approved one before the restrictions came into effect
- PR visa applicants who had been approved for their PR visa before the announcement of travel restrictions
Meanwhile the IRCC continues to accept applications for immigration. However, it has introduced certain precautionary measures that include cancelling all citizenship ceremonies and citizenship tests until further notice. This is an effort to stop the further spread of the virus. The IRCC has also cancelled permanent resident landing appointments and in person refugee claim appointments till April 13. However, those with applications under process can expect the process to continue.
The IRCC has declared that it will not refuse applications which are incomplete due to the restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19.
These include applications for:
- Permanent residence (including Express Entry)
- Work permits (including the Working Holiday)
- Study permits
- Visitor visas
If applicants cannot complete their application before the Express Entry PR application deadline, they can submit their application with missing documents, but it must be accompanied with a letter of explanation the indicates the reasons for the missing documents. The IRCC will give applicants 90 days to complete the application and submit the missing documents.
The IRCC is also giving 90 days to submit the biometrics for applicants.
The COVID-19 has made these measures necessary, however the positive aspect is that they are in favor or immigrants and prospective immigrants in Canada.
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