COVID-19 UPDATES

PROCESSING UPDATES FROM IRCC

The current Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) global pandemic is causing severe disruptions to IRCC and the processing of various types of immigration and citizenship applications.

The link below, updated almost daily by IRCC should be followed to know impacts on different aspects of their services:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

Additionally, on 26 March 2020, IRCC released the updated travel restrictions imposed and exemptions allowed through their Program Delivery guidelines available at this link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus/travel-restrictions.html

OFFICE CLOSURES:

Some Visa Application Centres (VACs) are closed overseas. The closures (and openings) of these offices changes almost daily. New applicants for Temporary Visas are strongly encouraged to apply online as IRCC continues to process new applications received.

Follow the link below to find the office you need and its current status:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/contact-ircc/offices/find-visa-application-centre.html

Biometric Collection Services in Canada at Service Canada centres are temporarily suspended until further notice:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus.html

REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS ON ALL OPEN IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS:

Offices will continue to issue request letters for additional documents, including police certificates, biometrics, medicals, passports, etc.

All previously issued letters giving applicants 30 days to comply will be extended to 90 days. Newly issued instructions will reflect the 90 day allowance to comply.

Biometrics letters with 30 day time limits will automatically be extended for 90 days instead of 30, giving applicants a further 60 days to comply from the original time limit.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus/general-measures.html

CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS:

IRCC operations are reduced to critical services. However, new applications are still be received at the Case Processing Centre, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

All Citizenship Oath ceremonies, tests, re-tests and hearings have been cancelled and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

TRAVEL TO CANADA RESTRICTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS:

All foreign nationals are being denied boarding on flights to Canada, unless they are exempt from the current travel restrictions.

Only Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and their family members, and some foreign nationals travelling from the United States who have been in the US for at least 14 days and are asymptomatic will be able to enter Canada by air.

Citizens and Permanent Residents who are symptomatic will also not be allowed to board a flight. However, they will be allowed into Canada through a land border but will be mandated to self-isolate for 14 days.

Family members referred to above are defined as children, grand-children, parents and step-parents and a guardian or tutor of the Citizen or Permanent Resident

Temporary foreign workers, as well as international students who have a valid study permit or who were approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020, and foreign nationals who were approved for permanent residence before March 16, 2020, but who hadn’t yet travelled to Canada, will be exempt from these restrictions.

All essential and business travel through land borders will not be affected.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

PERSONS OUTSIDE CANADA WITH APPROVED PERMANENT RESIDENCE DOCUMENTS:

Persons who have been approved for Permanent Residence have been listed in the persons who will receive an exemption and will be able to travel to Canada.

The link below has instructions on measures to take if your COPR document is expiring soon and you are unable to travel to Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus/permanent-residence.html#Approved_permanent_residence

TEMPORARY FOREIGN NATIONALS IN CANADA:

All temporary workers, students and visitors in Canada can apply to have their temporary status extended if they are unable to travel due to the travel restrictions placed by most countries abroad.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND ONLINE STUDIES

IRCC has confirmed that International Students who have resorted to online studies on an exceptional basis due to Covid-19 will not affect Post-Graduate Work Permit program eligibility.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

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