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How COVID-19 is affecting business at IRCC

Temporary foreign workers, some international students and approved permanent residents who haven’t yet landed are now able to enter Canada.

The travel restriction exemptions that were announced are now in place. If you’re exempt, you can now travel to Canada.

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

Only people who provide essential services and truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods are exempt from the isolation requirements.

1. Can a foreign national with a valid visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) but no study or work permit come to Canada?

Ans- While some exemptions apply, most foreign nationals who hold a valid visa or eTA are not able to travel to Canada by air at this time.

2. I have been approved for permanent residence but haven’t landed; can I still come?

Ans- The travel restriction exemptions that were announced are now in place. If you’re exempt, you can now travel to Canada.

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

Only people who provide essential services and truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods are exempt from the isolation requirements.

3. Are you continuing to process and accept applications?

Ans- As announced, there are travel restrictions in place. We are continuing to accept and process applications at this time, although foreign nationals, unless exempt, will have their travel restricted until these measures have been lifted.

4. What is the impact on your processing times?

Ans- While we continue to serve our clients, service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 may have an impact on processing times, and the current posted processing times may not be accurate.

5. What happens to people trying to apply for temporary or permanent status in Canada?

Ans- As announced, there are travel restrictions in place. However, no application in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the application process in time, such as giving biometrics or completing an immigration medical exam, when travel reopens.

6. When will the exemptions be in place? Should people being exempt rush to Canada immediately?

Ans- With travel restrictions in place in many countries around the world and international air travel reduced during the COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t recommend that those who are exempt from travel restrictions immediately try to travel to Canada.


7. Requests for additional documents on open applications

Until further notice, offices may continue to request any additional documents necessary for processing to continue in relation to all citizenship and immigration applications.

· When additional documentation is required to make a decision on the application, processing officers should send a request letter and allow 90 days for the applicant to respond.

· If a request for additional documentation was previously sent but the applicant was unable to comply within the deadline, processing officers should bring forward the application and allow an additional 90 days for the applicant to respond.

· Please note that the biometric instruction letter (BIL) cannot be amended and will continue to advise applicants that they have 30 days from the date of the letter to give their biometrics. Officers should still allow 90 days for the applicant to provide their biometrics, despite the 30-day timeline identified in the BIL.

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