Updates on Immigration Matters Impacted by COVID-19
Travel from the US (OIC 16): Prohibits all “non-discretionary travel” from the United States. Does not exclude entry for those including:
Immediate family members (spouse/CL partner, dependent child, (step)-parent,guardian of Canadians/permanent residents seeking admission for 15 days or more;
Travel from countries other than the US (OIC 17): All travel from countries other than the U.S. is prohibited unless one of the listed exemptions applies. These exemptions include:
They are the immediate family member of a Canadian/permanent resident (per the above);
They hold a valid work or study permit;
They have received a work or study permit APPROVAL, but don’t yet have the physical permit;
Regardless of the above – no admission for symptomatic persons;
Mandatory quarantine (OIC 18): 14 days mandatory quarantine.
Biometrics collection centres in Canada remain closed without further notice. This has caused processing delays with PR and TR applications.
Applicants in Canada recently exempted from biometrics for certain types of applications – but NOT PR applications.
If you have already applied and paid for biometrics, you will get a refund at the end of processing; if you haven’t yet applied, there is no need to pay the fee.
If you are in process for PR, complete of PR processing cannot occur without biometrics (even if you have valid biometrics from a recent TR application). That said, your application will not be refused because you missed a biometrics deadline.
In May 2020, IRCC introduced a policy that allows workers to change employers even without/before they have obtained a new LMIA approval or PNP nomination.
Applicants applying under this policy make clear that they are seeking to engage the exemption, and will receive a letter from IRCC within ~10 days allowing them to switch employers while their underlying LMIA, PNP or employer compliance approval is pending. That underlying approval is then forwarded to the department before the work permit itself is issued.
Citizenship tests and ceremonies have been cancelled since March 2010—some are being scheduled online, but in a very ad hoc way.
In person landings are no longer happening, though some are being landed by email. Again, this is happening in a very ad hoc way.
Spousal applications and open work permits are processing much slower than usual.
Hearings at all levels of the IRB and Federal court have been either cancelled or slower to schedule.
LMIAs (except for essential workers and caregivers) have slowed to a crawl, or stopped processing entirely.
Many visa office applications are extremely slow to process, and those in closed visa offices and visa application centres are not processing at all.