Canada immigration updates for COVID-19
Canada has now updated its immigration instructions.
This response comes as a measure to tackle and contain COVID-19. Also, to make sure that Canada continues to process immigration applications.
We all are aware of the current situation. COVID-19 or coronavirus is a global pandemic. And is burning a hole in the economy of every country. Canada is fighting to sustain its economy amidst this threat. Thus the country is ready to make sure that it will still welcome all immigrants with open arms.
In the latest information by the Canada govt, IRCC will continue to process immigration and citizenship applications. And will be taking measures to avoid delays in processing or refusal of applications. Thus, it is giving instructions to apply for citizenship, permanent residence, and temporary residence applications.
The increased time limit for immigration and citizenship applications
If you are applying for Canada Immigration, then you are in for a treat. As Canada is clear that it will continue to make efforts to break its 2020 immigration target of 341,000. Therefore, Canada’s immigration offices are still working. Even though some offices are working with minimum staff. So, some offices might take time in the processing of applications due to limited staff.
IRCC is clear that there will be no fast track processing of applications. Except for special circumstances and as per the decision of the Migration Program Manager of the concerned IRCC office.
In addition, IRCC may continue to ask for extra documents for processing applications. Such as medical documents, police certificates, biometrics, passports, or any other documents that require issuance from Chinese, Iranian or South Korean authorities.
Furthermore, applicants will have 90 days to reply to the letter asking for additional documents. In case you received a letter earlier and failed to reply then you will get an extra 90 days.
All biometrics letters will continue to show a 30-day time limit. But all IRCC officers have instructions to allow applicants to complete the process within 90 days.
Measures to make sure no family stays apart!
Canada is not allowing unnecessary international and domestic travel. This is to make sure coronavirus is effectively contained. Thus it is making sure that no one is travelling without any specific reason.
The country understands that no one likes to stay away from their family. As the family is all we have and all we need. As a result, it is taking steps to make sure people are travelling (if required) after strict health screening.
This travel ban applies to everyone. Except for diplomats, people identified as important by govt, and immediate family members of Canadians and permanent residents. In addition, Canada is expanding the definition of immediate family members. From spouses, common-law partners, dependent children of permanent residents or their partner, and their dependant children, to members including parents, step-parents, the parents and step-parents of the spouse or common-law partner, and also including guardian or tutor.
Dependant child is a parent’s biological child, who is not adopted by anyone except for spouse or common-law partner or is the adopted child of the parent. Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations (IRPR) identifies two types of dependant children:
- The dependant children may be younger than 22 years old, not married or in a common-law partnership; or
- They can be 22 years old or older and must be financially dependant on their parents. Since before turning 22 and cannot support themselves due to physical or mental condition.
If you are allowed to enter Canada as a family member then you must prove the same with correct documents.
How can you prove your family relationship for verification at the airport?
IRCC recommends immediate family members to show their Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status documents such as:
- The Canadian Passport
- A Canadian Permanent Resident Card
- Canadian Permanent Resident Travel Document (Visa Counterfoil)
- Visa Exempt Foreign Passport and IRCC Special Authorisation for Canadian Citizens
Furthermore, you must show documents such as:
- Marriage certificate or Common-law status certificate,
- Birth certificate,
- A Confirmation of Permanent Resident for Family Class, or
- Other documents proving an immediate family connection.
Update on Family Reunification
If you have a letter from a consular officer, then you can reunite with family members in Canada. In such a case, the definition of immediate family members remains the same as mentioned above. But the only difference is that foreign nationals do not have to be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. Therefore, you can be a worker, student, visitor or a protected person.
Instructions for applications for Temporary Residence
If you are temporary residence applicant currently in China, Iran and South Korea then you must submit an online application to IRCC. Also, Migrant Managers have the authority to exclude giving of biometrics by applicants on urgent and or humanitarian and compassionate grounds. If you are in China and Iran you might be unable to give biometrics, travel documents due to closing of visa centres or travel ban. In such a case you can submit your application online.
Also, applicants in South Korea who are not able to get medical exams due non-availability of doctors will get an extra 90 days to submit documents.
In case you want to withdraw your temporary residence application then IRCC recommends you to follow the regular procedure for withdrawal requests. This procedure applies to a place where there may be a travel ban.
Furthermore, if you are a temporary resident who is not able to leave the country then as per your situation you have the following options:
- Firstly, if you are foreign national and your temporary resident status is about to expire. In such a case you can apply online for an extension of your temporary resident status in Canada.
- Secondly, if your application for extension of temporary resident status is in processing. In such a case you can stay in Canada on an implied status till the time a decision comes on your application.
- Finally, if you’re temporary resident status has expired. In such a case you can apply for restoration.
Canada will not stop processing permanent residence applications
Canada is clear that despite the pandemic COVID-19 crisis, it will continue to process applications for a Canada PR. IRCC has given instructions that:
- Files with missing documents will be kept and reviewed in the system for 90 days.
- All complete applications will be processing as per the normal procedure.
- If you submit a new application with incomplete documents then you must give an explanation. And this delay must be due to service interruptions because of the new coronavirus.
- IRCC will allow processing delays for principal applicants. If they are in Canada and have dependants in China, Iran and South Korea. And they can not travel at the moment. Also, IRCC will inform these applicants of the next steps when travelling can be possible.
- Finally, if applicants have Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) and have informed IRCC of not being able to travel; they will be able to keep the validity of their documents.
Flexible citizenship appointments
IRCC officers will reschedule all missed citizenship appointments. Such as knowledge tests, retests, interviews, hearings and oath ceremonies. After the applicant returns to Canada and informs the IRCC of the same. As a result, IRCC is ensuring that applications are processing within a timeframe and without any delay.
The IRCC officers are also giving an extra 30 days to give extra documents to IRCC. This is only applicable when the applicant has returned from China, Iran or South Korea and has informed IRCC. In addition, applicants will have an extra 40 days to submit their request for medical opinion forms.
Finally, applicants who have returned from China, Iran or South Korea can apply for Canada PR. But they must meet the physical presence requirement as per the normal procedure.
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