Immigrating to Canada during a pandemic can be a concern for new permanent residents and many may wonder how the government is coping with the situation.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has released new guidelines for applicants of permanent residence who planned to arrive and settle in Canada in the upcoming months, and who might have seen the pandemic affect their plans.
IRCC published the latest COVID-19 program delivery instructions for applications of applicants for permanent residence in Canada and abroad on May 29th, 2020.
Intake of new permanent residents continues
Currently, the receipt of new permanent residency applications continue.
Files which are incomplete due to lack of documentation will be kept and reviewed within 90 days.
Completed new permanent residency applications continue to be processed in accordance with normal procedures.
However, due to travel restrictions associated with coronavirus, if a new application lacks supporting documentation, an explanation should be added to the application referencing service interruptions. Providing clarification is relevant and can result in the promotion and evaluation of the application within 90 days. New applications are handled in the order they are received.
If an explanation is not provided for an incomplete application or incomplete applications for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic may result in the rejection of the file.
Primary applicants for permanent residents who are in Canada and have foreign dependents will continue to have their applications approved, although there could be gaps in processing. However, if its dependents who are abroad are unable to travel, the primary applicant should not be granted permanent residence.
Once travel is possible again, applicants will be informed about the next steps.
Approved Confirmation of PR approved and PR Visas
Candidates who have a CoPR or PRV have to inform IRCC using a web form if they could not travel before the expiry date of the document.
Files are then processed according to the specific circumstances of an applicant.
The persons who have valid COPR and PRV and unable or unwilling to travel must inform IRCC so they can add a note to their file stating their situation. A reminder relating to the document's expiry date must also be added to the file. If the applicant is in a position to travel before the COPR and PRV expiry date, they will be encouraged to use their existing document to land in Canada.
Individuals whose COPRs and PRVs have expired and who have notified IRCC of their inability or unwillingness to travel before the document's expiry date must have their files reopened and checked within 90 days.
If the applicant has told IRCC via the web form that he/she may fly, the application may be reopened for re-approval provided that the applicant and his / her family members, whether accompanied or not, have passed medical exams on immigration, criminal and security checks and have valid passports or travel documents.
If the waiting period of 60 days has expired and the applicant has still not told IRCC that they can fly, after an additional 60 days, a notice must be attached to the request for consideration.
Since the pandemic started IRCC has reiterated that applications still in progress due to insufficient documentation would not be suspended or rejected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC put in place a range of special policy measures and increased flexibility to accommodate as many foreign nationals as possible.