All applications for a temporary resident visa by foreign nationals, outside of Canada must be submitted electronically. In other words, applicants must apply online. This includes a transit visa, a work permit or a study permit.
Applicants who are unable to submit an application using electronic means due to disability will, however, continue to be excluded from the obligation to apply their application online.
Furthermore, from 1 October 2020 until 31 January 2021, the following two classes of temporary residence applicants from outside Canada are exempted from the obligation to make an online application:
- Foreign nationals holding an identification or travel document of the kind issued by a government to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons. These individuals are the persons who are unable to get a passport or other relevant documents from their country of citizenship.
- Applicants under the Farm Worker Seasonal Scheme. Such applicants cannot, on their own, apply for a work permit (including a temporary resident visa); rather, it is the government of their country which submits paper applications through visa application centres to designated IRCC missions. Few countries do not have the capacity to submit online applications except to send paper applications.
These procedures are interim. It will allow IRCC staff to process new and existing applications from tourists, workers and international students who are exempted from travel restrictions for the purposes of their travel.
On July 1, Canada resumed processing online applications for TRV and eTAs. The Government of Canada stated that, under current travel restrictions, preference will continue to be given to those who can travel and that all new and existing applications will be considered.
To be accepted, all applicants must continue to satisfy the eligibility requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). It is applicable for the candidates even if they meet the exemption criteria for travel restrictions.
Individuals who have applied for exemption prior to the travel restrictions and wish to be accepted on a priority basis are asked to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They have to indicate how they meet the exemption requirements. Explain the justification for their non-discretionary / non-optional travel and provide appropriate evidence.
IRCC also indicated that the priority is to continue processing applications from those who are exempted from travel restrictions. Those, travelling on a non-discretionary basis, ‘non-priority TRV applications may continue to be processed. However, the decision is in accordance with normal TRV processing.’
Under the new rules, applicants will continue to submit online Electronic Travel Authorization applications. The processing of applications that require agent review, to the extent possible will be continued.
IRCC will speed up the processing of eTA applications that require officer examination. However, the applicants must meet the requirements for exemption from current travel restrictions. Qualified individuals are invited to self-identify and request documents via an IRCC web form. They have to explain how they meet the exemption requirements.