COVID-19: Latest Canada Immigration News & FAQs

Last updated: 13 October 2021

Coronavirus and Canada immigration news

This CanadaVisa page provides you with everything you need to know on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Canada's immigration system.

The following FAQs are meant to help you understand how Canada's COVID-19 policies may be affecting you.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

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To see if you are allowed to enter Canada at this time, you may use this government tool.

The following are among the list of people allowed to travel to Canada now:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents
  • Immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parent or step-parent, and guardian or tutor)
  • Extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents, (individuals in an exclusive and long-term relationship and their dependent children; non-dependent children, grandchildren, siblings, half-and step-siblings and grandparents)
  • Foreign nationals who hold a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
  • Temporary foreign workers
  • Foreign nationals entering Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in special circumstances, such as terminal illness, serious injury or death.
  • International students who held a valid study permit or who had been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020
  • International students attending a Designated Learning Institution that has obtained prior approval of its response plan to control the spread of COVID-19 from the provincial government. (Effective October 20). The list of approved DLIs is here

New travel measures

Effective November 30, passengers 12 years and older will not be allowed on flights departing from Canadian airport, take a VIA Rail train, a Rocky Mountaineer train and cruise ship passengers on voyages of 24 hours or more if they are not fully vaccinated. Exceptions may be made for emergency travel and for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. This new rule officially goes into effect on October 30 with a one-month grace period that will allow passengers 12 years and over who are not yet fully vaccinated to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

On September 7, 2021, the government opened Canada's borders to all fully vaccinated travellers who have completed a full course of vaccination with a vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the U.S. may enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) travel since August 9, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. EDT.

Travellers who have received a full series of doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines at least 14 days before coming to Canada will be subject to the following requirements:

  • Pre-entry requirements:

All fully vaccinated travellers are required to plan their quarantine and take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival to Canada. Testing information is to be entered using the ArriveCAN app.

Travellers will need to prepare their ArriveCAN receipt and required documents which include a confirmation of a negative pre-entry test, a digital or paper copy of their proof of vaccination.

  • Requirements upon arrival:

Travellers will need to provide the required information and documentation, including proof of vaccination, and answer questions relating to eligibility, vaccination and health screening.

Canada also tests travellers for COVID-19 on arrival at random.

  • Post-arrival requirements:

Travellers who meet all entry requirements and are fully vaccinated will be exempt from quarantine and government-approved hotel accommodation, as well as from day 8 testing. Unvaccinated children under 18 years of age accompanied by fully vaccinated adults will also be exempt from the hotel stay. Since August 9, unvaccinated dependents of fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to complete the full 14-day quarantine but must follow strict public health measures.

All travellers are required to follow the public health measures in place, which include monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, wearing a mask in public and keeping a copy of their vaccination documents and test results - as well as a list of close contacts and places visited - for 14 days after entering Canada.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 will be subject to quarantine and isolation.

For travellers who are not fully vaccinated current border measures are as follows :

  • Pre-entry requirements:

All travellers are required to submit contact and travel information through the ArriveCAN app before entering Canada.

Anyone entering Canada who has not gotten COVID-19 within 90 days of arrival is required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of entry into Canada or the scheduled departure time of the flight. Should a traveller have previously tested positive for COVID-19, they will be required to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test performed between 14 and 90 days prior to entry into Canada or the scheduled flight.

Children under 5 years of age are exempt from these requirements.

  • Requirements upon arrival:

All individuals arriving through land borders or by air will be required to take a COVID-19 test at arrival and another one on day 8 of their 14 day mandatory quarantine period.

Children under 5 years of age and anyone with proof of a positive COVID-19 test performed between 14 and 90 days prior to travel are exempt from this requirement.

Most air travelers will also be required to spend 3 nights in a government-authorized hotel at their expense upon arrival. Those who test positive on arrival, will be transferred to a designated quarantine facility for the remaining duration of the 14-day isolation period. This measure is expected to be lifted on August 9, 2021.

Individuals entering Canada are required by law to quarantine themselves immediately for a period of 14 days to help avoid the potential spread of COVID-19.

Effective September 27, Canada is welcoming direct flights from India again. Passengers are required to have proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test from the Delhi Airport approved Genestrings laboratory within 18 hours of their scheduled departure to Canada.

All direct commercial and private passenger flights from Morocco to Canada are temporarily suspended. Passengers departing from Morocco to Canada via an indirect route will be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 test prior to departure from a third country - other than Morocco - before further travel to Canada. According to Transport Canada, the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 test results among travelers arriving in Canada from Morocco over the course of the past month is the reason for this measure.

IRCC is currently contacting citizenship, permanent residence and temporary residence applicants, on a case-by-case basis, to request supporting documents or a reasonable explanation of how a COVID‑19-related disruption prevents applicants from obtaining this information.

Those who still need to provide documentation to support their application should know at this stage:

  • To check the last email or letter received from IRCC to confirm the documents to be provided and start gathering the documents now to avoid any further delays when asked to submit them.
  • IRCC will be sending requests in the coming weeks or months and applicants will have 30 days from the date of this new request to submit the supporting documents.
  • Once the 30‑day deadline has passed, IRCC will make a decision on the application, where possible.

Citizenship applicants, who do not send their documents after 30 days without giving an explanation, will have their application stopped and considered abandoned, or a final decision will be made if the information is sufficient.

Those who receive a confirmation of permanent residence or visitor visa, will likely not be able to travel to Canada. The Government of Canada has been extending its coronavirus travel restrictions regularly since they were first imposed in March 2020 and it remains unknown when they will be lifted. However, individuals who fall under Canada’s list of exempted individuals can enter Canada.

Those who are still affected by Canada's travel restriction and can't provide requested documents to IRCC will be given maximum flexibility and will be required to provide a reasonable explanation of how they are affected by a COVID-19 disruption within 30 days from the date they receive a request from IRCC.

Those requesting an extension that is:

  • reasonable, based on the explanation provided, will get 30 days extension to complete the request.
  • isn’t reasonable, where possible, based on the information on file, IRCC will make a decision on your application, which could result in a refusal.

IRCC will inform applicants of the decision, and they will not need to contact the department.

If by the 30‑day deadline, IRCC does not receive a reply to their request, they will make a decision on the application, where possible, based on the information on file.

IRCC will not contact applicants to request supporting documentation in the event that a large number of clients are affected by a pandemic lockout or a service disruption, such as the temporary closure of a Visa Application Centre.

Yes, you are still able to apply. IRCC will not reject your application if you are unable to submit all necessary documents due to delays caused by Coronavirus.

Canada is increasing immigration to strengthen its economy after the coronavirus pandemic is over. Canada is still open to those wishing to submit an application to come to the country. Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, Quebec, and other immigration programs continue to operate. Under its new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada will seek to welcome over 400,000 immigrants per year. This is the highest level of immigration in Canadian history.

If you currently live in Canada, you may be eligible for new streams launched by the Canadian government that will enable some 90,000 people to apply for permanent residence.

Yes. On January 8, 2021, IRCC announced it will allow certain PGWP holders to obtain new open work permits to enable them to gain the work experience they often need to become eligible for a skilled worker immigration pathway. The open work permits will be valid for up to 18 months. Please click here for legal assistance.

IRCC estimates that as many as 52,000 PGWP holders with an expired or expiring PGWP could benefit from this policy. Of the nearly 61,000 PGWP holders whose work permit expired between January and December 2020, about half have already become permanent residents or have submitted a permanent residence application.

IRCC will accept applications between January 27, 2021 and July 27, 2021.

To apply for an open work permit under this public policy, an applicant must:

  • be in possession of a valid PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date of application
  • be in Canada at the time the policy took effect on January 27, 2021 and currently be residing in Canada
  • be in possession of valid temporary status; or have applied for a restoration of status; or be applying for the restoration of their status
  • include in their application they are applying for an open work permit under this policy
  • be in possession of a valid passport. If your passport is valid for under 18 months, the duration of the new open work permit will correspond with the validity period of your passport. IRCC encourages you to ensure your passport is valid for at least 18 months from the date of approval.

Contact a Campbell Cohen Lawyer for PGWP Assistance

Yes, you can still submit an Express Entry profile. In addition, the federal government and provinces are continuing to issue invitations to apply for permanent residence. The federal government has held Express Entry draws throughout the pandemic and, most recently issued a historic number of over 27 000 invitations in one draw, since Express Entry launched in 2015. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Quebec skilled worker draws are also occurring frequently.

Yes, if you meet the eligibility criteria of a Canadian immigration program.

In 2021, some 90,000 candidates will be able to obtain permanent residence through special streams that Canada has introduced.

IRCC has two officially designated English language tests that it accepts for immigration purposes: the IELTS General Test, and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (commonly referred to as “the CELPIP”).

Please refer to their official websites for more information on whether COVID-19 is affecting their operations:

IRCC has seven officially designated organizations that are authorized to perform an Educational Credential Assessment for immigration purposes. The designated organizations are listed here. Please check the official websites of the designated organizations for more information on whether COVID-19 is affecting their ability to complete assessments.

Applicants in Canada can now book their biometrics appointments on Service Canada's website.

The federal government has stated that traveling to the border for immigration purposes such as renewing a work, study, or visitor permit, or to activate permanent resident status is non-essential travel. As such, the federal government asks such individuals to avoid traveling to the border until further notice. Temporary residents who are looking to extend their stay in Canada as students, workers, or visitors can do so on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Yes, you can still submit your application even if you were receiving the CERB since the federal government does not consider the CERB to be social assistance.

Your eligibility to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit will not be affected if your in-class courses are being moved to an online format due to COVID-19.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has a special policy in place during the coronavirus pandemic that allows international students to complete their Canadian program while living overseas and still be eligible to obtain a PGWP when they move to Canada. In order to benefit from this policy you must:

  • enroll at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution. DLIs are colleges and universities that are accredited by the Canadian government to welcome international students.
  • you have begun or will begin a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, or your program was already in progress in March 2020.
  • have a study permit, OR approval for a study permit, OR apply for a study permit prior to starting your program and are eventually approved.
  • meet all other PGWP eligibility requirements.

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, people who are trying to access immigration services may experience processing delays, due to COVID-19. The immigration department is prioritizing applications from people who are exempt from travel restrictions in Canada.

IRCC provides processing information on its website. Immigration applicants can use a new tool to check average processing times but should note that processing times may not available for some immigration programs.

It is also important to note that the information provided by IRCC via the processing tool is based on 80 per cent of applications. More complex applications may take longer for reasons specific to the application.

Permanent Residents

Only immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are coming for over 15 days are allowed to enter Canada. Entry of dependent children, adult children, grandchildren, siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings and grandparents is also being facilitated. Individuals coming for compassionate reasons may also be authorized to travel to Canada by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The federal government defines an immediate family member as someone who is related to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is:

  • the spouse or common-law partner of the person
  • a dependent child of the person of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • a grandchild
  • a parent or step-parent
  • a guardian or tutor

The federal government defines extended family members as follows.

Those who have a direct relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident could be considered a member of the extended family if they :

  • have been in an exclusive romantic relationship for at least one year and have spent time in the physical presence of that person at some point in the relationship;
  • are a non-dependent child (adult child);
  • are a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child);
  • are a brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister or step-brother or half-sister; or
  • a grandparent.

Those who are related to the Canadian's spouse or common-law partner, could be considered a member of the extended family if they are:

  • an adult child;
  • are a grandchild (a dependent child of a non-dependent adult child);
  • are a brother or sister, half-brother or half-sister, or step-brother or half-sister; or
  • a grandparent.

Those who are related to the Canadian's eligible dating partner could be considered extended family if they are:

  • a dependent child;
  • an adult child; or
  • a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child).

There are six steps to apply for travel exemption as an extended family member.

Step 1: Your family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must complete an application for authorization and statutory declaration.

Step 2: Your family member in Canada sends you the application for authorization and statutory declaration he or she has completed. You sign it and send it back to your family member in Canada.

Step 3: Once you have returned the form to your family member in Canada, he or she must sign it by solemn declaration in front of an authorized official, such as a commissioner for oaths, a justice of the peace, a lawyer or a notary public.

Step 4: Your family member in Canada must send you a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration.

Step 5: Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration, use it as proof of your relationship to your family member and request written authorization from IRCC.

You need written authorization from IRCC regardless of where you are leaving from.

How you request written authorization depends on whether you already have a valid travel document, such as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).

You should not book a flight to Canada until you have written authorization from IRCC.

Step 6: You must have a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when travelling. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.

After you sign the application by solemn declaration, you will have six months to travel to Canada. If you do not travel within six months, you will need a new statutory declaration.

Yes, if you were approved for permanent residence and your COPR is still valid you may travel to Canada. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days.

If your COPR and/or visa have expired, you will be contacted by IRCC regarding the re-issuance of new COPRs.

No, you will not need to go through the immigration process again, however you will need IRCC to reissue a new COPR in order for you to be able travel to Canada.

If you are now unable to travel, you do not need to do anything. If your COPR or visa expires, IRCC will contact you to ask if you are able to travel. Once you are ready to travel, IRCC will provide you with the required documentation you will need to do so.

Applicants who have a pending application for permanent residence and who have submitted their biometrics in the last ten years in another application are exempt from biometrics collection requirements.

Since mid-September, Service Canada agents have been contacting clients to schedule biometric appointments.

As of November 30, clients who have not been contacted must use the online scheduling tool to schedule their own appointment, as outlined in the biometric instruction letter.

Yes. You must submit your application within 60 days of your ITA. If you are missing documents because of the novel coronavirus, you can still submit your application. Submit a letter explaining why you are missing these documents and your application will be held until further notice. Once you are able to submit the documents, you can do so using the web form.

IRCC has provided the following guidance on the recommended travel documentation that exempted individuals should carry with them when traveling to Canada:

Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents:

Documentation demonstrating their immediate family member’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, such as a:

  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian citizenship proof such as a citizenship certificate, card, or provincial birth certificate
  • Canadian permanent resident card
  • Canadian permanent resident travel document
  • Canadian citizens are encouraged to travel with a valid Canadian passport, however they may travel to Canada on a visa-exempt foreign passport upon receiving a confirmation email from IRCC approving special authorization

To demonstrate their relationship to that immediate family members, exempt individuals should carry documentation such as a:

  • Marriage certificate or common-law status certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence for the family class
  • Other proof showing an immediate family connection such as correspondence from IRCC showing a spousal sponsorship application is being processed, or proof of a shared residential address)

COPR holders:

Holders of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) are exempt from the travel restrictions and can self-identify to airlines by presenting:

  • Permanent resident visa, or
  • A COPR document

All:

  • tests
  • retests
  • interviews
  • citizenship events
  • itinerant services
  • hearings (including videoconferences)

were cancelled in March.

IRCC is now inviting some applicants to do video oath ceremony (citizenship ceremony). IRCC will contact those invited to attend virtual ceremonies.

You have been sent a letter or an email by IRCC about the cancellation of your event. IRCC will be sending you a new date and time.

Furthermore, IRCC is now inviting some applicants to take the citizenship test online. Applicants are asked to wait to be invited to take the test by IRCC.

Canada is aiming to get its immigration system back on track in 2021. Under its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, Canada seeks to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants per year moving forward.

The days you spend outside of Canada due to COVID-19 will not count towards your physical presence requirement.

Permanent residence applicants who were approved on or before March 18 are exempt from the travel restrictions and may travel to Canada.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days even if you don’t show any symptoms.

You can now confirm your permanent resident status without having to go through an in-person interview, thanks to a new portal. This procedure applies in most cases.

Canada has created a Permanent Resident Confirmation Portal that allows approved permanent residence applicants to complete the last step of their application.

You may be able to use the new online portal to:

  • share their personal information with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
  • declare that you are in Canada;
  • confirm your address;
  • submit a recent photo to be used for your PR card;
  • get have access to your proof of permanent resident status.

This is a separate portal from your secure IRCC account. It does not contain information about your applications and their status.

Temporary Residents and IEC Participants

Yes, if you fall under the list of exempted individuals.

Effective October 20, 2020, international students who have a valid study permit or who have received a Letter of Introduction from IRCC may be allowed to enter Canada from outside the United States for non-discretionary reasons if they are attending a Designated Educational Institution (DEI) that has an approved COVID-19 Readiness Plan.

If your visa or permit has not yet expired, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If you are a visitor, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If you are a worker or student and are no longer working or studying, you can apply to change your status to visitor.

If you would like to continue working or studying, you may be able to extend your work or study permit. When you apply, make sure you mention why you need to extend your stay.

If your visitor visa, study permit or work permit is expired, you can apply to restore your status. You must use the document checklist and guide for your situation:

When you complete the form, make sure you do the following:

  • Select “Restore my status”
  • Include a note explaining your reason for wanting to restore your status.
  • You must also pay the restoration fee

IRCC has provided the following guidance on the recommended travel documentation that exempted individuals should carry with them when traveling to Canada:

International students:

International students who held a valid Canadian study permit or were issued a letter of invitation date on or before March 18, 2020 can self-identify to airlines to prove they are exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions by presenting:

  • A valid study permit, or
  • A letter of introduction from IRCC dated on or before March 18, 2020

Temporary foreign workers:

Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) who were established in Canada or who had existing plans to work in Canada prior to the enforcement of the travel restrictions are exempt. Exemptions also apply to new TFWs who are coming to Canada to work in critical industries (e.g., health, transportation and emergency services, food processing, and agriculture).

These individuals can self-identify to airlines to prove they are exempt by presenting:

  • A valid work permit, or
  • A letter of introduction from IRCC

Your application will not be refused if you cannot submit your passport or supporting documents, or complete an immigration medical exam.

Canada is currently prioritizing the processing of temporary foreign worker applications who perform or support essential services.

Agriculture and agri-food workers who fall under one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes could benefit from priority processing for work permits:

  • NOC 6331 – Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
  • NOC 7511 – Transport truck drivers
  • NOC 8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC 8431 – General farm workers
  • NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers
  • NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers
  • NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
  • NOC 9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

Health-care workers who fall under one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes could benefit from priority processing for work permits:

  • NOC 3011 – Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
  • NOC 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • NOC 3111 – Specialist physicians
  • NOC 3112 – General practitioners and family physicians
  • NOC 3112 – Allied primary health practitioners
  • NOC 3125 – Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating
  • NOC 3125 – Pharmacists
  • NOC 3211 – Medical laboratory technologists
  • NOC 3212 – Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants
  • NOC 3214 – Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • NOC 3215 – Medical radiation technologists
  • NOC 3217 – Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.
  • NOC 3233 – Licensed practical nurses
  • NOC 3234 – Paramedical occupations
  • NOC 3413 – Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • NOC 4411 – Home child care providers (LMIA-required in-Canada applicants)
  • NOC 4412 – Home support workers, excluding housekeepers (LMIA-required in-Canada applicants)

Film and television workers may be eligible for priority processing if they’re either:

  • outside Canada and the U.S.
  • in the U.S. and need a visitor visa to enter Canada

The first step is to apply for a work permit and then use a web form to tell IRCC that they a film and TV worker and request priority processing.

Yes. From May 8, 2020 onwards, applicants of the Working Holiday, Young Professional or International Co-op categories are able to travel to Canada if they:

  • Have a valid job offer which includes a written note from the employer in Canada that says that the business is still operating and that you will start work after your quarantine period.
  • Have a port of entry letter of introduction.
  • Have proof of adequate health coverage.

The pools for certain countries for the 2021 season are opening March 1, 2021. Country-specific information is available on the Government of Canada's IEC web page.

If your application is already in process, it will not be closed or refused if you do not have all your documents or if you are unable to complete the application process in time. This includes if you are unable to give biometrics or unable to complete a medical exam.

Yes. It is a mandatory requirement for IEC, unless you are receiving coverage from your employer or the province or territory where you will be workers. It is up to you to ensure you have adequate coverage including testing for coronavirus. You must have coverage (including hospitalization and the cost of returning to your home country) for the entire time you are in Canada.

It is up to your employer. Check with your employer to see if they are still planning on honouring your contract.

An employer may withdraw their offer of employment if the work permit has not yet been issued. You would then be refunded the participation fee. This will not be counted as participation under IEC, and you may be eligible to reapply.

Applications in process will not be closed or refused if you are unable to complete the medical examination.

Yes. As long as your work permit is still valid, you may be allowed to re-enter Canada. However, all individuals are required to quarantine for 14 days.

IEC participants can change their work permits only in some cases. To find out if you are able to change your work permit, follow this link.

If you are a participant in the Young Professionals or the International Co-op (Internship) Categories, and the company that you were working for has closed, you may be able to change your employer, provided your new job meets the requirements of the Young Professionals or International Co-op Categories.

Your letter will be valid for one year after its date of issue. Once a letter is issued, it is considered a participation. You are not able to cancel your letter.

If you wish to extend the letter, you may be able to do so using IRCC’s web form. You must select “International Experience Canada” from the drop down menu when choosing the type of application/enquiry.

IRCC may grant an extension on your LOIs of up to 12 months if you have received it for your work permit application under the IEC program and your LOI is expiring within 30 days. The length of the extension will depend on whether you have already received an extension and on whether the medical exam on file can be reassessed and extended. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

IRCC expects you to contact them only if your letter expires in the next 30 days and you are unable to travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you did not receive a confirmation email, this does not mean that IRCC did not receive it. Please keep checking your account for any updates.

Do not travel to a port of entry in Canada as this is not considered essential travel. Please check the IRCC website regularly as new ways may be introduced for IEC participants to activate work permits from inside Canada.

In the meantime, make sure you maintain your current immigration status while in Canada.

Yes. If your job offer has been withdrawn, this is not considered participation. Your participation fee will be refunded and you may be able to reapply for another participation at a later date.

Temporary foreign workers set to work as truck drivers, or in the health-care, agriculture, or agri-food sectors in Canada are exempt from having to give their biometrics before arriving to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed due to a coronavirus-related disruption.

International Students

If you are an international student with a valid study permit, or if you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18th, you are allowed to travel to Canada.

Effective October 20, 2020, if you’re a student attending a Canadian Designated Learning Institution that has obtained prior approval of its response plan to control the spread of COVID-19 from the government you will also be able to travel to Canada. The full list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) that have been approved to welcome international students is available on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by Canadian law to submit proof of a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days upon arriving to Canada even if you don’t show any COVID-19 symptoms.

Yes. IRCC has stated that applicants can submit an incomplete study permit application if they are unable to obtain all the requirements documents due to coronavirus disruptions. IRCC will not make a decision on the study permit application until required documents have been submitted.

Canada have also introduced a two-step system where IRCC will provide a \'pre-approval\' for study permits. Students with pre-approvals may begin their studies from abroad this fall, and this period will count towards their PGWP eligibility. Before they come to Canada, students must complete the application process, submit their biometrics and all other required documents.

International students and temporary workers in Canada who have an expiring study permit or work permit should apply online to renew their permit in order to trigger implied status. This would allow them to continue studying or working in Canada while their application is being processed.

In addition, applicants who are unable to access required documents or get their biometrics, must attach a explanatory letter detailing the situation.

Incomplete applications will not be refused. The applicant will be given 90 days to submit their documents.

  • Online learning will not be counted against PGWP eligibility.
  • Students will not see their PGWP eligibility impacted if they need to change their study status from full-time to part-time due to program changes made by their Canadian designated learning institution.
  • Students who complete their entire Canadian educational program outside Canada will remain eligible for the PGWP and can now have their online studies count towards the overall length of their PGWP.
  • Students in Canada can begin working while their PGWP application is being processed if they submit their PGWP application while their study permit is still valid and are unable to get a letter of completion or their final transcript from their designated learning institution due to coronavirus interruptions.

Yes. You may start your studies online from abroad without having a study permit. However, you would need a study permit or approval in relation to your future PGWP eligibility.

Yes. You are expected to study full-time, unless your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is currently unable to offer full-time study.

If your previous study permit has expired, you will need to have your Letter of Introduction in order to be exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions.

A Letter of Introduction is the letter you receive from IRCC once you have been approved for the PGWP.

If your courses have moved online due to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for the PGWP as long as you were already in Canada, even if your online study accounts for more than 50% of your overall study.

You may be exempt from the travel restrictions and may be able to come to Canada.

However, as an immediate family member of a resident, you must first obtain authorization from IRCC to be able to board a flight.

To obtain authorization, you must submit a request by sending an email to: IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

In addition, if you do not already have a visa or an eTA, you will also need to apply for one.

A suspended semester is not considered a scheduled break. Therefore, you will only be able to work the same number of authorized hours detailed on your study permit.

Between April 22 and August 31, 2020, students with valid study permits were temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours per week during an academic session providing they worked in an essential service or function. This change no longer applies.

Employers

Yes. The following occupations currently have priority processing.

  • 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 7511 - Transport Truck Drivers
  • 8252 - Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431 - General Farm Workers
  • 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611 - Harvesting labourers
  • 9463 - Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617 - Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • 9462 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

The minimum recruitment requirements for the following occupations are waived until October 31, 2020.

  • 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 7511 - Transport Truck Drivers
  • 8252 - Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431 - General Farm Workers
  • 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611 - Harvesting labourers
  • 9463 - Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617 - Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • 9462 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

For Transport Truck Drivers who are in a province that requires compulsory training, the foreign national must have this training certification at the time of the issuance of his or her work permit.

Yes, for workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

For all other workers, you must pay the worker for a minimum of 30 hours per week, at the rate of pay specified on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

You cannot allow the worker to work during the self-isolation period, unless they are providing an essential service as per the Chief Public Health Officer.

Yes. You are responsible for monitoring the health of workers who are self-isolating. It is suggested that you communicate with your self-isolated employees on a daily basis.

You must make sure that the employee is fully isolated from the others immediately. Contact local health officials. It is also recommended that the employee contacts the appropriate consulate.

You should provide information on the virus. You may check www.canada.ca/coronavirus for resources. It is suggested that the information is provided in a language the employee understands well. Many resources are available online.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has materials in other languages. For access to these materials, you may call 1-833-784-4397 or email phac.covid19.aspc@canada.ca

You must also post information about the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the accommodations where the employee(s) is/are self-isolating. This should include information about the best practices for maintaining bathrooms and other facilities. It is suggested this information be posted in shared facilities and common areas. This information should be posted in a language the employee understands well.

You must report a violation of the Quarantine Act to local law enforcement.

You must place your self-isolating employee in separate accommodations. If you are unable to do so, you must find alternate accommodations, such as a hotel.

During the self-isolation period, you must ensure that the employee will avoid contact with older adults (those over 65), and those with medical conditions.

Yes, as long as it allows them to be two metres apart from each other at all times. Shared facilities are allowed. If this cannot be met, you must find alternate accommodations, such as a hotel.

It is recommended that date-stamped photos be taken of the accommodation including the facilities and the bedroom.

If a new employee is housed in the same accommodation as others who are self-isolating, the time resets to the arrival of the most recent employee.

You must also ensure that surfaces in the accommodations are disinfected and cleaned regularly, especially surfaces in bathrooms, kitchens and common areas. Workers may do this, or you may hire a professional cleaner. However, you are expected to provide all cleaning materials.

Quebec

Yes. The Ministère is continuing to process applications for permanent selection, regardless of the program under which they were submitted.

Several assistance programs have been put in place by the federal government as well as by Québec’s Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).

For more information, visit the Temporary Aid for Workers Program (MTESS) of Québec or consult the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Yes. The 12 months of full-time work experience required to be eligible for the Québec experience program do not have to be acquired consecutively. Temporary foreign workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19, and would have wanted to submit an application for the PEQ, can therefore submit their application once they have resumed employment and have accumulated 12 months of full-time work in Québec.

The MIFI will accept official transcripts and attestations of the successful completion of the study program. After submitting your diploma, official transcript, or attestation, you have three years to apply for a CSQ. During this time you can get a Post Graduation Work Permit that will allow you to work in Quebec for up to three years. In this time, you can obtain the work experience to apply as either a graduate or a temporary foreign worker.

For the most part, French courses offered by educational institutions and community organizations will be held remotely until further notice. A few beginner classes may take place in the classroom.

Participation allowances will be maintained for students who are registered for courses.

Yes. Quebec’s Immigration Ministry announced it has now implemented a secure electronic document submission solution to facilitate this process for international students. That new service is now available via Quebec’s immigration application management system, called Arrima.

Refugees

All refugee claimant appointments are cancelled until April 13th 2020. If you have an appointment booked, IRCC will contact you with your new appointment date. If you need to update your contact information, use the web form.

Both the federal government and Quebec government have temporary programs in place for asylum claimants working in health care during the coronavirus pandemic who want to apply for immigration as a skilled worker.

If you live outside of Quebec, you can read more about the eligibility criteria here.

If you live in Quebec, you can find the eligibility criteria on the provincial government's website.

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