Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) addresses common questions about travel restrictions and other impact on Immigration during COVID-19 pandemic.
How does the Government define “immediate family member” under these travel restrictions?
In the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19, immediate family member, in respect of a person, means:
(a) the spouse or common-law partner of the person
(b) a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
(c) a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b)
(d) the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
(e) the guardian or tutor of the person
Will I be allowed to re-enter Canada if I am a Permanent Resident?
Asymptomatic landed permanent residents will be allowed to re-enter Canada. If a permanent resident is exhibiting symptoms, they will not be allowed to travel to Canada by air, but they will be able to re-enter Canada at a land border and must isolate for 14 days. The same applies to Canadian citizens, people registered under the Indian Act and protected persons.
I have been approved for Permanent Residence but haven’t landed, can I still come?
Foreign nationals who were approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but had not landed yet, will be able to come to Canada. Those affected by these exemptions should not try to travel to Canada immediately. We will announce when the exemptions are in place, which we anticipate will be early during the week of March 22, 2020.
What is impact on processing time of applications pending with IRCC?
While IRCC continues to serve clients, service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 may have an impact on processing times, and the current posted processing times may not be accurate.
What should foreign nationals who are in Canada with valid temporary status as a visitor, worker, or a student do if their status is about to expire?
Temporary residents who are currently in Canada are able to apply to extend their status online if they need to extend their status. A temporary resident who has applied to extend their status is allowed to remain in Canada until a decision is made on their new application, even if their initial status expires while they are waiting for that decision. This is called implied status.
They should not travel to a port of entry (POE) to apply directly to a border services officer. Travelling to a POE from inside Canada for the purpose of getting immigration services is not considered essential travel, and they will not receive these services.
What is impact on Temporary Foreign workers?
All temporary foreign workers will be able to travel to Canada by air or land. They will be exempt from the air travel restrictions announced on March 16, 2020, as well as border restrictions. Those affected by these exemptions should not try to travel to Canada immediately. We will announce when the exemptions are in place, which we anticipate will be early during the week of March 22, 2020.
Like all travellers, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, temporary foreign workers who enter Canada by air or land will undergo the necessary health checks and must isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.
In addition, a temporary modification is being made to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process for agriculture and food-processing employers, as the required 2-week recruitment period will be waived for the next 6 months. We are also increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program from 1 to 2 years. This will i