IRCC’s COVID-19 program delivery
by Michael Scott
The international pandemic continues to impact immigration applications and landings in Canada. IRCC has just issued a statement on policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is important to be aware of the current practices of the department.
Permanent Residence application submissions
The intake of new PR applications will continue. Submissions that are incomplete due to unavailable documents will be retained in the system and reviewed in 90 days. Complete applications will be processed as per normal procedures with some flexibility. If a new application is missing supporting documentation, that applicant must provide an explanation that they are affected by the service disruption as a result of the novel coronavirus. The application would be set aside and reviewed in 90 days. Applications found to be incomplete with no explanation provided may be rejected as incomplete and processing fees refunded.
Valid COPR and PRV
The department has provided guidelines for several different scenarios.
Group #1 are applicants travelling from any country other than the US and must have COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) or PRV (Permanent Resident Visa) issued on or before March 18, 2020. Holders are exempt from travel restrictions and can travel to Canada for landing as a permanent resident. They must have an acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada.
Group #2 are applicants who can travel to Canada from the US for landing as permanent residents. They must have approved applications and hold valid COPR and PRV. In addition, they also must have an acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada.
Expired COPR and PRV
Group #3 are applicants travelling from any country other than the US who were issued COPR and PRV before March 18, 2020 but the documents are now expired (validity date past). They must be exempt from travel restrictions and can travel to Canada for purposes of landing. The document holders must also have an acceptable plan for quarantine.
Group #4 are applicants who are travelling to Canada from the US with now expired COPRs. They must have record of application approval, hold expired COPR and PRV and present an acceptable plan to quarantine.
It is important for permanent residence applicants who are in possession of an expired COPR and PRV to contact Canadian immigration officials using the web form, to provide details on the expiration date of their documents and their reasons for travelling to Canada. Once web forms are received, the Client Support Centre will refer then to the appropriate processing network. The applicants can then travel to Canada, but only if their intention at this time is to stay and settle. If you are planning on coming temporarily and leaving, that option is not available at this time, unless you are exempt from restrictions. You would have to show an acceptable settlement plan, proof of an acceptable quarantine plan and a proposed travel itinerary. Priority is given to applicants who have compelling reasons to travel to Canada now: family reunification, economic reasons, health, expiring status in the US, and tending to family matters for non-discretionary purposes.
Good luck and remember, Canada remains open for COPR and PR holders. Just follow the IRCC recommendations.
Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Canada Immigration and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with R.B. Global Immigration Consultants Ltd. 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.