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Category Archives: Quarantine

Expired COPR and PR visa holders may travel to Canada

Canada’s immigration department has issued new guidelines that allow individuals with expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visas to travel into the country. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have issued different policies for holders of expired visas depending on whether they are traveling from the U.S. or other countries.

In order to qualify for the new guidelines, individuals outside the U.S. should have obtained their visa on or before March 18, while U.S. visa holders qualify irrespective of when they received their visa. Individuals intending to travel to Canada temporarily for optional or discretionary purposes, such as tourism, recreation and entertainment are not permitted under the exemptions. At the moment, only those individuals who wish to stay and settle as permanent residents in Canada are exempted from travel restrictions.

Group 1: Travelers from any country other than the U.S. with Valid COPR and PRV

The applicants who were issued COPR and PRV on or before March 18 fall under this category. They are exempted from travel restrictions, allowed to travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons even with expired documentations and have to follow the mandatory 14-day quarantine plan.

Group 2: Travelers from the U.S. with Valid COPR and PRV

This group includes applicants from the U.S. who wish to travel to Canada for non-discretionary purposes; to settle and dwell in Canada. These travelers should have approved application status, with valid COPR and PRV, and should have an appropriate plan to quarantine for 14 days.

Group 3: Travelers from any other country other than the U.S. with Expired COPR and PRV

Group 3 comprises applicants who are ready to travel to Canada for permanent residence with possession of an expired COPR and PRV.  These applicants are required to contact IRCC using a web form where they need to provide expiry date of COPR and legitimate non-discretionary reasons for travel. Candidates will be directed to the suitable processing network after the web forms are received.

Group 4: Travelers from the U.S. with Expired COPR and PRV

This group consists of people travelling from the U.S. to Canada for non-discretionary reasons and wish to settle as permanent residents with expired COPR. The candidates need to submit a proof of approved application, and an acceptable quarantine plan for 14 days along with COPR and PRV documents.

Things to do for holders of expired COPR and PR visas

IRCC will prioritize clients with a detailed proposed or confirmed travel plan, or clients who show a willingness to book and confirm travel plans as soon as they are approved. Applicant and accompanying family member must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A valid COPR and PRV on or before March 18, 2020 and no specific date for U.S. based applicants or an expired COPR and PRV
  • A persuasive travel reason like need to tend to non-discretionary family matters, family reunification, need of immediate medical care, expiring status in the U.S. for economic reasons such as to support economic services and supply chains, critical infrastructure support
  • The country where you reside is not subject to exit controls that limit your ability to travel to Canada

Applicants should provide proof of the following:

  • An acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada including proof of funds for purchasing groceries, medical care among other essential services;
  • An acceptable plan to settle such as documents to support your living situation in Canada (address, lease agreement, home ownership document) or employment plans in Canada (location of work, letter from employer);
  • A proposed travel itinerary, including pre-purchased travel tickets

Processing of new permanent residence applications 

New applications for permanent residence are currently accepted in Canada. New files with missing documents or are incomplete will be retained and reviewed within 90 days. Nevertheless, an explanation should be added to the application referencing service interruptions due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions if a new application lacks supporting documentation. If the explanation is vital, it may result in the application being promoted and reviewed within 90 days. New applications will be processed in the receiving order. normal procedures will be followed for new completed applications for permanent residence.

Temporary foreign workers who can enter Canada!

IRCC has provided updated guidance for temporary workers who are exempt from travel restrictions and can enter Canada while COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place. Work permit holders are among those exempt from the travel restrictions if their trip to Canada is for essential reasons. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released the current guidance to provide more clarity to its staff and work permit holders about what constitutes essential travel.

Temporary workers who are exempt from travel restrictions

The foreign nationals who are currently outside Canada are not subject to Canada’s travel restrictions if travelling to Canada for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose:

  • Foreign nationals who hold a valid Canadian work permit (including an open work permit)
  • Foreign nationals who has a positive decision from IRCC (documented by a letter of introduction) on a work permit application but whose work permit has not yet been issued

 Work-permit exempt foreign nationals seeking to work in critical occupations are prioritized

IRCC will continue to prioritize the processing of work permit exemption applications overseas and in Canada to work in health, safety, and food security reasons. These foreign nationals are not subject to travel restrictions and may not be subject to the mandatory 14 – day quarantine period currently in place for most people entering Canada. Critical occupations include:

  • providers of emergency services for the protection or preservation of life or property (e.g. firefighters and medical service providers)
  • Foreign nationals who qualify for an LMIA – exempt work permit and their work are related to the protection or preservation of life or property related to the COVID-19 response and maintenance of critical infrastructure or services
  • persons permitted to work as a student in a health field including as a medical elective or clinical clerk at a medical teaching institution in Canada, for the primary purpose of acquiring training, if they have written approval from the body that regulates that field
  • workers in the marine transportation sector who are essential for the movement of goods by vessel
  • persons who seek to enter Canada for the purpose of delivering, maintaining, or repairing medically necessary equipment or devices
  • persons who seek to enter Canada for the purpose of making medical deliveries of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs or other body parts that are required for patient care in Canada during or within a reasonable period of time after the expiry of the Order

Non-optional or non-discretionary travel scenarios (worker can come to Canada)

  • A foreign national has a valid work permit and ordinarily resides in Canada. Even if the person does not currently have a job in Canada, they can still enter the country since Canada is currently their primary residence.
  • A foreign national has a letter of introduction for an open work permit, has a valid job offer, and will be able to work once they enter Canada.
  • A foreign national has a letter of introduction for an employer-specific work permit, with a valid job offer, which they will be able to pursue upon entering Canada.

Optional travel scenarios (worker can not come to Canada)

  • A foreign national has a letter of introduction for an employer-specific work permit, but the business of their prospective employer is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • A foreign national has a letter of introduction for an open work permit, has not secured a job contract and is simply planning to search for work opportunities in Canada.

Context-specific scenario

Officers will make discretionary decisions based on foreign national’s situation. Factors like foreign national’s current ties to Canada, whether they will be working in an essential occupation, and other motivations for travel to Canada such as whether an individual will be arriving to care for their children will be considered by the officer. For example, the spouse of the essential worker may be required to move to Canada to care for their children, given that schools are closed.

The Orders also exempt foreign nationals whose travel to Canada is authorized in writing by an officer or by a Global Affairs Canada (GAC) consular officer for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members (for example, a temporary worker is in Canada but their spouse and children went home to visit family and now cannot come back).

International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit applicants who received a letter of introduction and are outside Canada

IEC candidates who received a letter of introduction and have an offer of employment with an employer who is still operating during the COVID-19 outbreak may enter Canada. This applies to all IEC work permit holders under the three IEC categories (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op).

IRCC is still accepting and processing new work permit applications. Applicants outside of Canada can submit new work permit applications online. IRCC advises foreign nationals to ensure that their employer is currently allowed to operate based on the rules set out by the provincial or federal government that presides over the employer’s location. Applicants can also continue to submit applications to extend or to change conditions on their work permits from within Canada. Certain in-Canada applicants may still apply using paper applications if they meet one of the exemptions from the mandatory e-application requirement.

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!

Canada plans to grant Permanent Residency to asylum seekers working in healthcare during COVID-19 outbreak

Canadian government is working on a temporary program that would give asylum seekers a pathway to permanent residence if they worked in healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic. This program could be launched in the next few weeks according to Radio Canada reports. Although the number of people who would be benefited is unknown, but it is expected to be in the thousands. Quebec is said to be home to most asylum seekers who could be eligible for the new program.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria presented by the immigration minister is as follows.

The candidates must:

  • be an asylum seeker, even if the original application had failed, or if the claim is still pending;
  • have requested asylum before the date that the measure will be announced;
  • hold a valid work permit;
  • have worked in the health field; and
  • have worked for at least four weeks, or 120 hours, between January 25, 2020 and until the date of the announcement of the special measure.

However, asylum seekers working in other fields, even if they were essential during the pandemic, are not included in the proposed program.

Calls for recognition

There have been growing calls to recognize the contribution of asylum seekers who have served as “guardian angels” during the pandemic. Since 2017, tens of thousands of people have crossed into Canada from the U.S. at Roxham Road, which leads into Quebec. Advocates raised concern they may not be able to stay in Canada when deportations, which have nearly ground to a halt during the COVID-19 crisis, resume.

Asylum seekers in Quebec

La Maison d’Haïti, a Quebec-based support organization for migrants, estimates as many as 1,000 asylum seekers are currently working in the province’s health sector. Many are still working through the pandemic although some had their claims rejected while other are still waiting on decisions from the government. Still many requests for the regularization of the status of asylum seekers currently on the front lines in care facilities have been submitted to the Government of Quebec based on humanitarian grounds.

Asylum seekers to be benefited

Radio Canada was able to obtain a copy of the presentation made by Immigration Minister to Prime Minister and the Cabinet Committee.  The proposed measure is not just limited to workers in long-term care facilities, but also includes workers in hospitals such as nurses, attendants, housekeepers, security, and others. However, the program proposed must be approved before it can go into effect.

Recruitment of immigrants to work in healthcare part of new Quebec reforms

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government recently announced a plan to recruit immigrants to work as orderlies in the province’s long-term care homes. This also includes a pilot program to provide permanent residence to up to 550 experienced healthcare workers per year.

Contact us for consultation and assessment.

Canadian visa application centres (VAC’s) gradually starting to offer services

In response to changing country conditions, some Canadian visa application centres (VACs) have begun resuming limited services while still ensuring important safety measures are maintained. As some services such as biometrics collection have resumed, it’s important to understand that travel restrictions remain in place. Currently, travelers who are exempt from the travel restrictions or are coming for an essential purpose can travel to Canada. All travelers arriving into Canada must quarantine for 14 days immediately upon arrival.

While the travel restrictions are still in place, completing further steps in the application process, such as providing biometrics when possible, will help expedite processing once travel restrictions are lifted.

Clients can visit IRCC page to find out what services, if any, are available at their nearest VAC, and be sure to pay close attention to instructions they have included. If local VAC has not yet resumed services, visit How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC.

The health and safety of VAC and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff, as well as the clients is IRCC’s top priority. IRCC, along with all its government partners, continues to closely monitor the situation and any impacts on clients and our operations.

Common health and safety measures implemented at VACs may include

  • use of hand sanitizer by staff and clients
  • limiting the number of people allowed inside the VAC at any given time
  • checking temperature of staff and clients
  • use of gloves, face masks and face shields by staff
  • frequent cleaning of the VAC

List of VACs reopened for limited services as of June 11, 2020:

  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Erbil, Iraq
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Osaka, Japan
  • The Hague, Netherlands
  • Rome, Italy

Clients can visit IRCC page often as more VACs gradually begin to resume limited services.

Helpful links

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!

Canada exempts essential workers from giving biometrics overseas

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented a temporary public policy exempting essential workers from giving biometrics overseas.

Temporary foreign workers are playing a key role in helping to safeguard the continuity of Canada’s food supply and health security as well as trade and commerce. Due to the ongoing service disruptions related to COVID-19, the Government has put in place a public policy to temporarily exempt foreign workers in certain sectors (e.g. agriculture, agri-food, truck drivers and health-care)  from having to give their biometrics before coming to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed.

Most of the workers in essential occupations who are coming to Canada have already given their biometrics, as they have previously worked in Canada. Some exempt workers, such as seasonal agricultural workers, will now be giving their biometrics on arrival at Canadian ports of entry (POEs). Nonetheless, it will continue to maintain the safety and security of the Canadian public by ensuring that biometrics are collected for all TFWs.

What happens when the worker arrives in Canada?

The worker may be asked to give their biometrics at a Point of Entry (POE) in Canada. The worker will also be assessed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to ensure that they are coming for an essential purpose, for example, they have a letter of introduction for a work permit, and have a valid job offer and can work once they enter Canada.

Once a worker has entered Canada, they must self-quarantine by law for a period of 14 days.

Options for workers who are not covered under the public policy, their application is in progress and still cannot give biometrics

If the visa application centres (VACs) or other biometrics collection sites are still closed, and extension to give biometrics is ending, the applicant will not have to give their biometrics until the biometrics collection sites reopen. This applies, even if the biometric instruction letter (BIL) says that deadline is 30 or 90 days. IRCC has reiterated that no application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents that are missing due to COVID-19.

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!