As the COVID-19 pandemic remains unpredictable, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship in Canada (IRCC) has made adjustments to procedures and guidelines. In order to accommodate deadlines and those whose statuses have been impacted by the pandemic, let’s take a look at the special measures inducted by the IRCC.
These measures cater specifically to temporary and permanent residents as well as applicants who:
- Are Chinese, Iranian or South Korean
- Are currently in China, Iran, or South Korea and affected by service disruptions or travel restrictions caused by the circumstances of the virus
For anyone applying for a visitor visa, work or study permit, or permanent residency, applications have been extended by a 90-day period. Biometrics affected by any service disruptions have also been extended by 90 days.
General Processing Measures
Any applications not completed during the pandemic period will not be refused for non-compliance. Those currently being processed in local centers or at the Domestic Network of CIC offices abroad will experience inevitable delays. Changes may be applied in the future.
Many Visa Application Centers have been operating with minimal staff or completely shut down in the meantime. New applicants are being redirected to online processing and biometric collections suspended as processing documents submitted via mail or submitted in person at a VAC are far less efficient. Citizenship tests or retests, ceremonies, and itinerant service trips have been suspended in order to prioritize safety. Those with appointments for permanent resident landings or refugee plans have been cancelled for an indefinite period of time.
Requests for Documents
As Chinese, Iranians, and South Koreans applying for immigration and citizenship are still required to provide passports, police certificates, biometrics, and medical documents, they will also be given a 90-day extension. Previously made requests for certain documents will also be subject to a 90-day extension. If you’ve received a biometrics instruction letter indicating a 30-day extension, the CIC has allowed officers to consider 90 days under more complicated circumstances.
Temporary residents with a near-expiration status can also apply for an extension at an immigration agency, provided that they apply online and meet requirements including association fees. These foreign nationals may remain in Canada under an implied status until a decision is made on the application. Those with an expired status may easily apply for restoration by paying the associated fee. If restoration is eligible, an officer may able able to issue a visitor record or similar appropriate permit. If applicants aren’t eligible for restoration, a Minister’s delegate can determine whether it is best to refer the existing case to an admissibility hearing or allow the foreign national to remain by issuing a departure order.
As the pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for immigrants to maintain residency or families to remain together, immigration consultants such as ours at Bright Immigration are working to make transitions during the pandemic as seamless as possible. For all your Toronto immigration needs, our doors remain virtually open as we strive to provide personalized solutions that can keep you and your family together during uncertain times.
If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm in Canada, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-404-8472.