Covid-19 Affecting Immigration Process And Services: Update

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The Immigration process may have slowed down but not paused during COVID-19. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) continues to make tremendous efforts to address various “how about” concerns and questions in the Immigration process and procedures. We discuss below some of the processes affected due to COVID-19.



The Visitors, International Students and Temporary Foreign Workers who are presently in Canada with soon to be or with already expired visa status, can apply to extend or restore their visa status. The applicant must provide a note explaining reason to extend or restore their status along with the applicable fee.



International students who have a valid study permit or were approved of a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, are allowed to enter Canada along with their immediate family members, who must have their own valid work permit or temporary resident visa. These students may continue to work according to their approved work permit conditions. They can also complete their course requirements online, if the school has moved to online-only format due to Covid-19. This will not impact their eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permit.



International students may be eligible to apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”), if they meet certain eligibility requirements.



IRCC continues to make a request for additional documents for processing all immigration applications including police certificates, biometrics, passports and medical examinations. The response time for such requests is extended to 90 days. Even if request for documents was made earlier and has now expired, IRCC has given another 90 days to provide the requested documents. Further, the biometric instruction letter (“BIL”) will advise applicants to provide biometrics in 30 days from the date of the issuance of the letter but it may be read as 90 days since IRCC cannot amend BIL.



All foreign nationals in Canada should not travel to the Port-of-Entry to obtain immigration services as this is considered non-essential travel, as per the Canada Border Service Agency guidelines. All immigration services must be applied-for online only. All travelers entering Canada will have to pass health checks before boarding the plane and must isolate for a mandatory quarantine period of 14 days, even if showing no symptoms.



These guidelines are fluid and/or may change in a matter of days and/or weeks. We will try to keep our readers updated with regard to the most current immigration procedures and guidelines.


About The Author

Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. At NPZ Law Group, we are business immigration lawyers who understand that success in today's global marketplace requires a skilled and mobile workforce. We provide our business clients with the legal assistance they require in immigration matters to help them meet their business goals while complying with applicable immigration laws and regulations.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.