Permanent residence: COVID-19 program delivery

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

These are COVID-19 program delivery instructions for applications for permanent residence (all programs).

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Application intake

Intake of new permanent residence applications will continue. Files that are incomplete due to unavailable documents will be retained in the system and reviewed in 90 days.

New, complete permanent residence applications under section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will be processed as per normal procedures while taking into consideration the additional processing guidance outlined in these instructions.

If a new application is missing supporting documentation (associated fees are required), the applicant should include an explanation with their application that they are affected by the service disruptions as a result of the novel coronavirus. The application may then be promoted and reviewed in 90 days. New applications should be promoted in the order they were received, and the org ID should be associated with them when the applicant self-identifies. If the application is still incomplete in 60 days, officers should request the missing documents with an additional 90-day deadline.

Applications found to be incomplete with no explanation provided, or for reasons unrelated to the disruption of services associated with impacts of the novel coronavirus, may be rejected as per section R10, and all fees associated with the application should be refunded to the applicant. The reason for rejection should be unrelated to the disruption of services.

Offices in the Centralized and Domestic Networks will continue to process permanent residence applications where the principal applicant is in Canada and has overseas dependants, taking into account the delays that may occur. The principal applicant should not be granted permanent residence if their overseas dependants cannot travel, with the sole exception of protected persons, for whom there is a legislative exemption from this requirement. Clients will be contacted to ascertain next steps once travel is possible again.

Approved permanent residence applications (COPR and PRV)

Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a COPR and PRV and inform us, by submitting a Web form to IRCC, that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation should be processed as follows:

Re-opened applications

Approved applications where the principal applicant has not already become a permanent resident can be re-opened in GCMS by cancelling the COPR and PRV and removing the final decision.

When to review a re-opened application

Once the applicant informs IRCC via the Web form that they are able to travel, a re-opened application may be re-approved provided that the applicant and their family members, whether accompanying or not, have valid immigration medical examinations, criminal and security checks and passports.

If the 60-day waiting period elapses and the applicant has not informed us that they are able to travel, a note should be placed in the application, and it should be brought forward for review for an additional 60 days.

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