Resettlement: COVID-19 program delivery

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This page contains guidance for migration offices about the processing of resettlement applicants in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines will change as the situation evolves and as business gradually returns to normal.

Current directive: Processing of resettlement applications can continue as per standard guidance. However, travel documents may be issued only to resettlement applicants where capacity to support the arrivals has been confirmed by the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O).

Legal reference: Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country other than the United States)

Below are the current guidelines for IRCC offices abroad.

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Final decision – requests for quarantine plans

Prior to making a final decision on any privately sponsored refugee or blended visa-office referred (BVOR) applications, a quarantine plan must be on file in Global Case Management System (GCMS). The request for this plan will be sent to sponsors from the ROC-O. To initiate this request, migration offices must send a destination matching request (DMR) to ROC-O using the status ‘Sent to Matching Centre’. Migration Offices should fill in the Requested Destination fields, with the Requested Reason field set to ‘Other’ and the Requested Other Reason Description as ‘QP’. Migration offices should also add a note to the application that the quarantine plan has been requested. Once a copy of the quarantine plan is on file, ROC-O will change the status of the DMR to ‘Sent to Visa Office’ and add a note to the application indicating that the quarantine plan is on file. Migration offices can then complete the DMR and add the final decision (FD). Please note that this will only be a temporary process while quarantine plans are still required.

Final decisions on government-assisted refugee applications can proceed as per the usual process. Capacity of Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations is confirmed by IOM prior to booking travel through the use of the Arrivals Booking Tool.

Arrangements for departure to Canada

Booking of travel

It is the responsibility of the migration office to coordinate with the IOM on booking travel for all refugee applicants; however, there must be a copy of a quarantine plan on file for all PSRs and BVORs prior to sending requests to the IOM.

Responding to client inquiries

A package of frequently asked questions has been developed to respond to client inquiries. Updated versions will be shared through the regular email sent by the International Network relating to COVID-19.

A published resource developed by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is also available.

Additional questions received from refugees, their family members or other interested persons can be forwarded to the ROC-O.

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