Special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus

Ottawa, February 7, 2020—Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has put special measures in place to help temporary and permanent residents, as well as applicants, who have been affected by disruptions related to the novel coronavirus.

These measures are being implemented following the temporary closure of the 11 visa application centres (VACs) in mainland China.

Canadian visa offices in mainland China are currently operating with essential staff only, until further notice. They are processing only urgent applications on a case-by-case basis.

If you are a permanent resident visa holder or a permanent resident

Permanent resident visa holders will be able to request an extension of their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) if

  • they have been approved for immigration to Canada and have a COPR
  • their visa will expire within the next 90 days
  • they are unable to travel to Canada

Applicants will need to contact IRCC by submitting a web form and explaining the reason they are unable to travel to Canada within the validity of their visa. These requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Permanent residents who need a permanent resident travel document to urgently travel to Canada can email the Canadian visa office in China at beijing-immigration@international.gc.ca.

If you are a Canadian citizenship applicant

Those who are scheduled for:

  • knowledge tests
  • retests
  • interviews
  • hearings
  • Oaths of Citizenship

but are currently unable to travel to Canada, will have the opportunity to reschedule for a later date.

After the applicant returns to Canada they must ask for a new date by either

  • sending an email or writing to the local office that originally scheduled them or
  • requesting a new date through our web form.
If you are a temporary or permanent resident applicant abroad

Applicants who have an urgent case, or who need to urgently travel to Canada, can email the Canadian visa office in China at beijing-immigration@international.gc.ca for assistance.

People who have applied for a visitor visa, a work permit, a study permit or for permanent residence, but who cannot complete the next steps in the process on time due to the situation in mainland China, will not have their application refused solely on the basis of not completing these requests.

Examples of the next steps include

  • submitting their passport or supporting documents, such as a police certificate
  • completing an immigration medical examination
  • giving their biometrics

More time (extensions) will automatically be provided to applicants in these situations. Once it is possible to provide these required documents, applicants are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to avoid further delays.

Those affected by the travel restrictions and who want to withdraw their temporary residence application must complete a web form. Refunds will be provided to people who withdraw their application within 24 hours of submitting, provided no processing has started.

If you are a temporary resident unable to leave Canada

Visitors, international students and foreign workers whose legal status in Canada will soon end, but cannot travel to mainland China due to travel restrictions, can apply for an extension, if eligible. See this FAQ for more information.

People whose legal status in Canada has expired may be able to restore their status or apply for a temporary resident permit. See this FAQ for more information.

IRCC, along with all its government partners, will continue to closely monitor the situation and any impacts on clients. Applicants are encouraged to visit the following Government of Canada websites for up-to-date information, including when the VACs have reopened:

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