COVID-19 update: Applicants should start collecting supporting information as IRCC resumes processing of applications in progress

Ottawa, April 12, 2021 – Since the onset of the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been working to better serve clients, including by processing applications to reunite families more quickly. We have also prioritized applications for people who are vulnerable, coming for compassionate reasons or providing critical services to Canadians, such as those working in the food supply and health care sectors. In addition, IRCC has been automatically extending deadlines for applicants who have faced delays in submitting required documents due to COVID‑19 restrictions.

As most IRCC offices, visa application centres (VACs) around the world, and application support centers (ASCs) in the United States have reopened, many applicants can now provide the supporting documents needed for IRCC to process their application. As a result, IRCC will no longer be automatically extending deadlines for submitting the required supporting documentation. However, IRCC will continue to provide deadline extensions to clients who are still unable to provide required documentation due to COVID‑19 disruptions. Please read below for detailed information on what applicants need to do to submit the required information or request an extension.

important: You should not travel to another city or country to obtain the required supporting documents. As long as you provide a reasonable explanation of how you’ve been affected by a COVID‑19-related disruption by the deadline, IRCC will extend that deadline for an additional 30 days.

Having clients provide the required supporting documentation will allow IRCC to make timely decisions on their applications, where possible. This will also help minimize impacts to future processing times for all applicants by reducing the current inventory IRCC has and expediting people’s travel to Canada when the travel restrictions are eased.

Foreign nationals whose application for a visitor visa or permanent residence is approved are not eligible to travel to Canada at this time, unless they’re exempt from the travel restrictions.

How this change may affect you

Over the coming months, IRCC officers will contact citizenship, permanent residence and temporary residence applicants, on a case-by-case basis, to request that they provide supporting documents or a reasonable explanation of how a COVID‑19-related disruption prevents them from obtaining this information.

What you need to do if you still have to provide a document in support of your application

Even if you receive a confirmation of permanent residence or visitor visa, you likely will not be able to travel to Canada. Only foreign nationals who are exempt from the travel restrictions are eligible to travel to Canada at this time.

What you need to do if you’re still affected by a COVID‑19 restriction or disruption

If you can’t provide the requested documents, IRCC officers will be as flexible as possible.

Keep checking our website for updates, including when the travel restrictions will be eased.

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