Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Immigration applicants 

Upcoming border changes

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

  • Effective August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the United States, who meet specific criteria to qualify as fully vaccinated
  • September 7 (intended start date): All other foreign nationals who qualify as fully vaccinated   

The 3-night hotel stopover requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air after 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9.

Flights from India suspended

Read the news release.

We recognize that the travel restrictions have an impact on many people who can’t travel to Canada right now. These restrictions stop most discretionary travel to Canada.

If you haven’t applied to immigrate to Canada yet

We’re still accepting most permanent resident applications. Unfortunately, our ability to review and process them is being affected by COVID-19. We can’t currently estimate any processing times.

We’re currently focusing on priority applications like

  • vulnerable groups
  • work permits for people who perform or support essential services.

We’re trying to process those as quickly as possible.

If you apply, you still need to submit a complete application. This means you must include all the supporting documents we ask for. If you can’t get some of these documents right now, include a letter explaining why you can’t include it.

If you already applied for a document but it’s delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can send proof that you’re trying to get it (like a receipt). Include a letter to tell us why you don’t have the document and when you’ll get it. Send us the document as soon as you have it to avoid more delays.

Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents. We’ll consider extending your deadline if you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19.

If you get your language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, we’ll accept them as part of your application.

Permanent residence applications that we’re still processing

If we didn't send you an official letter telling you that we made a final decision on your application, it's still in process.

  • This is true even if the status in your online account is "approved."
  • The official letter would have asked you to submit your passport or provide photos for your CoPR.
  • We didn't send a letter if you weren't exempt from the travel restrictions, or if we couldn't issue your documents.

You don't need to do anything. We'll contact you if we need more information to process your application (updated medical results, police certificates, etc.).

Note: You can use your valid documents to travel to Canada if you

  • have a valid study or work permit
  • have a valid visa in your passport, if you’re from a country where you need one and
  • are exempt from the current travel restrictions

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we can’t

  • process applications normally
  • give accurate processing times for most applications

We’re prioritizing some applications, including

  • vulnerable people
  • people who perform or support essential services

If you’ve already applied, see the check your application status page to learn how

  • to check your application status
  • we’re processing applications during the pandemic New

Supporting documents for an application in progress

We no longer automatically give more time to send documents.

  • We’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.
    • This will happen in the next few months.
    • You’ll have 30 days from the date we contact you to submit the information.
  • Start collecting your documents.
    • Do this before we contact you. It can take time to get some documents.
    • Check the last email we sent you to confirm what you need.
  • Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents.
  • If you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19, we’ll consider extending your deadline.

Find out what to do if you still have documents to provide for your application.

If you get your language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, we’ll accept them as part of your application.

Progress bar removal

Starting March 26, 2021, until further notice we’re removing the progress bar in all Express Entry applicants’ online accounts.

You can still get the most current information about the status of your application by checking the Details about application status section in your online account.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures

Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.

Find out what to do for your biometrics

Language testing organizations

Some language testing organizations have started scheduling tests again.

You may be able to take a language test depending on the:

Language tests we accept:

Make sure you check the latest information about testing in your region.

English
French

Find more information about language testing

To withdraw your application

If you’re affected by the travel restrictions and want to withdraw your permanent residence application, use the Web form to let us know.

We’ll give you a refund if

If we already approved your permanent residence application

If you’re outside Canada and your COPR and permanent resident visa are still valid

We’re changing Canada’s travel restrictions. If you hold a valid (not expired) Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and visa, you can travel to Canada as of June 21, 2021.

You must also

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by the airline before boarding a flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you won’t be allowed to board.

Before you travel to Canada

All travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. Under certain conditions, you may be exempt from some of these requirements.

Find out if you’re exempt from any testing and quarantine requirements.

You need to use ArriveCAN

Use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.

Make sure you’re using the newest version of ArriveCAN. If you previously submitted your information using an older version of ArriveCan, you must download the latest version and resubmit your information.

Provincial and territorial travel restrictions

Provinces and territories may have their own travel restrictions. Before you travel, check the official website of your province or territory of destination.

If your supporting documents have expired

If any of the below documents have expired, we may need you to give us new ones

If you need to update these documents, we’ll tell you when we contact you.

If you’re planning on coming temporarily and leaving again, for example, to look for a place to live, you can’t do that right now unless you meet a different travel exemption. Also:

If you’re outside Canada and your COPR and permanent resident visa are expired or expiring

As of June 21, 2021, you’re exempt from travel restrictions, no matter what date we issued your COPR, if you’re

But, you can’t travel to Canada on expired documents.

If you have an expired COPR, you won’t be able to travel to Canada until we reissue your documents. Normally, you’d have to reapply, but right now we’re making exceptions for people who couldn’t travel to Canada due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

We’ve already contacted most people with expired COPRs issued on or before March 18, 2020, to explain what to do. If we already sent you instructions to do a new medical or submit updated documents, follow them and wait for us to tell you what happens next. You don’t need to contact us again.

We’re also working to contact anyone else with expired COPRs, including those issued after March 18, 2020.

What happens next:

When we email you, we’ll ask you to tell us if your family situation has changed (for example, newborn, marriage, divorce) so we can update your application and ask you for any other documents we need. We may also need updated documents if the ones you previously submitted are no longer valid (police certificates, medical exams, etc.) 

Do not do an up-front medical exam. If you need a new medical, we’ll send you new instruction forms to take with you to the doctor after you reply to our email. This will help avoid processing delays.

To avoid delays, we ask that you don’t contact us via our web form or through the processing office email. If you have already contacted us, please wait for our instructions.

We expect people with a COPR and permanent resident visa that are valid until October 1, 2021 or after to have enough time to come to Canada before their documents expire.

Travelling to Canada

You can travel to Canada once we confirm to you in writing that we

If we reissue your COPR, we’ll send you the documents you need to travel.

If you’re already living in Canada: In-person landing appointments cancelled

We cancelled all in-person permanent resident landing appointments at our offices in Canada until further notice.

If you haven’t gotten your COPR yet

Currently, we’re finalizing applications based on the documents you submitted with your application. In some cases, we may need to contact you before we can finalize your application.

We’ll contact you if we need more information. Use the web form if you need to update your contact information. Finalizing applications may take longer than usual during this time.

When we finalize your application, we’ll send you an official letter. While you wait for your permanent resident card (PR card), you can use this letter to

If you got your COPR, but haven’t landed

If we sent you a COPR, but you haven’t been able to go to one of our offices in Canada to validate it, we’ll contact you to tell you what to do. Use the web form if you need to update your contact information.

You should not travel to a port of entry to validate your COPR. This is not considered essential travel and you won’t be able to validate it this way.

Due to COVID-19, we have a new process to confirm permanent resident status. We don’t need a COPR for this new process if you are in Canada.

Permanent resident cards

Once you become a permanent resident, we’ll send you a document to confirm your new status in Canada. We’ll also ask you to provide a photo so we can start the process of issuing your first PR card. You don’t need to apply for your first PR card.

While you wait for your PR card, you can use your signed COPR document (if you have one), or the letter confirming permanent resident status to

It may take longer than usual for us to issue your PR card.

How financial benefits affect family sponsorship

If you collect the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you’re still eligible to sponsor your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or other relative as long as you meet all the requirements to be a sponsor.

CERB isn’t considered social assistance. Collecting CERB won’t make you ineligible to sponsor.

We recently put a temporary public policy in place which lets any family class sponsors who must meet income requirements count CERB in their income calculations for the 2020 tax year. This is in addition to other benefits:

EI and CERB won’t cause you to default

If the person you sponsored collects EI or the CERB during the undertaking period, it will not cause you to default.

However, if the person you sponsored collects social assistance during the undertaking period, you have to repay the amount. If you don’t, you’ll be in default of your undertaking.

COVID-19 information in multiple languages

The Public Health Agency of Canada website has resources in multiple languages to help you understand COVID-19. These include

  • factsheets
  • videos
  • recordings
  • infographics

You can find the languages of each resource under its description.

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