Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Immigration applicants
- How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC
- Travel restrictions and exemptions
- Workers, students and visitors
- Immigration applicants
- Refugees and PRRA applicants
- Canadians and citizenship applicants
- Passports and travel documents
- IRCC offices and VACs
- Permanent residents
- Temporary processing changes
- Settlement and resettlement service providers
Travelling to Canada: health check and quarantine
If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.
Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.
Last updated: May 15, 2020
On this page:
- If you haven’t applied to immigrate to Canada yet
- If we already approved your permanent resident application
- Permanent residence applications that we’re still processing
- To withdraw your application
- How financial benefits affect family sponsorship
- COVID-19 information in multiple languages
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
- Canadians returning to the country
- vulnerable groups
- 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, you should wait to apply until you can get them.
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.
If we already approved your permanent resident application
Permanent residence applications approved on or before March 18, 2020
If we approved your application on or before March 18, 2020, but you haven’t travelled to Canada yet, you’re exempt from the travel restriction measures.
In-person landing appointments cancelled
We cancelled all in-person permanent resident landing appointments until further notice. Currently, we’re finalizing applications based on the documents you submitted with your application. In some cases, we may need to contact you by telephone before we can finalize your application.
We’ll contact you by email 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.
Approved permanent resident applicants with expired or expiring documents
If we already approved your permanent resident application but you can't travel to Canada before your documents expire, use the Web form to tell us why you can’t travel.
Once it’s possible for you to travel, use the Web form to let us know so we can tell you what to do next.
Permanent residence applications that we’re still processing
Due to the impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we can’t
- process applications normally
- provide accurate processing times
We’re prioritizing some applications, including
- Canadians trying to return to Canada
- vulnerable people
- people who perform or support essential services
No application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents missing due to COVID-19. We’ll automatically give you 90 days to complete these steps. Once you’re able to, complete the steps as soon as possible to avoid delays.
Some steps you may not be able to complete right now include
- submitting your passport or supporting documents, such as a police certificate
- completing an immigration medical exam
COVID-19: Biometrics deadline
Some biometrics collection sites are closed. If the site closest to you is closed, we’ll extend your deadline to give your biometrics. Find out how COVID-19 is affecting biometrics.
Biometrics at Service Canada locations
To keep everyone safe, Service Canada has temporarily stopped collecting biometrics until further notice.
- All biometrics appointments have been cancelled.
- You’ll have to reschedule your biometrics appointment when Service Canada locations return to normal operations.
- If you can’t give your biometrics at a Service Canada location, don’t go to another location like
- a Canadian port of entry
- an Application Support Center in the United States or
- a visa application centre
Language testing organizations
Some language testing organizations have started scheduling tests again.
You may be able to take a language test depending on the:
- designated testing organization
- region where you want to take your test
- language you’re being tested for
Language tests we accept:
Make sure you check the latest information about testing in your region.
- CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program
- IELTS: International English Language Testing System
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
- you withdraw your application within 24 hours of submitting it
- we haven’t started processing
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.
EI and CERB won’t 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
You can find the languages of each resource under its description.
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