Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Immigration applicants 

New requirements for travel to Canada

As of February 21, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET, you must meet the new testing and quarantine requirements when coming to Canada.

Use the checklist that applies to you:

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

  • Canadians and permanent residents returning to the country
  • 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, 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 you get your language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, we’ll accept them as part of your application.

Express Entry applicants

Because of COVID-19, you now have 90 days to submit your Express Entry application after you’ve received your invitation to apply.

Permanent residence applications that we’re still processing

Due to the impacts of 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

Status of Express Entry applications Last updated: 01-19-2021

  • Canadian experience class
    • We’re working at full capacity to process applications.
      • You may experience delays in processing because we have a backlog of applications due to COVID-19
    • We started processing applications received the week of August 12, 2020.
  • Other Express Entry applications
    • We have limited capacity to process applications and you may experience delays
    • We’ll update this when timelines become available.

If you’re missing documents due to COVID-19 (such as police certificates, biometrics, passports and medical exams)

  • we won’t close or refuse any applications in progress
  • we’ll automatically give you an extra 90 days to send us the documents from the deadline in the request letter
    • this applies even if the letter says you only have 30 or 90 days
  • we’ll keep extending the deadline for another 90 days until you can get the documents
  • you don’t have to contact us to get this extension
  • once you’re able to, send us the missing documents as soon as possible to avoid further 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

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.

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

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.

If we already approved your permanent resident application

If you’re outside Canada

You can’t come to Canada to validate your COPR and land as a permanent resident right now.

You may be able to come only if:

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.

Expired COPR

If your COPR has expired and your application was approved on or before March 18, 2020, you must follow these instructions to come to Canada.

Mandatory quarantine, COVID-19 testing and other requirements

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive:

ArriveCAN

You must use ArriveCAN before checking in at the airport or crossing the border to submit your

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan
  • COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment

Please bring your ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper) with you to show the border services officer upon arrival.

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 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.

Approved permanent resident applicants with expired and expiring COPR and permanent resident visa who are outside Canada

Status of applications Last updated: 12-19-2020

  • We have some capacity to process applications, but you may experience delays in processing due to COVID-19.

If we approved your permanent residence application and we issued you a COPR on or before March 18, 2020, you’re exempt from the travel restrictions.

However, you can’t travel to Canada on expired documents. We’ll contact you (if we haven’t already) to ask you if you’re able to travel to Canada now, to live and settle here. After we receive your reply, we will respond to you within 4 weeks. Once we approve you to come to Canada, we’ll issue you the documents you need to travel.

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, we’ll look into your request, and provide you with instructions.

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:

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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Updates and related links

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