How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services: common questions about applying for a visitor visa or eTA

Until further notice, most people cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Some people may still be able to travel to Canada by air if they’re exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose.

This page provides answers to common questions about the current pause in processing visitor visa and eTA applications (unless you’re exempt) and the need to apply online for a study permit or work permit from April 9 to June 9, 2020.

Q. Will you accept and process visa applications from visitors during the pause period?

During the pause period, we’re not processing your visitor visa application, unless you’re both

Don’t apply for your visitor visa unless you’re exempt. If you apply online and you’re not exempt, we won’t process your application until the pause ends, though your application (including your fee) will be accepted.

We’ll update our website and let you know when regular processing resumes.

If you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, you must follow the steps to show that you’re exempt when you apply.

Q. Will you accept and process electronic travel authorization (eTA) applications from visitors during the pause period?

If you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, you must follow the steps to show that you’re exempt when you apply.

If you’re not exempt from the travel restrictions

If you apply for an eTA even though you can’t fly to Canada, one of two things may happen:

  1. You’ll be automatically issued an eTA, but you won’t be able to travel to Canada. Don’t try to fly to Canada until the travel restrictions end.
  2. Your application won’t be automatically approved (for example, if we need more information from you to make a decision). If this happens, we won’t process your application during the pause. When regular processing resumes, we’ll email you with next steps.
Q. I applied for a visa to visit Canada before the pause took effect. Will I have to reapply for my visa after the pause ends?

No. Your visa application will be processed once the pause ends.

Q. I applied for an eTA to visit Canada before the pause took effect. Will I have to reapply after the pause ends?

No, but if your application was not automatically approved (for example, if we need more information from you to make a decision), we won’t process your application during the pause. We’ll send you an email with next steps once the pause ends, and regular processing resumes.

Q. Are you still accepting new applications from international students, foreign workers and those who want to live permanently in Canada at this time?

Yes, we’re accepting new applications from international students, foreign workers and permanent residence applicants.

However, if you’re applying for a study permit or work permit from outside Canada, you must apply online.

Given the ongoing service disruptions, you may have difficulty completing all the steps in the process, such as giving your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).

We have special measures in place, including giving you more time to complete all the steps.

Find out how COVID-19 is affecting IRCC services

Once your application is processed and approved, find out if you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and can travel to Canada. All temporary foreign workers and some international students are exempt from the travel restrictions.

If you’re applying for permanent residence, follow the instructions for the applicable immigration program.

Q. Will you process existing applications for study permits, work permits and permanent residence that were submitted before the pause began?

Yes, we’re processing existing study permit, work permit and permanent residence applications, to the extent possible, no matter how the application was submitted to us.

Given the ongoing service disruptions, you may have difficulty completing all the steps in the process, such as giving your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).

We have special measures in place, including giving you more time to complete all the steps.

Find out how COVID-19 is affecting IRCC services

Once your application is processed and approved, find out if you’re exempt from the travel restrictions for

All temporary foreign workers, some international students and some permanent residence applicants are exempt from the travel restrictions.

Q. I’m in Canada as a visitor, student or worker and want to apply to extend, restore or renew my status. What do these changes mean for me?

You won’t be affected by these changes. You can apply to extend, restore or renew your status at any time.

If you’re applying from outside Canada, find out more about the temporary changes to the application process for

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