Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Refugees, asylum claimants, sponsors and PRRA applicants

We recognize that the travel restrictions for those who are outside the US will have an impact on many people who can’t travel to Canada right now. These restrictions stop all non-essentialFootnote 1 (discretionary) travel to Canada.

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 19, 2020

On this page

Refugee sponsors and refugees overseas waiting to be resettled

Along with our resettlement partners, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration, we’ve temporarily paused our refugee resettlement programs impacted by the travel restrictions. We’ll resume resettling refugees as conditions permit.

If you’ve sponsored refugees

The Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa will contact you if the refugees you’re preparing to receive won’t be travelling. There will be no additional arrivals or new flight bookings until further notice. Individual notices on flight cancellations will be sent to you by email.

Immigration loans

IRCC is suspending its immigrant loan collection activities for a period of 6 months, until September 2020. Clients who have questions about their loan, want to suspend pre-authorized payments, or who want to make alternative arrangements for payments during this period, can contact IRCC at 1-800-667-7301.

Refugee claimants in Canada

Temporary agreement between Canada and the U.S.

  • Individuals entering Canada from the U.S. to make an asylum claim will be temporarily sent back to the U.S.
  • Individuals entering the U.S. from Canada to make an asylum claim will be temporarily sent back to Canada.

This applies

  • between official ports of entry along the land border
  • at air and marine ports of entry

If you make a claim at a land port of entry, the Safe Third Country Agreement applies.

Until further notice, IRCC offices in Canada will no longer

You can still make a refugee claim if you’re already inside Canada.

If you’re subject to a removal order, you can’t make a refugee claim.

Reschedule your refugee claimant interview

If you had an interview scheduled, we’ll contact you to let you know when your new interview will be.

Use the Web form if you need to update your contact information.

Get services with expired refugee documents

Expired RPCDs should be considered valid until further notice. You can use your acknowledgement of claim letter or RCPD (valid or expired) to prove you’ve made a refugee claim.

Get a work or study permit

You won’t be able to get a free work or study permit until you had your refugee claim interview and completed an immigration medical exam.

If you already have a valid permit, you can keep using it. You can also apply for extension before your work or study permit expires.

Pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) application deadlines

We’re still accepting PRRA applications at this time.

If your contact information has changed since you arrived in Canada, tell us about it.

If you can’t apply within the 15-day deadline

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will tell you if you’re eligible to apply for a PRRA. If you’re eligible, you then have 15 days to submit a complete application. This is the only way to guarantee that your removal order will be stayed.

If you can’t submit a complete PRRA application within the 15 days because of COVID-19 disruptions,

If we get your application after the 15-day deadline,

If you already applied, but can’t submit your supporting documents within the 30-day deadline

After a CBSA officer tells you that you’re eligible for a PRRA, you have 30 days to submit other documents to support your application.

If you couldn’t submit supporting documents within 30 days because of COVID-19 disruptions,

We won’t make a decision on your case until after your new 30-day period is over.

The purpose of this new 30-day period is to make sure you have the same amount of time to submit supporting documents as you would have had without the COVID-19 disruptions.

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.

Please take a few moments to rate your experience with this page.

Updates and related links

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: