Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Refugees, asylum claimants, sponsors and PRRA applicants
Travelling to Canada: health check and quarantine
If you’re travelling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and 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.
On this page
- Refugee sponsors and refugees overseas waiting to be resettled
- Refugee claimants in Canada
- Pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) application deadlines
- COVID-19 information in multiple languages
- Updates and related links
Refugee sponsors and refugees overseas waiting to be resettled
Many countries and organizations continue to limit travel to prevent the spread of infection. Our ability to resettle refugees is restricted by the prevention measures that are still in place around the world and in Canada.
Our resettlement work is being affected by
- the unique challenges in each country of asylum, when planning departures and resettling refugees
- the importance of making sure service providers and sponsors in Canada have the capacity to support refugees when and after they arrive in Canada
We continue to work with our resettlement partners, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration to facilitate refugee resettlement where and when conditions make it safe to do so.
If you’ve sponsored refugees
We’ll contact you if the refugees you’re waiting for are ready to travel to Canada. Some refugees are starting to arrive as countries and organizations reduce travel restrictions. We expect more refugees to slowly start arriving over the next few months.
We suspended immigrant loan collection activities until September 2020.
Contact us at 1-800-667-7301 if you
- have questions about your loan
- want to suspend pre-authorized payments
- want to make other payment plans for this period
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.
- 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.
Safe Third Country Agreement remains in effect
We are reviewing the Federal Court decision released on July 22, 2020.
The Court suspended its declaration of the unconstitutionality of the Regulations enacting the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) for a period of 6 months, during which the STCA continues to remain in effect.
Individuals entering Canada at a land port of entry continue to be ineligible to make a refugee claim, and will be returned to the U.S. unless they meet one of the relevant exceptions under the STCA.
Until further notice, IRCC offices in Canada won’t
- interview refugee claimants in person
- process refugee protection claimant document (RPCD) renewals
You can still make a refugee claim if you’re already inside Canada by sending us an email.Make a refugee claim inside Canada
If you’re subject to a removal order, you can’t make a refugee claim.
Getting a new refugee claimant interview time
We’ll contact you about an interview time if
- you already had an interview scheduled that we cancelled because of COVID-19
- you submitted a refugee claim between March 16 and July 7, 2020 using
- our refugee claim email address
- an IRCC office drop box
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.
Pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) application deadlines
We’re still accepting PRRA applications at this time. We’ve also added the option to submit and communicate about your application online.
Find out how to
- submit your PRRA application
- update your contact information if it’s changed since you arrived in Canada
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,
- submit what you can within the deadline
- For example, submit an unsigned or partially completed form.
- include a letter with your application explaining why you couldn’t complete or sign your application
If we get your application after the 15-day deadline,
- we’ll process it
- your removal order won’t be stayed
- you can contact the CBSA office working on your case to find out how you’re affected
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,
- you don’t need to contact us
- we’ll automatically contact you to give you a new 30-day period
- We’ll only contact you after the situation improves enough that you can gather supporting documents effectively.
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
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
- Date modified: