Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Refugees, asylum claimants, sponsors and PRRA 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 19, 2020
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
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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,
- 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.
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Updates and related links
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