Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Refugees, asylum claimants, sponsors and pre-removal risk assessment applicants

COVID-19 border measures have ended

On October 1, 2022, all COVID-19 border requirements, including vaccination, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, and any testing and quarantine or isolation requirements, ended for all travellers entering Canada by land, air or sea.

We’re working to update the information on this page. Learn more about the changes to travel restrictions.

Refugee sponsors and refugees overseas waiting to be resettled

Our ability to resettle refugees is restricted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures in Canada and around the world. We expect to see more refugee departures to Canada as these measures are lifted.

Some challenges affecting our resettlement work are

  • restrictions on who can currently travel to Canada
  • the unique conditions in each country of asylum
  • the importance of making sure service providers and sponsors in Canada can support refugees when and after they arrive

We’ll keep working with our resettlement partners to facilitate refugee resettlement safely. Our partners include

  • the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Quarantine and COVID-19 testing

Before refugees leave for Canada, they attend a Canadian Orientation Abroad session with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This session provides refugees with information on how they can monitor their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Refugees are also

As an added precaution, refugees undergo a fitness-to-fly check for COVID-19 signs and symptoms with an IOM nurse or doctor. This check is done 24 to 72 hours before their flight.

Resettled refugees landing in Canada need to follow the latest

If you’re a refugee overseas waiting to travel to Canada

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

If you already sponsored refugees

We'll contact you when the refugees you're waiting for are ready to travel. Once we do, make sure everyone in your sponsorship group agrees that you're ready to welcome and support the refugees you've sponsored.

If you're sponsoring through a sponsorship agreement holder, discuss your plans with them. Make sure they agree before you tell us to proceed with the refugees' travel plans.

You must make a quarantine plan for the refugees you sponsored, even if they're fully vaccinated. We will need a copy of the plan before we book their travel. You should also share your quarantine plan with the refugees you sponsored so they know what to expect when they get here. Fully vaccinated refugees who don't use ArriveCAN may be asked to quarantine when they arrive in Canada.

When the refugees you sponsored land in Canada, they'll need to follow the latest COVID-19 testing requirements.

Refugee claimants who are inside Canada

Asylum claimants who were directed back to the U.S.

We’re contacting individuals who wanted to make a claim for asylum in Canada, but were directed back to the U.S. because of the COVID-19 border restrictions. These individuals will be able to return to Canada to continue their claim. Find out more from the Canada Border Services Agency.

Safe Third Country Agreement remains in effect

The STCA continues to be 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.

If you’re already inside Canada, you can still make a refugee claim online.

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

Refugee claimant interview time

If you didn’t already have an interview scheduled, we’ll contact you once we’ve scheduled you for one.

We’ll contact you about a new interview time if you had a scheduled interview that we cancelled because of COVID-19.

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

Renew or replace your refugee protection claimant document (RPCD)

Expired RPCDs

All expired RPCDs are still considered valid until further notice. The date they expired will not affect the validity.

If your RPCD expired before January 1, 2020

Your RPCD is still considered valid. You don’t need to request a new one right now.

If your RPCD expired on or after January 1, 2020

You can request a RPCD by mail. To get your new RPCD, you must be inside Canada. Your expired RPCD will stay valid until you get your new one.

Follow these steps to get your replacement RPCD:

  1. Complete the RPCD request form (PDF, 0.1 MB).

    1. Include any dependant who also needs a new RPCD. They must also be inside Canada.
  2. Get 2 passport size photos for each person.

    1. The back of 1 photo must include the person’s name and date of birth.
  3. Mail your complete form and all photos in one envelope to this address:

    RPCD / DDA
    IRCC Winnipeg
    269 Main Street, Suite 400
    Winnipeg, MB R3C 1B2

After we get your request, we’ll

Destroy your old RPCD once you have your new one. The old RPCD will no longer be valid.

Lost, stolen or damaged RPCDs

If your RPCD was lost, stolen or damaged, email us at IRCC.RPCDLostStolen-DDAPerduVole.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. The subject line of your email should say if your RPCD was lost, stolen or damaged.

Get a work or study permit

You won’t be able to get a free work or study permit until you’ve 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 an extension before your work or study permit expires.

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

Applying 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, as per Section 162 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). This is the only way to guarantee that your removal order will be stayed, as per Section 232 of the IRPR.

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

Applying after the 15-day deadline

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

If you already applied within the 15-day deadline before June 22, 2021, but you were unable to submit your supporting documents within the 30-day deadline

For applications received on or after June 22, 2021

After a CBSA officer tells you that you’re eligible for a PRRA, you have 15 days (per Section 162 of the IRPR) to submit your completed PRRA application and 30 days (per Section 162 of the IRPR) to submit your supporting documents.

If you are unable to submit supporting documents within 30 days because of COVID-19 disruptions, you must request an extension to submit documents at a later time with a reasonable explanation and proof of the explanation that would allow the application to remain open.

After the 30 days, officers will use their discretion to either grant an additional 30-day extension where a reasonable explanation and proof has been provided, or; make a final decision, where possible, with the information on file.

Applications received on or after June 22, 2021, should be submitted with all of the supporting documents or a reasonable explanation with proof why the applicant is unable to obtain and provide the document at this time.

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.

Updates and related links

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