Canada’s immigration and travel services have been changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The government has changed immigration policies for two reasons. The first is to help to prevent coronavirus spread, and second is to help Canadian employers, international students, foreign workers, and immigrants with their needs.
People who are Allowed to Enter Canada
Canada has imposed new restrictions to travel to Canada. These restrictions are arranged until June 30, 2020. The people who can enter Canada in this period are as following:
- Permanent Residents;
- Canada Citizens;
- Permanent residents or Canadian citizens’ immediate family;
- Transiting passengers;
- International students who had been approved for a study permit or already have a valid study permit before March 18;
- Temporary workers who are foreign;
- Permanent resident applicants whose permanent residence had been approved before March 18 and who had not traveled to Canada yet.
People who are not able to travel to Canada because of coronavirus restrictions can contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (ICCRC). These applicants can explain their situation to get advice from ICCRC. It is advised that all applicants check the IRCC website for any updates before traveling to Canada.
All people who travel to Canada must quarantine themselves for 14 days after they arrive in Canada. Until now, April 15, all new travelers who arrive in Canada must wear masks prior to they can continue to their final destination. These people must have a plan for their quarantine period or they must stay in a hotel.
Canada’s Special Measures for Immigrants
Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program Draws
Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are continuing in Economic class. Since March 18, four Express Entry draws have been done which two of them occurred last week on the same day. Also, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, B.C., and Alberta draws have been held in the Provincial Nominee Program. Eighteen entrepreneurs have been invited to accomplish their process for obtaining their permanent residence last week.
As IRCC confirmation, Express Entry draws and permanent resident process applications will continue in this period. Yet, regarding the IRCC announcement, the process for the applicants whose applications have been approved after March 18, will be with some delays. These applicants’ applications will not be processed within 6 months.
The Least Impacts of Special Measures on Family class
Travel restrictions have the least impacts on Family Class. Citizens and permanent residents’ family members can still enter Canada. Also, the processing of spousal and common-law sponsorship applications is as usual while IRCC will submit incomplete applications by some flexibility. Yet, the opening of the 2020 parents and grandparents’ immigration program will be postponed. Immediate Family must prove their relationship to a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. Immediate Family members are as following:
- Dependent children
- Spouse and Common-law partner
- Parents or step-parents
- Dependent grandchildren
- Guardian or Tutor
- Spouse or common-law partner’s parent or grandparent
Coronavirus has Affected Considerably on Refugees Class
Refugee resettlement programs have been stopped temporarily. Also, the refugee clients will not be interviewed by Canada in person. The refugee protection applicant document renewals’ process will not be in person either.
Applicants who had a fixed interview schedule will be contacted by IRCC to let them know about the new interview schedule. Any applicant whose phone number has been changed can contact the IRCC website and update his/her contact information. Also, Canada will not collect the immigration loan until September 2020. This loan is offered to qualified immigrants, especially refugees. For any questions call 1-800-667-7301.
Travel Restrictions Exemption for Temporary Foreign Workers
Travel restrictions do not affect foreign workers. If workers are in the following categories, they do not need to get a work permit.
- Students who are studying in health fields, like medical elective or a clinical clerk at a Canadian medical teaching institution. They must have written approval from a person who supervises that field;
- Foreign workers who intend to enter Canada only to be a member of the transportation organization. It can include a vessel in international transportation;
- Workers who provide medical or emergency services to preserve or protect lives or properties.
People who are in these categories have to provide documents like an invitation letter from a related organization. Different organizations such as provincial, federal, or municipal government entity for emergency services providers, or teaching institutions for students who study medical, or shipping agents for people who want to join vessel crews can afford this invitation letter.
Canada is helping employers in hiring foreign employees in some essential industries like trucking, agriculture, or food processing by easing the process. Companies which hire ten occupations from the above categories can omit advertising prerequisite for their Labour Market Impact Assessment.
Travel Restrictions Exemption for International Students
Travel restrictions do not affect students who have already study permit on or before March 18. If in-class courses were changed with an online-only because of coronavirus outbreak, international students are qualified for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. International students who have study permit or have been approved for a program which will start in May or June, but they are not able to travel to Canada because of travel restrictions, are included in this category. International students can study up to fifty percent of their program from outside Canada and be still eligible for PGWP.