COVID-19 Major Updates for Permanent Residence and Citizenship Applications
Canada over the past two weeks has introduced a lot of changes to adapt themselves during the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a list of all the updates IRCC has announced in the past two weeks regarding Permanent Residence and Citizenship applications.
Information and updates regarding General Topics under IRCC
1. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I cannot meet one or several requirements for my future application. Would I face issues?
The government of Canada and IRCC, are yet to announce what measures they would take in special circumstances as we are in right now. We expect the IRCC to come up with generous plans and measures taking into consideration the possible situation of several applicants who due to COVID-19 cannot meet one or several eligibility criteria.
2. I have a one-year work permit and have been laid off. Consequentially I would not meet my one-year work experience requirement. What should I do?
People who have one year of work permit are facing uncertainty as of now as they are getting laid off and IRCC has not yet issued directions on how they will treat such applications in reference to their work experience and permits.
Information and updates regarding Confirmation of Permanent Residence
1. Can I travel to Canada if I have been approved for Permanent Residence?
Yes. Canada agreed to accept applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before Canada announced its travel bans on March 16, 2020, but who had not yet traveled to Canada. If the above is applicable to you, then regularly check the website of the federal government for further details before booking your flight.
Please also keep in mind that the federal government has canceled permanent resident landings appointments until April 13, 2020.
2. Will I be given an extension on my visa expiration date if I have a confirmation of permanent residence, given the current situation.
Yes. If you are unable to travel to Canada at present, let IRCC know by using the web form. Once you can travel again, use the webform again and IRCC will provide more information on restarting the processing of your application.
3. Would my Confirmation of permanent residency and my Permanent Resident Visa be invalid if I am unable to travel?
No. Applicants for permanent residence who are in possession of a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) and who inform the IRCC that they are unable to travel will be able to maintain the validity of their documents.
Information and updates regarding Permanent Residence
1. Would I still be able to submit an Express Entry Profile?
Yes. IRCC is still accepting Express Entry Profile submissions. Moreover, the federal and provincial governments are issuing invitations to apply (ITA) to eligible candidates.
2. Will Canada process my application, if I have an ITA but missing a few documents?
Yes. You must submit your application within 90 days of receiving the ITA. If you are missing documents due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can submit a letter explaining why you are missing that document and your application will be put on hold until further notice. Once you are able to secure the said document, you can update the IRCC via the webform.
3. Will Canada give me an extension to fill out my permanent residency application after I receive an ITA?
Yes. Currently, the IRCC has given 90 days to all applicants to fill out the Permanent Residency Application after they receive their ITA. This is 30 days more than the standard 60 days that are given to all applicants who receive an ITA.
4. If I am outside Canada, will my PR Application get refused if I do not submit any important document?
No. If you cannot submit a document due to service disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, your application will not be refused, if you inform the IRCC about your situation.
5. Are the landing appointments canceled?
Yes. All in-person Permanent Residence landing appointments are canceled until April 13, 2020. IRCC will keep you informed by mail once you can reschedule your appointment.
Information and updates regarding Citizenship
1. I am a Canadian citizenship applicant. Will my appointment be canceled?
Yes. IRCC announced they will be canceling all citizenship ceremonies, citizenship tests and retests, and itinerant service trips until further notice. If you have returned from an affected country, use the webform to let IRCC know. You will be given an additional 30 days to submit your documents and an additional 45 days for medical opinion forms.
2. Due to service disruption will I be given more time to submit my Police Clearance Certificate, Medicals, biometrics, passport, etc.?
Yes. IRCC may also continue to request additional documents necessary for all citizenship and immigration applications. These may include police certificates, biometrics, passports, medical examinations, etc. Applicants will have 90 days to respond to the request letter for additional documentation. If IRCC sent a request for additional documentation previously, but the applicant was unable to comply, they will be given an additional 90 days to respond. Even though the biometrics instruction letter will continue to say applicants have 30 days to give their biometrics, officers are instructed to allow the applicant 90 days to complete this step.
Various Documents and Requirements for Permanent Residence and Citizenship and various other applications.
1. Can I still give my English Language Test for immigration purposes?
Maybe. IRCC has two officially acceptable designated English language test institutions for immigration purposes – IELTS and CELPIP. We advise you to please refer to their official website for more information regarding how their services are affected amidst COVID-19. In terms of IELTS in Canada, all tests are suspended until further notice.
2. Can I complete an Education Credential Assessment through WES for immigration purposes?
No. Currently, WES has suspended all its in-office operations. Currently WES it’s processing all the documents that are already in process but is not taking any new applications for the moment.
3. Are all medical exams canceled?
Yes. IRCC has issued a notice that starting March 23rd and until further notice, all medical exams are being suspended. Applicants will be given 90 days to submit their documents to IRCC if they are unable to submit their medical exams due to the novel coronavirus.
4. Are all biometrics appointment canceled as well?
Yes. Service Canada has temporarily canceled all in-person appointments. Hence, all biometrics appointments are canceled until further notice. IRCC is still issuing biometrics instruction letters which states to give the biometrics within 30 days of receiving the letter, but applicants will have 90 days to complete this step.
5. Would be possible for me to get the Police Clearance Certificate for immigration purposes?
No. Most of the embassies/consulate general/centers in Canada are not fully functional and may not accept any request for a police clearance certificate. Some may be operational and you can get Police Clearance Certificate by mail or by giving them a call. To know if and when the embassy/consulate general/centers will start accepting applications for Police Clearance Certificate it is best to call them and find out when they will start accepting applications.
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