The impacts of COVID-19 on immigration have caused unprecedented changes to Canadian Immigration (and the world) over the past two weeks. First with travel restrictions, border closures, and then with visa office closures in countries around the world.
Our clients have questions regarding candidates, new hires, and current employees, who may be impacted by changes to immigration practices. The following FAQ’s can assist you with some of the questions you may have.
Can Temporary Foreign Workers Enter Canada at This Time?
Yes, at this time a person with an approved work permit can travel to Canada by air or land. Airlines conduct mandatory health checks prior to allowing anyone to board flights.
In ALL cases, it is mandatory to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to Canada. This does not mean they can’t work from their home during this period.
Will My Current Application Still Be Processed?
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is operating on a reduced scale but they have confirmed they are still processing applications.
Will Delays Caused by Covid-19 Impact My Application?
Reduced staffing, as well as global visa office and application centre closures, will result in delays. IRCC has confirmed that applications will not be refused based upon documentation delays caused by covid-19.
Are New Immigration Applications Still Being Accepted and Processed Right Now?
Yes, IRCC is accepting new applications and processing them as quickly as they can.
How Long Will Canada’s Travel Restrictions Be in Place?
Currently the restrictions are to end June 30th, 2020. This date may change.
Can I Still Travel to the Border to Get My Work Permit Quicker or Land as a Permanent Resident?
No, at this time this is considered non-essential travel. These applications are to be filed online.
I Just Received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR. Will Their Application for Express Entry PR Be Impacted?
Important: You still must submit your application within 90 days of receiving your ITA.
You may be missing documents due to global office closures (education credential, police checks, medical exams, etc,). You can still submit your application however you will need to provide a letter to IRCC explaining the reason for these missing documents. Your application will be held until you are able to provide them.
Once you are able to submit the missing documents, you can do so using the IRCC Web Form.
Does Laying-off or Terminating a Foreign Worker’s Employment Result in Deportation?
No, they can reside in Canada until the expiry date.
If their work permit is expiring soon, then they will need to apply to change their status to visitor, or should they find a new job they would apply for a work permit extension.
If their current work permit is company specific, they will need a new work permit. There is a potential to have this expedited with IRCC if you have valid biometrics, a valid passport and meet the qualifications to apply under the relevant work permit program.
My Work Permit Status Will Expire Within the Next Few Months. What Should I do?
Temporary residents currently residing in Canada should apply to extend their status online to extend their status. Once the application is received by IRCC they can remain in Canada until a decision is made on their new application even past their current status expiry date. This is called “Implied Status”.
The federal government is doing the best they can to provide updates to their sites. General immigration updates can be found here.
Next week, will will provide you with a check list of things to think about IF you are relocating a new employee.
If you have specific immigration questions that you need assistance with, we can help.