Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Immigration applicants

Author: EmPo Immigration Corp.  | | Categories: Alberta Nomination , Canada Visa , Express Entry , Family Sponsorship , Immigration Canada , Immigration Consultant , Permanent Residence , PNP Canada , Study Permit Canada , Visit Canada , Work in Canada

Blog by EmPo Immigration Corp.

We recognize that the travel restrictions will have an impact on many people who can’t travel to Canada right now. These restrictions stop most non-essentialFootnote (discretionary) travel to Canada.

Travelling to Canada: health check and quarantine

If you’re travelling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and 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.

If you haven’t applied to immigrate to Canada yet

We’re still accepting most permanent resident applications. Unfortunately, our ability to review and process them is being affected by COVID-19. We can’t currently estimate any processing times.

We’re currently focusing on priority applications like

  • Canadians returning to the country
  • vulnerable groups
  • people who perform or support essential services.

We’re trying to process those as quickly as possible.

If you apply, you still need to submit a complete application. This means you must include all the supporting documents we ask for. If you can’t get some of these documents right now, you should wait to apply until you can get them.

If you already applied for a document but it’s delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can send proof that you’re trying to get it (like a receipt). Include a letter to tell us why you don’t have the document and when you’ll get it. Send us the document as soon as you have it to avoid more delays.

If you get your language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, we’ll accept them as part of your application.

Express Entry applicants

Because of COVID-19, you now have 90 days to submit your Express Entry application after you’ve received your invitation to apply.

Permanent residence applications that we’re still processing

Due to the impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we can’t

  • process applications normally
  • provide accurate processing times

We’re prioritizing some applications, including

  • Canadians trying to return to Canada
  • vulnerable people
  • people who perform or support essential services

If you are missing documents due to COVID-19 (such as police certificates, biometrics, passports and medical exams)

  • we won’t close or refuse any applications in progress
  • we’ll automatically give you an extra 90 days to send us the documents from the deadline in the request letter
    • this applies even if the letter says you only have 30 or 90 days
  • we’ll keep extending the deadline for another 90 days until you can get the documents
  • you don’t have to contact us to get this extension
  • once you’re able to, send us the missing documents as soon as possible to avoid further delays

Some steps you may not be able to complete right now include

  • submitting your passport or supporting documents, such as a police certificate
  • completing an immigration medical exam

If you get your language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, we’ll accept them as part of your application.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics

Biometrics collection services are unavailable at some sites.

Find out what to do if there’s a service disruption at the site closest to you.

Biometrics at Service Canada locations

To keep everyone safe, Service Canada has temporarily stopped collecting biometrics until further notice.

  • All biometrics appointments have been cancelled.
  • You’ll have to reschedule your biometrics appointment when Service Canada locations return to normal operations.
  • If you can’t give your biometrics at a Service Canada location, don’t go to another location like
    • a Canadian port of entry
    • an Application Support Center in the United States or
    • a visa application centre

Language testing organizations

Some language testing organizations have started scheduling tests again.

You may be able to take a language test depending on the:

  • designated testing organization
  • region where you want to take your test
  • language you’re being tested for

Language tests we accept:

Make sure you check the latest information about testing in your region.



Find more information about language testing .

To withdraw your application

If you’re affected by the travel restrictions and want to withdraw your permanent residence application, use the  Web form  to let us know.

We’ll give you a refund if

  • you withdraw your application within 24 hours of submitting it
  • we haven’t started processing

How financial benefits affect family sponsorship

If you collect the  Canada Emergency Response Benefit  (CERB), you’re still eligible to sponsor your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or other relative as long as you meet all the requirements to be a sponsor.

CERB isn’t considered  social assistance . Collecting CERB won’t make you ineligible to sponsor.

EI and CERB won’t cause you to default

If the person you sponsored collects  Employment Insurance  (EI) or the CERB during the  undertaking period , it will not cause you to default.

However, if the person you sponsored collects social assistance during the undertaking period, you have to repay the amount. If you don’t, you’ll be in default of your undertaking.

If we already approved your permanent resident application

If you’re outside Canada

Note: If your confirmation of permanent residence (CoPR) is expired,  follow these steps .

You won’t be allowed to enter Canada right now if you’re coming to validate your CoPR and become a permanent resident, unless you are exempt from the  travel restrictions .

You are exempt from the current travel restrictions and can come to Canada if you have a valid COPR and:

  • the COPR was issued on or before March 18, 2020 OR
  • the COPR was issued after March 18th, 2020 and you are  an immediate family member  sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (note that grandparents are not considered  immediate family members  and cannot come to Canada at this time) OR
  • you’re currently living in the U.S. and will be coming to Canada directly (transiting through the U.S. to Canada doesn’t apply)

To meet the travel restriction exemptions, you must also:

  • be coming to Canada to settle permanently (you cannot come to Canada and leave to go live in another country, even if it’s temporary)
  • show you’re able to quarantine for 14 days

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by the airline before boarding a flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you won’t be allowed to board.

Quarantine plan

You must have a plan to  quarantine for 14 days  when you arrive

  • this is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms
  • if you don’t have a plan or the ability to quarantine as soon as you arrive, you shouldn’t travel to Canada as you won’t be allowed to enter

We don’t give you a place to quarantine when you arrive. You need to make your own arrangements in advance.

Provincial and territorial travel restrictions

Provinces and territories may have their own travel restrictions. Before you travel, check the official website of your province or territory of destination.

If you’re already living in Canada: in-person landing appointments cancelled

We cancelled all in-person permanent resident landing appointments at our offices in Canada until further notice.

If you haven’t gotten your CoPR yet

Currently, we’re finalizing applications based on the documents you submitted with your application. In some cases, we may need to contact you before we can finalize your application.

We’ll contact you if we need more information. Use the  Web form  if you need to update your contact information. Finalizing applications may take longer than usual during this time.

If you got your CoPR, but haven’t landed

If we sent you a CoPR, but you haven’t been able to go to one of our offices in Canada to validate it, we’ll contact you to tell you what to do.

You should not travel to a port of entry to validate your CoPR. This is not considered essential travel and you won’t be able to validate it this way.

Due to COVID-19, we have a new process to confirm permanent resident status. We don’t need a CoPR for this new process if you applied from within Canada.

Permanent resident cards

Once you become a permanent resident, we’ll send you a document to confirm your new status in Canada. We’ll also ask you to provide a photo so we can start the process of issuing your first  permanent resident (PR) card . You don’t need to apply for your first PR card.

While you wait for your PR card, you can use this document to prove that you’re a PR in Canada and to apply for government benefits and services that you’re eligible for such as, to apply for your  social insurance number  so you can work.

It may take longer than usual for us to issue your PR card.

Approved permanent resident applicants with expired or expiring documents

If you’re outside Canada

If we already approved your permanent resident application, but you can't travel to Canada before your documents expire, or your documents have already expired, don’t contact us until you’re ready to travel to Canada.

When you’re ready to travel to Canada

Use the  Web form  to let us know when, and the reason(s) why. The next steps will depend on your situation.

You can come to Canada and become a permanent resident now if you plan to stay and settle here. If you’re planning on coming temporarily and leaving again, you can’t do that right now unless you meet a different travel  exemption . Also:

  • when you arrive, you must have an acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada, including how you will get to the place you’re staying
  • all family members included in the application should travel to Canada at the same time, if possible
  • you should have a confirmed travel plan (for example, plane tickets) or you must be willing to book and confirm travel plans as soon as approved

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.

Please take a few moments to  rate your experience  with this page.

Updates and related links


Essential refers to travel for reasons that are non discretionary and non optional. The emergency orders under the Quarantine Act do not allow people to travel to Canada for optional or discretionary reasons, such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment.

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