The Effects of Covid-19 to Immigration Applicants to Canada
The way Covid-19 changed how we live can, more often than we care to admit, be too overwhelming for us. However, for those who would not let this virus destroy their dreams of coming to Canada to provide better lives for their family, more particularly for their children and their children’s children, their immigration plans must still be at the top of their priorities. This article would discuss the most critical updates, which, one who is in pursuit of the Canadian dream should know.
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and the Immigration and Refugee Board, as well as the Federal Courts have all issued updates which, at first glance can be quite confusing to individuals who wish to keep abreast with the immigration rules.
We have come up with a brief itemization on the aforementioned updates:
Travel and entry restrictions are strictly in place.
IRCC stated that 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.
Upon arrival in Canada, the authorities will assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. This quarantine is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you have not yet applied to immigrate to Canada, IRCC is still accepting permanent resident applications. However, IRCC’s ability to review and process the PR applications is being affected by Covid-19.
IRCC is now focusing on priority applications such as the following:
• Canadians returning to the country • vulnerable groups • people who perform or support essential services.
Applicants must still submit a complete application. All the supporting documents required by IRCC should be submitted. If a document production has been delayed due to the Covid-19, you can write and send the IRCC a letter explaining your circumstances together with any documentary proof that you have applied for the document (for example, a receipt). Then once you were able to get the document, send it in as soon as possible. Electronic language test results or educational credential assessment report will be accepted.
Express Entry applicant – Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, IRCC now allots 90 days to submit your Express Entry application after receiving your invitation to apply. Documents such as police certificates, biometrics, passports and medical exams which are missing due to Covid-19 will not be a cause for refusal should the application be in progress already. An extra 90 days to send the documents will be given even if the letter says you only have 30 or 90 days. Extension of extra 90 days will be given.
Biometrics collection services are unavailable at some sites. To keep everyone safe, Service Canada has temporarily stopped collecting biometrics until further notice. All biometrics appointments have been cancelled. Language testing organizations. Some language testing organizations have started scheduling tests again.
How financial benefits affect family sponsorship. If you collect the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you would still continue to be eligible to sponsor your spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or other relative provided that you meet all the requirements to be a sponsor. CERB is not considered as social assistance. Employment Insurance (EI) and CERB will not cause you to default. Further, even if the person you sponsored collects EI or the CERB during the undertaking period, it will not cause you to default. But if the person you sponsored collects social assistance during the undertaking period, you have to repay the amount. If you don’t, you will be declared in default of your undertaking.
Despite the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic, certain immigration procedures continue to proceed.
Students and work permit holders are still permitted entry. Those with confirmation of permanent residence (CoPR) can request extensions of validity. Applications continue to process outside of Canada, Express entry draws continue. Electronic filing is being highly encouraged.
There are still other developments that may affect your immigration plans. AJ Law LLP would continue to strive to make its services available for you so that your Canadian immigration plans will push through despite these difficult times.
Our team will guide you through each immigration step. Reach out to us in this time of uncertainty to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps depending on your current or future immigration plans.