On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization assessed COVID-19 as a pandemic. The Canadian government has unveiled aggressive new measures to contain the coronavirus and this has direct impact on Canadian immigration. This bulletin will provide a summary of the key immigration updates for the period between July 6, 2020 and July 16, 2020.
On July 15, 2020, Immigration Canada introduced a temporary policy to exempt biometrics from temporary resident applicants in Canada. The policy does not apply to permanent resident applicants.
Restoration of Temporary Resident Status
On July 14, 2020, Immigration Canada introduced a new public policy that provides an extension to apply for restoration beyond the current 90-day timeframe for foreign nationals in Canada. Accordingly, former workers, students and visitors whose status expired after January 30, 2020, and who remained in Canada will now have until December 31, 2020, to apply to restore their status if they meet the requirements for the type of status and authorization they are applying to restore.
Further, the public policy allows former work-permit holders applying for an employer-specific work permit to work while a decision on their restoration application is pending. To do so they need to: 1) have a job offer; 2) submit a work permit application that is supported by a LMIA or a LMIA-exempt offer of employment; and 3) notify Immigration Canada through the process set up for eligible foreign nationals.
On July 14, 2020, Immigration Canada announced temporary changes to facilitate online learning for international students for the fall semester in 2020. International students who submit a study permit application before September 15, 2020 to start a program in the fall semester may commence their studies outside of Canada. This temporary process will allow international students to count their time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. Please note commencing the studies online from abroad following approval-in-principle of a study permit application is not a guarantee that the international student will receive a full approval of their study permit application, or be authorized to pursue their studies in Canada. This is because when the international student travels to Canada they will be examined by a border officer to assess whether or not they are admissible to Canada.
On July 8, 2020, Service Canada begins the gradual and safe reopening of in-person locations across the country. Given this, Service Canada is now handling applications for social insurance number (SIN). Please note biometrics collection services are still note available.
Guidelines for Canadian immigration and travel are evolving quickly and are subject to frequent change with little to no prior notice.
Originally published 17 July, 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.