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Special Immigration Procedures Due to Coronavirus / COVID-19

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Ackah Law

Special Immigration Procedures Due to Coronavirus / COVID-19

The Canadian government is making changes to immigration procedures to accommodate the special circumstances caused by the spread of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) enacted special procedures in place to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants in China, Korea and Iran who have been affected by disruptions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The disruptions include the closure of visa offices, travel disruptions, closed government offices and lack of access to a physician. These coronavirus immigration special measures apply if:

  • you’re a Chinese, Iranian or South Korean national; or
  • you’re in China, Iran or South Korea; and
  • you’re affected by service disruptions or travel restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the virus and restrictions put in place that are beyond their control, immigration applicants from China, Korea and Iran will be given more time to complete steps in the process that have deadline or timeframe, including:

  • visitor visa
  • study permit
  • work permit or permanent residence
  • giving their fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

According to the IRCC website,

No application in progress will be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation. We’ll automatically give you an extra 90 days to complete these steps. Once you’re able to, complete the steps as soon as possible to avoid delays.

IRCC's special measures can also help those who need a permanent resident travel document to return to Canada.

Express Entry

Express Entry applicants must submit their application within 60 calendar days of receiving an invitation to apply. IRCC will accept incomplete express entry applications provided that applicants were unable to send all the required documents due to disruptions related to COVID-19. Applicants must send a letter explaining the reasons why the documents are missing, and the application will be held until further notice.

Citizenship Applications

Individuals who miss an important date in their citizenship application should contact IRCC via their online form within 30 days of missing an appointment or deadline and explain why. Citizenship events or appointments may include one of the following:

  • the knowledge test
  • a retest
  • the interview
  • a hearing
  • taking the Oath of Citizenship

Approved Permanent Residence Applicants

If your application for permanent residence has been approved but you cannot travel to Canada, or your confirmation of permanent residence has already expired, use IRCC’s web form to explain your situation.

Foreign Nationals in Canada

Foreign nationals who are in Canada on a visitor visa can apply online to extend their stay in Canada.

The information concerning the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus is rapidly changing. If you have questions about your immigration application, contact Ackah Law Today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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