The Canadian Immigration Amid COVID-19

The announcement of travel restrictions made Canadian immigration undergo some changes as it seeks to limit the spread of COVID-19. The quick implementation of the travel restrictions goes through constant evaluations to exempt certain permanent and temporary residents so they can still enter the country.

Here are some things that you need to know while Canada implements travel restriction (March 18 – June 30, 2020):


You still can submit your Express Entry profile and permanent residence application.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues its Express Entry draws. In fact, it held two draws over the past 5 days since March 18. It awarded Invitations to Apply to nearly 4,000 Express Entry candidates. The same goes for Canadian provinces that offer Provincial Nominee Program.


IRCC still processes permanent residence applications.

It provides an additional 90 days for individuals experiencing delays in obtaining documents due to disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The following individuals can still come to Canada amid travel restrictions.

However, they must check the IRCC website before they book their flights:

  • Permanent Residents
  • Canadian Citizens
  • Transiting passengers
  • International students with valid student permit or or those that received approvals before March 18, 2020
  • Actual family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
  • Temporary foreign workers
  • Approved permanent residence applicants who did not travel to Canada prior to March 16 announcements


Based on the IRCC regulations, immediate family means dependent child, spouse or common-law partner, grandchild, guardian or tutor, and the parent or step-parent.


Canada and the US mutually agreed to stop non-essential traffic between borders.

Essential travels between the US and Canada shall continue to assure supply chains of food and life-saving medicines. However, traveling to Canada and the US to check immigration status or ‘’flag poling’’ is definitely not allowed as it is a non-essential travel.

Canadians who visited the US can still go back.


Expect delays in the processing time of Canadian immigration applications due to COVID-19-related disruptions.

Submission and processing of applications for temporary residency remain, but traveling to Canada will only be possible after the lifting of the travel restriction.

If you hold a temporary visa (student, visit/tourist, worker) and you are currently in Canada, you can apply for an extension online. You need not get to a port of entry to apply. You may remain in Canada and wait for the result of your new application.

If you are currently studying online because of COVID-19, this will not make any difference in your PGWP application. You may still apply.


Some Canadian airports are still open to international travel.

However, only four Canadian airports are open for international travel — Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Montreal-Pierre Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Calgary International Airport (YYC), and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

As of this writing, there’s no statement yet coming from the federal government if the COVID-19 will affect the 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan. Contact us if you need to know more about Canadian immigration amid COVID-19.

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