COVID-19: Updates from the Canadian Government
In regard of the latest news on travel restrictions to Canada announced by the Canadian government, and in order to clarify all the information, we would like to point out some measures:
STUDY VISAS – OUTSIDE CANADA:
With the pandemic, visitor, study and work visas were not being processed outside Canada, so we are having delays on all applications not completed before March 2020 and the processing time published on the website is no longer a reference as to the expected processing time.
According to the new measure announced on July 14, 2020, for all those who sent / will send visa applications by September 15, for the start of classes in the Autumn intake (Fall 2020), the visa analysis will occur in 2 steps:
- Step 1 – Eligibility assessment (e.g. LOA, proof of funds, bonds and purpose).
- Step 2 – Medical, criminal and biometric evaluation.
Even if your LOA has an earlier start date, if up to 150 days after the supposed start date, your study visa process will still be analyzed, even without an updated LOA.
From the approval of the first stage, the student will already be allowed to start classes online (remote, from Brazil). In this regard, we do not recommend starting the studies online without the approval of step 1, as it may affect the eligibility of the PGWP – Post Graduate Work Permit in the future.
Borders still remain closed and access to the country on a study visa, even if the visa was approved before March 18, 2020, will only be allowed in cases considered essential, i.e. if the course requires a physical presence here in Canada. This criterion will be assessed by the border officer on a discretionary, case-by-case basis; therefore, we ask for caution and patience from everyone.
It is important to remember that if you choose to travel to Canada and attempt to enter the country at this time, your spouse’s work permit may not be issued by the Immigration Officer, even if the work permit application has been approved previously.
If you are already in Canada, temporary residence visas (visitor, work or studies) are temporarily exempt from biometrics. This measure is valid for new or ongoing processes, whether for the first application, extension or status restoration.
If you have already paid the biometrics fee, the government will automatically refund it after your process is completed.
Visitors and holders of study or work visas in Canada usually have 90 days after the expiration of their temporary immigration status to apply for their restoration.
As a result of the pandemic and the challenges associated with it, a new public policy has been implemented that provides an extension to apply for restoration beyond the current 90-day period for foreign nationals in Canada. 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 for restoration of their status, provided they meet the requirements for the type of status and permit they are requesting for restoration.
Public policy also allows former work permit holders who have a job offer and apply for a specific work permit for an employer to work while a decision on their restoration application is pending. For this, they need to:
- Have a job offer;
- Submit a work permit application that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a LMIA-exempt job offer (e.g. via provincial processes with employer support);
- Notify the Canadian government through the process established to obtain the work permit.
PEOPLE WITH AN APPROVED PERMANENT RESIDENCE PROCESS WHO WERE UNABLE TO TRAVEL TO THE CANADA:
People with approved permanent residence process are still allowed to travel to Canada, provided the intention is to establish themselves here permanently (and not just to validate permanent residence status). For those who have been unable or uncomfortable to travel to Canada due to the pandemic, the government will offer mechanisms to extend the deadline for traveling by informing them of the date of intention to travel.
This request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require new medical examinations as well as the issuance of new criminal records.
Our team of experts is available at our offices in Vancouver, Toronto, São Paulo and Tehran to assist you in any situation related to your Canada plan.
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e-Visa Immigration Team