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Coronavirus impact to stay requirements

nicmart

Member
Aug 8, 2012
19
0
Category........
FSW
Do you know if they are planning to provide any extensions to the 2 out of 5 years requirements to take into account the current coronavirus situation? I looked at recent threads and it does not seem so.
Here is the message I sent to IIRC just now:

Hello,
Please let me explain my situation briefly: my wife and I are permanent residents and have done our "soft" landing already. We have not yet moved to Canada as we are still sorting our affairs and ensuring we secure employment to give ourselves the best chances and not be a burden on the state.

We are concerned about the requirement to remain in Canada "at least 730 days during the last five years" to retain our permanent resident status in the context of the ongoing corona-virus pandemic that has understandably delayed our plans.

Would you consider waiving the days during which corona-virus has had a serious impact on British Columbia (where we're planning to settle) so they are not discounted in days to be in Canada? For example if in a state of emergency during 3 months, the requirement could be to be "at least 730 days during the last five years" + 3 months.

I don't see an updated policy at https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=727&top=10
Also, I don't see my question asked in the "How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services: permanent residents" FAQ at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/permanent-residents.html
Note: by contrast, this question is asked for citizenship application (after clicking on "Canadians and citizenship applicants" tab, under "Time you’ve lived in Canada (physical presence)" section)
 

Bs65

VIP Member
Mar 22, 2016
12,118
2,114
So just to understand that in a 5 year period you are not able to be in Canada for just 2 years even though from landing you have at least 3 years to sort out your affairs ?

Cannot see any relief coming unless someone was close to missing out on the RO and could not travel back in time due to travel restrictions. But even then being out of Canada for more than the generous allowance would still probably be seen as a personal choice Regardless of COVID And after all the whole reason to become a PR is to live and work in Canada.

No harm in trying your luck but cannot see being successful Given the 2 out of 5 is pretty generous.
 

Mgallimore88

Member
Jun 27, 2018
11
1
Hello,

I am in the same situation as nicmart - I did my soft landing in November 2019 and obtained my permanent resident card. I traveled back to finish up my job, spend Christmas with family and to sell all the material things I no longer needed.

I have a flight booked with Air Transat for May 10th, but they are ceasing all flights as of April 1st, which leaves me unable to travel.

In the future I would like to be able to take an 18 month contract working in Antarctica for a British organisation, and would also like to be able to visit relatives back in the UK. I had factored some of this into my plans for the next 5 years. If I end up stuck in the UK for a long period, this will affect those plans. There must also be people who had very little time left on their residency obligations who have become stuck outside of Canada.

I have a question about working abroad - if I can get a full time job with a Canadian software company working remotely from the UK, would this time spent working count towards my residency obligation? I read on the letter which came with my PR card, that that days spent traveling outside of Canada for work with a Canadian company would count towards the residency obligation.

nicmart, can you let me know how you contacted IRCC? I would like to do the same, to add my name to the number of permanent residents caught short by the outbreak.

Thanks, Mike.
 

nicmart

Member
Aug 8, 2012
19
0
Category........
FSW
Hello,

I am in the same situation as nicmart - I did my soft landing in November 2019 and obtained my permanent resident card. I traveled back to finish up my job, spend Christmas with family and to sell all the material things I no longer needed.

I have a flight booked with Air Transat for May 10th, but they are ceasing all flights as of April 1st, which leaves me unable to travel.

In the future I would like to be able to take an 18 month contract working in Antarctica for a British organisation, and would also like to be able to visit relatives back in the UK. I had factored some of this into my plans for the next 5 years. If I end up stuck in the UK for a long period, this will affect those plans. There must also be people who had very little time left on their residency obligations who have become stuck outside of Canada.

I have a question about working abroad - if I can get a full time job with a Canadian software company working remotely from the UK, would this time spent working count towards my residency obligation? I read on the letter which came with my PR card, that that days spent traveling outside of Canada for work with a Canadian company would count towards the residency obligation.

nicmart, can you let me know how you contacted IRCC? I would like to do the same, to add my name to the number of permanent residents caught short by the outbreak.

Thanks, Mike.
Sent a Case Specific Enquiry at https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp
Not sure this is the right way though.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
25,716
5,550
Hello,

I am in the same situation as nicmart - I did my soft landing in November 2019 and obtained my permanent resident card. I traveled back to finish up my job, spend Christmas with family and to sell all the material things I no longer needed.

I have a flight booked with Air Transat for May 10th, but they are ceasing all flights as of April 1st, which leaves me unable to travel.

In the future I would like to be able to take an 18 month contract working in Antarctica for a British organisation, and would also like to be able to visit relatives back in the UK. I had factored some of this into my plans for the next 5 years. If I end up stuck in the UK for a long period, this will affect those plans. There must also be people who had very little time left on their residency obligations who have become stuck outside of Canada.

I have a question about working abroad - if I can get a full time job with a Canadian software company working remotely from the UK, would this time spent working count towards my residency obligation? I read on the letter which came with my PR card, that that days spent traveling outside of Canada for work with a Canadian company would count towards the residency obligation.

nicmart, can you let me know how you contacted IRCC? I would like to do the same, to add my name to the number of permanent residents caught short by the outbreak.

Thanks, Mike.
Working remotely for a Canadian country will not count. 2 out of 5 years is extremely lenient already. Don’t anticipate that the requirement will be relaxed. Working abroad would only be counted in very limited circumstances like working for the Canadian government (some roles only) or military. If you want to work and live out of Canada you may need to apply for PR again.
 
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21Goose

VIP Member
Nov 10, 2016
5,052
1,493
AOR Received.
Feb 2017
I have a question about working abroad - if I can get a full time job with a Canadian software company working remotely from the UK, would this time spent working count towards my residency obligation? I read on the letter which came with my PR card, that that days spent traveling outside of Canada for work with a Canadian company would count towards the residency obligation.
No, being a fully remote employee would not count. You need to be a full-time local employee, and then if you occasionally travel for work that exemption applies.

It's rather unlikely that these rules will be changed since it's already quite generous, and it's hardly likely to be a high priority. You should assume they won't be relaxed, and plan accordingly.
 
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dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,314
1,459
I have a question about working abroad - if I can get a full time job with a Canadian software company working remotely from the UK, would this time spent working count towards my residency obligation? I read on the letter which came with my PR card, that that days spent traveling outside of Canada for work with a Canadian company would count towards the residency obligation.
As others have commented, NO, just being employed by a Canadian employer does NOT qualify for the working-abroad-employed-by-Canadian-business credit. There are additional qualifying elements, which among others includes the work be pursuant to a TEMPORARY assignment abroad, thus ordinarily requiring the PR already be employed at a position IN Canada, before being assigned abroad, and the PR have a position IN Canada to return to upon completion of the assignment. Additionally the employment cannot be arranged so as to facilitate living abroad.

OTHERWISE, addressing the prospective availability of H&C relief for a failure to comply with the PR Residency Obligation due to the impact of measures taken in response to the worldwide covid-19 outbreak, is a much more complicated question. SOME related relief is likely, for at least SOME of those PRs affected. How much? Under what circumstances? For which PRs? Very difficult to say.

Regarding modern Canadian immigration law and policies, the current situation is unprecedented. So the range of possible responses regarding enforcement of the RO is far too wide to support much if any speculation about how Canada will approach PRs affected by travel restrictions and related difficulties in returning to Canada.

Nonetheless, we can reasonably, safely, anticipate a significant amount of flexibility and accommodation for many PRs affected by the situation. BUT also recognize that it is NOT likely there will be any across-the-board or otherwise wholesale amnesty or forgiveness policy; that is, no definitive rule essentially giving PRs a free pass for RO breaches. This leaves a wide, wide, wide range of possible approaches in between.


Leading to LONGER OBSERVATIONS re RO enforcement in the wake of the global Covid-19 outbreak:

In the future I would like to be able to take an 18 month contract working in Antarctica for a British organisation, and would also like to be able to visit relatives back in the UK. I had factored some of this into my plans for the next 5 years. If I end up stuck in the UK for a long period, this will affect those plans. There must also be people who had very little time left on their residency obligations who have become stuck outside of Canada.
Obviously, you are correct that many others will encounter unanticipated hurdles in meeting their PR Residency Obligation related to the widespread circulation of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, resulting in the Covid-19 pandemic.

As those who are prudent often caution those whose PLANS involve cutting-it-close: STUFF HAPPENS.

Or as the American author John Steinbeck referenced, about the best laid plans of mice and men, borrowing a bit from the British poet Robert Burns, whose poem phrases it rather more lyrically, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.

Or as many a callous American or Brit (of whom there tends to be no shortage) may be tempted to put it, rather bluntly, "that's life."

Thus, prudent planning should ALWAYS recognize and anticipate unforeseen events, and incorporate both a margin sufficient to accommodate contingencies as well as one or more alternative plans.

For you, in particular, you have the fortunate circumstance of time in which to amend your plans and adapt to what is happening, according to your priorities and preferences. Of course what you actually do is for YOU to decide, such as choosing which is YOUR more important priority, as in, for example, whether keeping Canadian PR status is important enough to forgo or at least delay the Antarctica venture.

But sure, there are others, probably a rather large number, for whom their cutting-it-close window will now close before they can return to Canada (or come to actually settle), including perhaps a rather large number who actually had planned to make the trip to Canada in the coming weeks or months, PRs who had every intention to get to Canada in time to meet their PR Residency Obligation who will be unable to do so.


How will Canadian officials approach this for PRs who breach their RO at least in part due to delays in coming to Canada precipitated by the Covid-19 outbreak?

Predicting the future is a speculative endeavor, suitable for soothsayers and fortunetellers, and worth naught but that.

That noted, there are aspects of this we do know. We know, for example, that a compassionate, humane, and perhaps rather reasonable approach to this would take such circumstances as these into consideration in deciding whether some relief from the PR Residency Obligation should be granted. And, actually, both IRCC and CBSA officials are REQUIRED to take such things into consideration in making decisions about whether there are H&C reasons for allowing a PR to keep PR status despite the breach of the PR RO.

What that will mean in practical terms, for those PRs who apply for a PR TD or are examined about RO compliance when arriving at a Canadian PoE, takes this back into predicting-the-future, rife with speculation, territory. That said, it is quite likely safe to anticipate Canadian officials will --
-- take these circumstances into consideration, which as noted they MUST, and​
-- quite likely approach the RO breach and H&C assessment allowing more flexibility or leniency, at least relative to the impact of travel restrictions and related difficulties impeding the PR's return to Canada​

How much so, though, is the looming question for the scores of PRs possibly affected. We cannot reliably predict, even, if there will be a more or less formal policy implemented regarding this. That is possible. Perhaps likely. But even if so, the particulars are still well beyond what can be reliably predicted.

In the meantime, there are widely varying views about how reasonable, let alone how flexible or lenient, or compassionate and humane, Canadian immigration authorities are in such decision-making, anyway, apart from a profound game-changing event like the current crisis. Most of us here tend to appreciate that the Canadian officials appear to be rather compassionate and humane, overtly if not overly flexible or lenient, very much reasonable, in regards to enforcement of the PR RO (and some here believe there is too much leniency). Even if there never is a formal policy directive regarding RO enforcement in the wake of this pandemic, we can reasonably anticipate a fair degree of accommodation allowed PRs whose return to Canada is delayed due to the outbreak and responsive measures, including travel restrictions.

Overall, however, while there may indeed be a formal policy directive allowing significantly more leniency, it is very likely that generally applicable principles will still be worth heeding, especially the one for-certain element: the sooner the PR actually returns to Canada, the better; the corollary principle is that the less in breach of the RO the PR is (at time of arrival at a PoE, or on the date a PR TD application is made), the better the PR's chances of keeping PR status.

Absent any formal policy directives, and quite likely even if there are some formal policy directives in this matter, the overriding guideline continues: BEST to avoid breaching the RO if at all possible. The very best, most favourable H&C case possible, still involves a real RISK of losing PR status. There is no comparison between having H&C reasons explaining a breach versus getting to Canada to stay in time to avoid a breach of the RO.
 
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canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
25,716
5,550
As others have commented, NO, just being employed by a Canadian employer does NOT qualify for the working-abroad-employed-by-Canadian-business credit. There are additional qualifying elements, which among others includes the work be pursuant to a TEMPORARY assignment abroad, thus ordinarily requiring the PR already be employed at a position IN Canada, before being assigned abroad, and the PR have a position IN Canada to return to upon completion of the assignment. Additionally the employment cannot be arranged so as to facilitate living abroad.

OTHERWISE, addressing the prospective availability of H&C relief for a failure to comply with the PR Residency Obligation due to the impact of measures taken in response to the worldwide covid-19 outbreak, is a much more complicated question. SOME related relief is likely, for at least SOME of those PRs affected. How much? Under what circumstances? For which PRs? Very difficult to say.

Regarding modern Canadian immigration law and policies, the current situation is unprecedented. So the range of possible responses regarding enforcement of the RO is far too wide to support much if any speculation about how Canada will approach PRs affected by travel restrictions and related difficulties in returning to Canada.

Nonetheless, we can reasonably, safely, anticipate a significant amount of flexibility and accommodation for many PRs affected by the situation. BUT also recognize that it is NOT likely there will be any across-the-board or otherwise wholesale amnesty or forgiveness policy; that is, no definitive rule essentially giving PRs a free pass for RO breaches. This leaves a wide, wide, wide range of possible approaches in between.


Leading to LONGER OBSERVATIONS re RO enforcement in the wake of the global Covid-19 outbreak:



Obviously, you are correct that many others will encounter unanticipated hurdles in meeting their PR Residency Obligation related to the widespread circulation of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, resulting in the Covid-19 pandemic.

As those who are prudent often caution those whose PLANS involve cutting-it-close: STUFF HAPPENS.

Or as the American author John Steinbeck referenced, about the best laid plans of mice and men, borrowing a bit from the British poet Robert Burns, whose poem phrases it rather more lyrically, “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.

Or as many a callous American or Brit (of whom there tends to be no shortage) may be tempted to put it, rather bluntly, "that's life."

Thus, prudent planning should ALWAYS recognize and anticipate unforeseen events, and incorporate both a margin sufficient to accommodate contingencies as well as one or more alternative plans.

For you, in particular, you have the fortunate circumstance of time in which to amend your plans and adapt to what is happening, according to your priorities and preferences. Of course what you actually do is for YOU to decide, such as choosing which is YOUR more important priority, as in, for example, whether keeping Canadian PR status is important enough to forgo or at least delay the Antarctica venture.

But sure, there are others, probably a rather large number, for whom their cutting-it-close window will now close before they can return to Canada (or come to actually settle), including perhaps a rather large number who actually had planned to make the trip to Canada in the coming weeks or months, PRs who had every intention to get to Canada in time to meet their PR Residency Obligation who will be unable to do so.


How will Canadian officials approach this for PRs who breach their RO at least in part due to delays in coming to Canada precipitated by the Covid-19 outbreak?

Predicting the future is a speculative endeavor, suitable for soothsayers and fortunetellers, and worth naught but that.

That noted, there are aspects of this we do know. We know, for example, that a compassionate, humane, and perhaps rather reasonable approach to this would take such circumstances as these into consideration in deciding whether some relief from the PR Residency Obligation should be granted. And, actually, both IRCC and CBSA officials are REQUIRED to take such things into consideration in making decisions about whether there are H&C reasons for allowing a PR to keep PR status despite the breach of the PR RO.

What that will mean in practical terms, for those PRs who apply for a PR TD or are examined about RO compliance when arriving at a Canadian PoE, takes this back into predicting-the-future, rife with speculation, territory. That said, it is quite likely safe to anticipate Canadian officials will --
-- take these circumstances into consideration, which as noted they MUST, and​
-- quite likely approach the RO breach and H&C assessment allowing more flexibility or leniency, at least relative to the impact of travel restrictions and related difficulties impeding the PR's return to Canada​

How much so, though, is the looming question for the scores of PRs possibly affected. We cannot reliably predict, even, if there will be a more or less formal policy implemented regarding this. That is possible. Perhaps likely. But even if so, the particulars are still well beyond what can be reliably predicted.

In the meantime, there are widely varying views about how reasonable, let alone how flexible or lenient, or compassionate and humane, Canadian immigration authorities are in such decision-making, anyway, apart from a profound game-changing event like the current crisis. Most of us here tend to appreciate that the Canadian officials appear to be rather compassionate and humane, overtly if not overly flexible or lenient, very much reasonable, in regards to enforcement of the PR RO (and some here believe there is too much leniency). Even if there never is a formal policy directive regarding RO enforcement in the wake of this pandemic, we can reasonably anticipate a fair degree of accommodation allowed PRs whose return to Canada is delayed due to the outbreak and responsive measures, including travel restrictions.

Overall, however, while there may indeed be a formal policy directive allowing significantly more leniency, it is very likely that generally applicable principles will still be worth heeding, especially the one for-certain element: the sooner the PR actually returns to Canada, the better; the corollary principle is that the less in breach of the RO the PR is (at time of arrival at a PoE, or on the date a PR TD application is made), the better the PR's chances of keeping PR status.

Absent any formal policy directives, and quite likely even if there are some formal policy directives in this matter, the overriding guideline continues: BEST to avoid breaching the RO if at all possible. The very best, most favourable H&C case possible, still involves a real RISK of losing PR status. There is no comparison between having H&C reasons explaining a breach versus getting to Canada to stay in time to avoid a breach of the RO.
Agree but given that OP landed in November 2019 it would be a stretch to say that he/she was unable to meet their RO in 2024 because of the covid outbreak in 2020.
 

dpenabill

VIP Member
Apr 2, 2010
4,314
1,459
Agree but given that OP landed in November 2019 it would be a stretch to say that he/she was unable to meet their RO in 2024 because of the covid outbreak in 2020.
For sure.

And I addressed that, noting that the OP has the time to amend plans and adapt so as to avoid a breach of the RO, assuming that keeping Canadian PR status is a higher priority than, for example, proceeding with the plan for the Antarctica venture.

But as many are oft inclined, the OP further couched the query in the context of how the current situation might affect others. "There must also be people who had very little time left on their residency obligations who have become stuck outside of Canada."

A summary of my previous response might go like this: It is readily foreseeable that some additional leeway will be afforded SOME PRs. It is probably just as foreseeable that the current situation is NOT going to open the floodgates allowing PRs H&C relief just because some part of their delay in coming to Canada is attributable to the impact of the pandemic . . . let alone just because some of the time they were abroad occurred during this period of time.

My more lengthy observations above were an attempt to explain that, to address the underlying principles involved regarding what we can anticipate about the H&C side of things, while also recognizing that how IRCC will address these situations, both in terms of policy as well as in particular cases, cannot be reliably forecast.

But yeah, to the extent my previous post was not clear, the OP should understand that however long travel is largely restricted this year, that is NOT likely to excuse a future breach of the RO. Indeed, it is not likely to excuse failing to comply with the RO for any PR returning to and staying in Canada much beyond however long travel is restricted.

And it probably will not offer much help for those PRs who were already in breach of the RO, when this began, even those who PLANNED to return to Canada during this period and would not have been nearly so much in breach upon getting here, but for the impact of the pandemic.
 

Mgallimore88

Member
Jun 27, 2018
11
1
Ok thank you for your replies everyone- it has cleared up a few questions and I'll keep my eyes open for developments.

I just want to point out that I wasn't the original poster on this thread- although I'm sure the replies given will be relevant to nicmart too. Sorry nicmart if I hijacked this in any way.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
 
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shagdash

Full Member
Sep 24, 2014
36
0
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
We are PRs and did our soft landing in June 2017. We had to come back home to India to sort out our affairs, take care of elderly family members and had booked flight tickets for May 2020 to meet our PR requirement. Now we are looking at having to delay our final move date out to late summer due to COVID-19 related travel and quarantine measures, as we cannot land in a new place and look for a house and school for our kids while being put in quarantine or while everything is shut due to coronavirus. We will be in breach of our PR RO obligations due to this 2-3 month delay.

I know we have cut it close, but nobody could've planned for this coronavirus crisis and also we had our tickets booked for May 2020, with full intention of meeting our PR obligations and settle fully into Canada.

My questions are as follows and I will be grateful for any answers:

1) Will we still be allowed entry into Canada at the end of July/August, even though we will by then be in breach of PR RO?
2) Can our case be considered on H&C grounds due to the coronavirus crisis?

Thanks in advance.
 

Bs65

VIP Member
Mar 22, 2016
12,118
2,114
Others can comment but
1)as PRs you are entitled to enter the country regardless of any RO, whether reported or not nobody here can obviously predict.
2)nobody could really say whether you might get any relief off back of COVID especially as you will have been away for 3 plus years.

Think it unlikely just focussing on COVID will give you an H&C reason so you probably need to focus on reasons around elderly relatives and anything else that kept you away (other than finance or job) with COVID travel Restrictions as a secondary reason. CBSA will be curious why you have only now returned after 3 plus years and not before regardless of COVID

There are so many unknowns with the current situation about what reliefs if any may or may not be granted, so all speculation. It could be that with just a 2/3 month miss nothing happens on entry and just waived through given likely to be others in a similar situation. All anyone can say is be prepared in case but do not volunteer any extra information to CBSA other than in response to questions asked.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
25,716
5,550
Chances are you will likely be fine if you arrive soon after things have settled down. You may get a lecture about not bing compliant with your RO. You need to be prepared to remain in Canada for 2+ years without leaving which can create issues if you need to travel for work or have a family emergency. Probably not an ideal time to move because there is likely going to be minimal hiring for a while in many industries and a recession. Would make sure to arrive with extra savings and also try to minimize any spending until you have secured jobs in Canada.
 
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ExpressEntryStarr

Full Member
Dec 9, 2016
37
22
Hello, I and my family are in a similar situation as nicmart but with a further complication. We did our soft landing in April 2018 and had plans to move permanently in August 2020, which would have given us 2 years and 7 months to complete our RO, which would have been ample time. However, my wife was diagnosed with cancer in January 2020. Thankfully, it was an early stage breast cancer and hence curable, but the treatement requires almost one full year of treatment regime. This caused a delay in our plans and we changed our move date to December 2020 by which time we had anticipated my wife could complete the majority of the treatment in our home country. This decision was based on both medical reasons (since we wouldn't have had medical coverage for the first three months of moving to Ontario) as well as social reasons because the support of family members is very important during such stressful times. However, now, due to COVID-19 related issues, I am afraid that her surgery may get postponed thus causing more delay to the treatment regime. I still think we may have time to meet our RO even if we move until March 2021, but that would bring us in the cutting-it-close category as mentioned by dpenabill and we really don't want to be in that category.

Do you think an entry in April 2021 would be possible in the worst case scenario? We have spent close to 2 months physically in Canadan during the previous 2 years (i.e. from April 2018 until now), so I hope those would count towards the RO? The last thing we would want is we quit our jobs & end life here in April 2021, land up at a Canadian POE and are refused entry or flagged for RO breach. The breach of RO which was not intended but happened as a result of things outside our control.
 
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