COVID-19: FAQs and News on Canada Immigration, Visas, and the Border

Last updated: 27 November 2020

COVID-19 Canada Immigration FAQ CanadaVisa

To contain the spread of COVID-19, Canada has put a variety of special immigration measures in place since March 18, 2020. 

However, Canada is exempting certain individuals from the travel restrictions so they can enter the country. Among these exemptions include some Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders, work and study permit holders, and certain family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

In addition, Canada is still accepting new immigration applications and processing existing ones. Express Entry, PNP, and Quebec skilled worker draws have continued throughout the pandemic. 

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are meant to help you better understand how COVID-19 may be impacting your Canadian immigration journey and what steps you might be able to pursue in support of your journey.


FAQs on Canada Immigration and the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Top Questions

The following are among the list of people allowed to travel to Canada now:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents
  • Immediate family of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parent or step-parent, and guardian or tutor)
  • Extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents, (individuals in an exclusive and long-term relationship and their dependent children; non-dependent children, grandchildren, siblings, half-and step-siblings and grandparents).
  • Permanent resident applicants who were approved for permanent residence on or before March 18, 2020.
  • Individuals who are in possession of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) issued on or before March18 but whose documents have now expired. Visa holders from the U.S. qualify regardless of when they received their visa.
  • Temporary foreign workers
  • Foreign nationals entering Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in special circumstances, such as terminal illness, serious injury or death.
  • International students who held a valid study permit or who had been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020.
  • International students attending a Designated Learning Institution that has obtained prior approval of its response plan to control the spread of COVID-19 from the provincial government. (Effective October 20). The list of approved DLIs is here.

Individuals entering Canada are required by law to quarantine themselves immediately for a period of 14 days to help avoid the potential spread of COVID-19.

Essential travel is defined as travel which is non-optional and non-discretionary. Please visit the Government of Canada’s website to see examples of what they determine to be essential travel.

The Government of Canada continues to enforce travel restrictions and border measures in place since March 2020.

No, Canada is increasing immigration to strengthen its economy after the coronavirus pandemic is over. Canada is still open to those wishing to submit an application to come to the country. Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, Quebec, and other immigration programs continue to operate. Under its new 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada will seek to welcome over 400,000 immigrants per year. This is the highest level of immigration in Canadian history.

Yes, you are still able to apply. IRCC will not reject your application if you are unable to submit all necessary documents due to delays caused by Coronavirus.

Yes, you can still submit an Express Entry profile. In addition, the federal government and provinces are continuing to issue invitations to apply for permanent residence.

Canada and the U.S. reached a mutual deal to close their borders to non-essential travel effective Saturday March 21, 2020.

Non-essential travel is defined as travel for recreation and tourism.

All essential and business travel will continue uninterrupted.

Individuals who fall under Canada’s list of exempted individuals can still enter Canada.

Applicants in Canada are no longer required to submit their biometrics. This applies to candidates who wish to:

  • Apply for study or work permits, or visitor visas
  • Extend or restore their study or work permits or visitor visas
  • Apply for a temporary resident permit.

IRCC has two officially designated language tests that it accepts for immigration purposes: the IELTS General Test, and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (commonly referred to as “the CELPIP”).

Please refer to their official websites for more information on whether COVID-19 is affecting their operations:

IRCC has seven officially designated organizations that are authorized to perform an Educational Credential Assessment for immigration purposes. The designated organizations are listed here. Please check the official websites of the designated organizations for more information on whether COVID-19 is affecting their ability to complete assessments.

The federal government has stated that traveling to the border for immigration purposes such as renewing a work, study, or visitor permit, or to activate permanent resident status is non-essential travel. As such, the federal government asks such individuals to avoid traveling to the border until further notice. Temporary residents who are looking to extend their stay in Canada as students, workers, or visitors can do so on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Yes, you can still submit your application even if you are receiving the CERB since the federal government does not consider the CERB to be social assistance.

Your eligibility to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit will not be affected if your in-class courses are being moved to an online format due to COVID-19. In addition, international students may begin their program online at a Canadian designated learning institution in the fall of 2020 and still be eligible for a PGWP after completing their Canadian study program.

Permanent Residents

Only immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada. As of October 8, Canada also allows people in a long-term exclusive relationship for at least one year with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to come to Canada. The entry of dependent children, adult children, grandchildren, siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings and grandparents is also being facilitated.

The federal government defines an immediate family member as someone who is related to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is:

  • the spouse or common-law partner of the person
  • a dependent child of the person of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • a grandchild
  • a parent or step-parent
  • a guardian or tutor

The federal government defines extended family members as follows.

Those who have a direct relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident could be considered a member of the extended family if they :

  • have been in an exclusive romantic relationship for at least one year and have spent time in the physical presence of that person at some point in the relationship;
  • are a non-dependent child (adult child);
  • are a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child);
  • are a brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister or step-brother or half-sister; or
  • a grandparent.

Those who are related to the Canadian's spouse or common-law partner, could be considered a member of the extended family if they are:

  • an adult child;
  • are a grandchild (a dependent child of a non-dependent adult child);
  • are a brother or sister, half-brother or half-sister, or step-brother or half-sister; or
  • a grandparent.

Those who are related to the Canadian's eligible dating partner could be considered extended family if they are:

  • a dependent child;
  • an adult child; or
  • a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child).

There are six steps to apply for travel exemption as an extended family member.

Step 1: Your family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must complete an application for authorization and statutory declaration.

Step 2: Your family member in Canada sends you the application for authorization and statutory declaration he or she has completed. You sign it and send it back to your family member in Canada.

Step 3: Once you have returned the form to your family member in Canada, he or she must sign it by solemn declaration in front of an authorized official, such as a commissioner for oaths, a justice of the peace, a lawyer or a notary public.

Step 4: Your family member in Canada must send you a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration.

Step 5: Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration, use it as proof of your relationship to your family member and request written authorization from IRCC.

You need written authorization from IRCC regardless of where you are leaving from.

How you request written authorization depends on whether you already have a valid travel document, such as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).

You should not book a flight to Canada until you have written authorization from IRCC.

Step 6: You must have a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when travelling. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.

After you sign the application by solemn declaration, you will have six months to travel to Canada. If you do not travel within six months, you will need a new statutory declaration.

Yes, if you were approved for permanent residence on or before March 18, 2020.

If you are unable to travel to Canada at present, let IRCC know by using the web form. Once you are able to travel again, use the web form again and IRCC will provide more information on restarting the processing of your application.

Yes, but only for non-discretionary reasons.

Canada has implemented different policies for expired visa holders depending on whether they are coming from the U.S. or other countries. If you are from outside of the U.S., you need to have gotten your visas on or before March 18 to travel to Canada.

Visa holders travelling from the U.S. are exempt from travel restrictions regardless of the date of issue of their visa.

Use the IRCC web form to let them know why you can’t travel. Once you are able to travel, use the web form to let IRCC know. IRCC will then provide detailed information on restarting the processing of your permanent residence application. This also applies if your confirmation of permanent residence has expired.

Applicants who have a pending application for permanent residence and who have submitted their biometrics in the last ten years in another application are exempt from biometrics collection requirements.

Service Canada is gradually resuming biometrics collection services for permanent residence applicants who have received a biometric instruction letter (BIL) and have not given their biometrics within the last 10 years. Applicants are asked to wait for a Service Canada officer to contact them to schedule an appointment.

Yes. You must submit your application within 90 days of your ITA. If you are missing documents because of the novel coronavirus, you can still submit your application. Submit a letter explaining why you are missing these documents and your application will be held until further notice. Once you are able to submit the documents, you can do so using the web form.

IRCC has provided the following guidance on the recommended travel documentation that exempted individuals should carry with them when traveling to Canada:

Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents:

Documentation demonstrating their immediate family member’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status, such as a:

  • Canadian passport
  • Canadian citizenship proof such as a citizenship certificate, card, or provincial birth certificate
  • Canadian permanent resident card
  • Canadian permanent resident travel document
  • Canadian citizens are encouraged to travel with a valid Canadian passport, however they may travel to Canada on a visa-exempt foreign passport upon receiving a confirmation email from IRCC approving special authorization

To demonstrate their relationship to that immediate family members, exempt individuals should carry documentation such as a:

  • Marriage certificate or common-law status certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence for the family class
  • Other proof showing an immediate family connection such as correspondence from IRCC showing a spousal sponsorship application is being processed, or proof of a shared residential address)

COPR holders:

Holders of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) who were eligible to travel to Canada on or before March 18, 2020 are exempt from the travel restrictions and can self-identify to airlines by presenting:

  • Permanent resident visa, or
  • A COPR document

All:

  • tests
  • retests
  • interviews
  • citizenship events
  • itinerant services
  • hearings (including videoconferences)

were cancelled in March.

IRCC is now inviting some applicants to do video oath ceremony (citizenship ceremony). IRCC will contact those invited to attend virtual ceremonies.

You have been sent a letter or an email by IRCC about the cancellation of your event. IRCC will be sending you a new date and time.

Furthermore, IRCC is now inviting some applicants to take the citizenship test online. Applicants are asked to wait to be invited to take the test by IRCC.

The days you spend outside of Canada due to COVID-19 will not count towards your physical presence requirement.

Permanent residence applicants who were approved on or before March 18 are exempt from the travel restrictions and may travel to Canada.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days even if you don’t show any symptoms.

Step 1: Submit your application to the visa office by courier.

Step 2: Email the visa office in Beijing at beijing-immigration@international.gc.ca to request urgent processing of your application

Step 1: Submit your application to the visa office by courier.

Step 2: Submit a web form. When asked the question “Is your application being processed by an office outside Canada?” answer “Yes.”

Step 3: Select “Turkey - Ankara” when asked to choose the visa office processing your application.

Step 4: To obtain a permanent resident travel document, you will have to email the visa office at ANKRA@international.gc.ca.

Step 1: Submit your application to the visa office by courier.

Step 2: Submit a web form. When asked the question “Is your application being processed by an office outside Canada?” answer “Yes.”

Step 3: Select “Philippines - Manila” when asked to choose the visa office processing your application.

Step 4: To obtain a permanent resident travel document, you will have to email the visa office at MANILIMMIGRATION@international.gc.ca.

Temporary Residents and IEC Participants

Yes, if you fall under the list of exempted individuals.

Effective October 20, 2020, international students who have a valid study permit or who have received a Letter of Introduction from IRCC may be allowed to enter Canada from outside the United States for non-discretionary reasons if they are attending a Designated Educational Institution (DEI) that has an approved COVID-19 Readiness Plan.

If your visa or permit has not yet expired, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If you are a visitor, you can apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If you are a worker or student and are no longer working or studying, you can apply to change your status to visitor.

If you would like to continue working or studying, you may be able to extend your work or study permit. When you apply, make sure you mention why you need to extend your stay.

If your visitor visa, study permit or work permit is expired, you can apply to restore your status. You must use the document checklist and guide for your situation:

When you complete the form, make sure you do the following:

  • Select “Restore my status”
  • Include a note explaining your reason for wanting to restore your status.
  • You must also pay the restoration fee

Candidates now have until December 31, 2020 to submit a restoration of status application.

The Government of Canada is asking those who wish to travel to the border to apply for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence to respect federal and provincial guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing as well as to avoid travelling to the border to obtain immigration services until further notice.

If you currently reside in Canada as a visitors, student or worker, you are encouraged to apply online to the IRCC if you wish to extend your temporary resident status. In doing so, you can continue to stay, study or work in Canada while your application is being processed. This process is known as implied status, and as long as you submit your application before your current document expires, your immigration authorizations and conditions will remain unchanged.

IRCC has provided the following guidance on the recommended travel documentation that exempted individuals should carry with them when traveling to Canada:

International students:

International students who held a valid Canadian study permit or were issued a letter of invitation date on or before March 18, 2020 can self-identify to airlines to prove they are exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions by presenting:

  • A valid study permit, or
  • A letter of introduction from IRCC dated on or before March 18, 2020

Temporary foreign workers:

Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) who were established in Canada or who had existing plans to work in Canada prior to the enforcement of the travel restrictions are exempt. Exemptions also apply to new TFWs who are coming to Canada to work in critical industries (e.g., health, transportation and emergency services, food processing, and agriculture).

These individuals can self-identify to airlines to prove they are exempt by presenting:

  • A valid work permit, or
  • A letter of introduction from IRCC

Your application will not be refused if you cannot submit your passport or supporting documents, or complete an immigration medical exam.

All travel restrictions do not apply for temporary foreign workers. You are able to travel to Canada by air or land.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days even if you don’t show any symptoms.

IRCC confirmed that the processing of study permits, visas and electronic travel authorizations (eTAs) will continue until January 31, 2021 for those who are exempt from travel restrictions. The processing of study permits will continue "to the extent possible".

Step 1: Apply online

Step 2: Contact the Beijing visa office at beijing-immigration@international.gc.ca and request urgent processing of your application

*If you have already applied, contact the visa office and request urgent processing of your application.

Step 1: Apply online

Step 2: Fill out the web form to explain your emergency and request urgent processing of your application.

Step 3: When asked “Is your application being processed by an office outside Canada?” answer “No”.

Step 4: Complete the rest of the form.

Canada is currently prioritizing the processing of temporary foreign workers who fall under one of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes as well as those working in health-related occupations.:

  • NOC 6331 – Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
  • NOC 7511 – Transport truck drivers
  • NOC 8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC 8431 – General farm workers
  • NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers
  • NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers
  • NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
  • NOC 9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

Yes. From May 8, 2020 onwards, applicants of the Working Holiday, Young Professional or International Co-op categories are able to travel to Canada if they:

  • Have a valid job offer which includes a written note from the employer in Canada that says that the business is still operating and that you will start work after your quarantine period.
  • Have a port of entry letter of introduction.
  • Have proof of adequate health coverage.

Yes. All travellers to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

Applications are not being processed at the moment. The pool for the 2020 season is closed from Thursday, November 12. Once pools are closed, profiles can no longer be submitted.

If your application is already in process, it will not be closed or refused if you do not have all your documents or if you are unable to complete the application process in time. This includes if you are unable to give biometrics or unable to complete a medical exam.

Yes. It is a mandatory requirement for IEC, unless you are receiving coverage from your employer or the province or territory where you will be workers. It is up to you to ensure you have adequate coverage including testing for coronavirus. You must have coverage (including hospitalization and the cost of returning to your home country) for the entire time you are in Canada.

It is up to your employer. Check with your employer to see if they are still planning on honouring your contract.

An employer may withdraw their offer of employment if the work permit has not yet been issued. You would then be refunded the participation fee. This will not be counted as participation under IEC, and you may be eligible to reapply.

Applications in process will not be closed or refused if you are unable to complete the medical examination.

IEC participants can extend their work permits only in some cases. To find out if you can extend your work permit, follow this link.

If you are a Young Professional or Co-op participant or are transitioning to one, then you have until December 31, 2020 to restore your status.

If you cannot find a flight out of Canada and are unable to return home, you must make sure you stay in Canada legally.

If you have to restore your work permit (if you are a Young Professional or Co-op participant), you will have until December 31, 2020 to do so. Otherwise, you must apply to stay as a visitor.

You are required to apply before your work permit expires.

Once you have applied, you will have ‘implied status’. This will allow you to stay in Canada legally as a visitor until a final decision is made regarding your application.

Yes. As long as your work permit is still valid, you may be allowed to re-enter Canada. However, all individuals are required to quarantine for 14 days.

IEC participants can change their work permits only in some cases. To find out if you are able to change your work permit, follow this link.

If you are a participant in the Young Professionals or the International Co-op (Internship) Categories, and the company that you were working for has closed, you may be able to change your employer, provided your new job meets the requirements of the Young Professionals or International Co-op Categories.

If you have stopped working due to the pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary income support through the CERB provided you meet eligibility requirements. Although CERB has now ended, Canada is still accepting and processing retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.

Your letter will be valid for one year after its date of issue. Once a letter is issued, it is considered a participation. You are not able to cancel your letter.

If you wish to extend the letter, you may be able to do so using IRCC’s web form. You must select “International Experience Canada” from the drop down menu when choosing the type of application/enquiry.

IRCC may grant an extension on your LOIs of up to 12 months if you have received it for your work permit application under the IEC program and your LOI is expiring within 30 days. The length of the extension will depend on whether you have already received an extension and on whether the medical exam on file can be reassessed and extended. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

IRCC expects you to contact them only if your letter expires in the next 30 days and you are unable to travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you did not receive a confirmation email, this does not mean that IRCC did not receive it. Please keep checking your account for any updates.

Do not travel to a port of entry in Canada as this is not considered essential travel. Please check the IRCC website regularly as new ways may be introduced for IEC participants to activate work permits from inside Canada.

In the meantime, make sure you maintain your current immigration status while in Canada.

Yes. If your job offer has been withdrawn, this is not considered participation. Your participation fee will be refunded and you may be able to reapply for another participation at a later date.

Temporary foreign workers set to work as truck drivers, or in the health-care, agriculture, or agri-food sectors in Canada are exempt from having to give their biometrics before arriving to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed due to a coronavirus-related disruption.

Temporary foreign workers set to work as truck drivers, or in the health-care, agriculture, or agri-food sectors in Canada are exempt from having to give their biometrics before arriving to Canada if the biometrics collection site closest to them is closed due to a coronavirus-related disruption.

International Students

If you are an international student with a valid study permit, or if you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18th, you are allowed to travel to Canada.

Effective October 20, 2020, if you’re a student attending a Canadian Designated Learning Institution that has obtained prior approval of its response plan to control the spread of COVID-19 from the government you will also be able to travel to Canada. The full list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) that have been approved to welcome international students is available on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by Canadian law to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving to Canada even if you don’t show any COVID-19 symptoms.

Yes. IRCC has stated that applicants can submit an incomplete study permit application if they are unable to obtain all the requirements documents due to coronavirus disruptions. IRCC will not make a decision on the study permit application until required documents have been submitted.

Canada have also introduced a two-step system where IRCC will provide a \'pre-approval\' for study permits. Students with pre-approvals may begin their studies from abroad this fall, and this period will count towards their PGWP eligibility. Before they come to Canada, students must complete the application process, submit their biometrics and all other required documents.

International students and temporary workers in Canada who have an expiring study permit or work permit should apply online to renew their permit in order to trigger implied status. This would allow them to continue studying or working in Canada while their application is being processed.

In addition, applicants who are unable to access required documents or get their biometrics, must attach a explanatory letter detailing the situation.

Incomplete applications will not be refused. The applicant will be given 90 days to submit their documents.

You are required to begin your studies within 150 days from the date of deferral, or at the start of the following semester, whichever comes first.

If this is not possible, you will have to change your status (for example, to a visitor status), or leave Canada.

  • Online learning will not be counted against PGWP eligibility.
  • Students will not see their PGWP eligibility impacted if they need to change their study status from full-time to part-time due to program changes made by their Canadian designated learning institution.
  • Students who begin their Canadian educational program online can have their time outside of Canada still count towards the length of their PGWP as long as they arrive to Canada by December 31, 2020. If they arrive to Canada in 2021, their time outside of Canada will result in a PGWP length of a shorter duration.
  • Students in Canada can begin working while their PGWP application is being processed if they submit their PGWP application while their study permit is still valid and are unable to get a letter of completion or their final transcript from their designated learning institution due to coronavirus interruptions.

If you are outside Canada, you may begin your classes and complete up to 50% of your program.

In this case, you will remain eligible for the PGWP and you will not have any time deducted from the length of your future PGWP, up to December 31, 2020.

Yes. You may start your studies online from abroad without having a study permit. However, you would need a study permit or approval in relation to your future PGWP eligibility.

Yes. You are expected to study full-time, unless your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is currently unable to offer full-time study.

If your previous study permit has expired, you will need to have your Letter of Introduction in order to be exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions.

A Letter of Introduction is the letter you receive from IRCC once you have been approved for the PGWP.

If your courses have moved online due to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for the PGWP as long as you were already in Canada, even if your online study accounts for more than 50% of your overall study.

No. Time spent studying online from abroad without a valid study permit or approval will not count towards your eligibility for PGWP.

You may be exempt from the travel restrictions and may be able to come to Canada.

However, as an immediate family member of a resident, you must first obtain authorization from IRCC to be able to board a flight.

To obtain authorization, you must submit a request by sending an email to: IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

In addition, if you do not already have a visa or an eTA, you will also need to apply for one.

A suspended semester is not considered a scheduled break. Therefore, you will only be able to work the same number of authorized hours detailed on your study permit.

In order to get a pre-approval for a study permit, a student must:

  • have been accepted at a Canadian school (as long as the school is a designated learning institution)
  • have enough funds to support their education
  • Meet all other study permit requirements

After that, students can begin their studies from abroad and this period will count towards their PGWP eligibility. In order to receive final approval before coming to Canada, students must complete the application process, submit their biometrics and other required documents.

Between April 22 and August 31, 2020, students with valid study permits were temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours per week during an academic session providing they worked in an essential service or function. This change no longer applies.

Employers

Yes. The following occupations currently have priority processing.

  • 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 7511 - Transport Truck Drivers
  • 8252 - Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431 - General Farm Workers
  • 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611 - Harvesting labourers
  • 9463 - Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617 - Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • 9462 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

The minimum recruitment requirements for the following occupations are waived until October 31, 2020.

  • 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 7511 - Transport Truck Drivers
  • 8252 - Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431 - General Farm Workers
  • 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611 - Harvesting labourers
  • 9463 - Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617 - Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • 9462 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

For Transport Truck Drivers who are in a province that requires compulsory training, the foreign national must have this training certification at the time of the issuance of his or her work permit.

Yes, for workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

For all other workers, you must pay the worker for a minimum of 30 hours per week, at the rate of pay specified on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

You cannot allow the worker to work during the self-isolation period, unless they are providing an essential service as per the Chief Public Health Officer.

Yes. You are responsible for monitoring the health of workers who are self-isolating. It is suggested that you communicate with your self-isolated employees on a daily basis.

You must make sure that the employee is fully isolated from the others immediately. Contact local health officials. It is also recommended that the employee contacts the appropriate consulate.

You should provide information on the virus. You may check www.canada.ca/coronavirus for resources. It is suggested that the information is provided in a language the employee understands well. Many resources are available online.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has materials in other languages. For access to these materials, you may call 1-833-784-4397 or email phac.covid19.aspc@canada.ca

You must also post information about the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the accommodations where the employee(s) is/are self-isolating. This should include information about the best practices for maintaining bathrooms and other facilities. It is suggested this information be posted in shared facilities and common areas. This information should be posted in a language the employee understands well.

You must report a violation of the Quarantine Act to local law enforcement.

You must place your self-isolating employee in separate accommodations. If you are unable to do so, you must find alternate accommodations, such as a hotel.

During the self-isolation period, you must ensure that the employee will avoid contact with older adults (those over 65), and those with medical conditions.

Yes, as long as it allows them to be two metres apart from each other at all times. Shared facilities are allowed. If this cannot be met, you must find alternate accommodations, such as a hotel.

It is recommended that date-stamped photos be taken of the accommodation including the facilities and the bedroom.

If a new employee is housed in the same accommodation as others who are self-isolating, the time resets to the arrival of the most recent employee.

You must also ensure that surfaces in the accommodations are disinfected and cleaned regularly, especially surfaces in bathrooms, kitchens and common areas. Workers may do this, or you may hire a professional cleaner. However, you are expected to provide all cleaning materials.

Quebec

Yes. The Ministère is continuing to process applications for permanent selection, regardless of the program under which they were submitted.

Several assistance programs have been put in place by the federal government as well as by Québec’s Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).

For more information, visit the Temporary Aid for Workers Program (MTESS) of Québec or consult the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Yes. The 12 months of full-time work experience required to be eligible for the Québec experience program do not have to be acquired consecutively. Temporary foreign workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19, and would have wanted to submit an application for the PEQ, can therefore submit their application once they have resumed employment and have accumulated 12 months of full-time work in Québec.

The MIFI will accept official transcripts and attestations of the successful completion of the study program. After submitting your diploma, official transcript, or attestation, you have three years to apply for a CSQ. During this time you can get a Post Graduation Work Permit that will allow you to work in Quebec for up to three years. In this time, you can obtain the work experience to apply as either a graduate or a temporary foreign worker.

Yes. French courses offered by educational institutions and community organizations have been suspended until further notice. If you are currently receiving an allowance under the Programme d\'aide financière pour l\'intégration linguistique des immigrants (PAFILI) you will continue to be paid until the end of the suspension of classes if you are a full-time student, and until the end of the term if you are a part-time student.

Your Quebec Acceptance Certificate will be automatically extended if it was set to expire between April 30, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Yes. Quebec’s Immigration Ministry announced it has now implemented a secure electronic document submission solution to facilitate this process for international students. That new service is now available via Quebec’s immigration application management system, called Arrima.

Other Questions

All refugee claimant appointments are cancelled until April 13th 2020. If you have an appointment booked, IRCC will contact you with your new appointment date. If you need to update your contact information, use the web form.

If you still do not have a pre-scheduled appointment, you may still submit an in-person refugee claim.

Please refer to the biometrics information on this page for the latest information about biometrics appointments.

At the current time, only Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada. You may be allowed into Canada with a valid visitor visa if you are:

  • Registered under Canada’s Indian Act.
  • A protected person.
  • Immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident traveling to Canada for essential reasons.
  • Transiting passenger, and will be staying in an airport in Canada to connect to your next flight.
  • Member of the Canadian military or family member.
  • Accredited diplomats or family member.
  • Air or marine crew.
  • French citizen who lives in Saint Pierre et Miquelon who has not left the country except to Canada or the U.S. in the last 14 days.
  • Foreigner travelling from the U.S. who has only been in the U.S. or Canada in the last 14 days and is travelling for essential purposes.

Airlines will require you to pass a health check before boarding your flight. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board your flight.

You are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days even if you don’t show any symptoms.

We will provide an update on the issue of refunds once such information has been provided by IRCC.

All in-person renewals are postponed until April 13th.

Canada’s federal government is presently inviting applicants to take the Oath of Citizenship through virtual citizenship ceremonies. Priority is given to candidates whose ceremonies have been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. IRCC asks that applicants not contact them but wait to receive an invitation call or email.