Canada’s immigration department has issued new guidelines for holders of expired permanent residence visas.
Individuals who are in possession of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) but whose documents have now expired will be allowed into Canada.
Canada has implemented different policies for expired visa holders depending on whether they are coming from the U.S. or other countries. People from outside of the U.S. need to have gotten their visas on or before March 18 in order to qualify for the new measure. U.S. visa holders qualify regardless of when they received their visa.
Only those who intend to stay and settle will be allowed to travel to Canada at the moment and become permanent residents. Those who intend to come to Canada temporarily and leave cannot do so now unless they are exempt from the restrictions.
Travel to Canada must be non-discretionary. The government offers examples of the definition of non-discretionary travel on its website.
Group 1: Valid COPR and PRV and Travelling from any country other than the U.S.
Those travelling from countries other than the U.S. who were issued a COPR and PRV on or before March 18 which is still valid are:
- exempt from travel restrictions;
- allowed to travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons with the expired document; and
- required to have an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan.
Group 2: Valid COPR and PRV and Travelling from the U.S.
Applicants may travel to Canada from the US for non-discretionary purposes to settle and reside in Canada if:
- they received approval for their application;
- both their COPR and PRV have been received and are still valid; and
- they have an acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days.
Group 3: Expired COPR and PRV and travelling from any other country other than the U.S.
Applicants for permanent residence who are in possession of an expired COPR and PRV and who are ready to travel to Canada are asked to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) using a Web form. Applicants are asked to provide the expiry date of the COPR and the non-discretionary reason(s) for their travel.
After the web forms are received, applicants will be directed to the appropriate processing network and will be evaluated according to the following eligibility criteria:
- documents to support proof of an acceptable plan to settle in Canada;
- proof of an acceptable plan to quarantine; and their
- proposed travel itinerary.
Group 4: Expired COPR and PRV and Travelling from the U.S.
Individuals travelling from the U.S. with expired COPRs can travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons to settle in Canada as permanent residents providing :
- their application was approved;
- they received their COPR and PRV; and
- they have a 14-day quarantine plan.
What to do if you hold an expired COPR and PRV and are ready to travel to Canada
Applicants for permanent residence who are in possession of an expired COPR and PRV and who are ready to travel to Canada are asked to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) using a Web form. Applicants are asked to provide the expiry date of the COPR and the non-discretionary reason(s) for their travel. IRCC will then refer the Web Form application to the appropriate processing network which will assess the application based on the following eligibility criteria.
You must gather proof that:
- you have an acceptable plan to settle such as documents to support your living situation in Canada (address, lease agreement, homeownership document) or employment plans in Canada (location of work, letter from employer);
- you have an acceptable plan to quarantine for 14 days in Canada which includes proof of funds and how you will get groceries, medical care among other essential services; and
- you have a proposed travel itinerary, including, for example, travel tickets if they already have been purchased.
You must also make sure that you and your accompanying family members meet the following criteria:
- you held a valid COPR and PRV on or before March 18, 2020, but these documents have now expired; no specific date for US-based applicants;
- have a compelling reason to travel to Canada now: such as family reunification, need of immediate medical care, expiring status in the U.S., need to tend to non-discretionary family matters, for economic reasons such as to support economic services and supply chains, critical infrastructure support; and
- the country where you reside is not subject to exit controls that limit your ability to travel to Canada.
IRCC will give priority to clients with a proposed or confirmed travel plan that is detailed, or clients who demonstrate a willingness to book and confirm travel plans as soon as they are approved.
Processing new permanent residence applications
Canada is currently accepting new applications for permanent residence.
New files that are incomplete due to missing documentation will be retained and reviewed within 90 days.
However, if a new application lacks supporting documentation, an explanation should be added to the application referencing service interruptions due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Providing that explanation is important and may result in the application being promoted and reviewed within 90 days. New applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.
Completed new applications for permanent residence continue to be processed according to normal procedures.
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