March 24, 2020

25 Latest Canadian Immigration Updates Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

There have been so many updates from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Immigration and Refugee Board, and the Federal Courts it is dizzying. Here is a quick list of the critical updates:

1. There are travel and entry restrictions both by land and air in place. 

2. Although a definition of essential services has not been provided with several essential services to keep the supply chains open amongst other persons, continue to be permitted entry. 

3. Irregular arrivals seeking protected person protection will not be granted entry. 

4. Students and work permit holders will be permitted entry. 

5. Those with confirmation of permanent residence can request extensions of validity for ninety days

6. In land, permanent residency landing interviews are postponed until April 13, 2020. 

7. Telephone interviews will soon be coordinated. 

8. CBSA removals from Canada remain on a ninety-day pause.

9. Biometrics are on a ninety-day pause. 

10. Flag polling is strongly discouraged at this time. 

11. IRCC continues to process all in land applications, including visitor, work, study permit, humanitarian and compassionate and temporary resident permit applications to list a few.

12. Outside of Canada, applications continue to process.

13. Express entry draws continue to proceed.

14. IRCC has delayed intake for new protected person/refugee claims until April 13, 2020.

15. There are still steps (dropbox, emails) that can be taken to issue a new refugee claim. 

16. Citizenship ceremonies and tests are cancelled at the current time. 

17. ESDC may extend the validity of certain Labour Market Impact Assessments – contact us at Bellissimo Law Group to learn more.

18. IRB has postponed hearings until further notice.

19. Detention reviews will still proceed, and special measures will be implemented.  

20. Filings due between February and April 15, 2020, is extended until May 30, 2020.

21. The Federal Courts have suspended most proceedings between March 18, 2020, and April 17, 2020. 

22. Urgent and exceptional matters will proceed.

23. Parties are encouraged to continue seeking a settlement.

24. Keep updated on what is likely to be an expanded definition of essential services should the restrictions be extended.

25. Electronic filing is encouraged.  

As is evident from this list, which by no means is exhaustive, several ongoing developments could affect your current or future immigration, protected person or citizenship status. There may also be urgent matters you require assistance with at this time. Bellissimo Law Group PC remains open and fully operational for our existing and future clients.

Please reach out to us in this time of uncertainty to ensure you are taking the appropriate steps. In other cases, this may be the time to benefit from some of these delays at the beginning or continuing work on your immigration matter.

Thank you for reading—strength to all.