March 18, 2020
As you know, we’re experiencing an unprecedented pandemic in terms of the global impact of all industries including immigration.
Canada has implemented a restrictive policy on incoming travelers and limited entry into Canada for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members, and humanitarian and compassionate reasons and United States citizens.
Work permit holders, students, visitors cannot arrive in Canada for now.
Only four major airports in Canada accept travelers from overseas.
Canada-US border has been closed for non-essential traffic. Meaning that visitors, shoppers, and others will not be allowed to cross the border. Goods transportation will operate as usual.
In terms of immigration processes, RCIC (Refugees, Citizenship, Immigration Canada) and Service Canada’s call centres are affected by some internal procedures. Probably they are reducing the number of workers that work from the office. As a result, the wait times are unreasonable. We called a few times to both call centres and were advised that our calls would not be answered due to the high volume of calls. It is frustrating because we have a few dozens of LMIA applications in process. At the same time, our observation is that 70% of the LMIA applications submitted by us on behalf of our Clients – Canadian employers that wish to hire foreign works, are being processed much faster. The employers were contacted by Service Canada officers within a week or two after submitting the applications. Interesting but still to early to make assumptions.
IRCC has provided 90 days extensions to applicants to respond to requests and provide documents. The same applies to IRCC’s new requests to undergo biometrics. Usually, 30 days are given but Service Canada centres where in Canada applicants can have their biometrics done are closed in Ontario (probably other provinces as well) and the appointments are being canceled. For now, 90 days extensions are automatically provided.
It is safe to presume that COVID19 will have direct effects on the immigration process but it’s too early to give any forecasts.
We will keep monitoring the situation and keep you informed.
Stay healthy! We’re here for you!
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Immigration Consultant RCIC# R515679
Green Light Canada
204,223 – 1750 STEELES AVE. WEST
CONCORD, ON, L4K 2L7