Immigration restrictions

Canada is taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The government is also assisting immigrants and travelers affected by disruptions in service. These measures include strict immigration restrictions.

Canada has shut down its national borders to the vast majority of foreigners. The government has closed entry ports, at both airports and the Canada-U.S. borders. The immigration program is suspended whilst travel restrictions remain in effect. The Canadian government has already announced restrictions until further notice. There was a lot of confusion around initial border closure announcements. However, government departments seem to have reached a consensus regarding who is capable of entering Canada and who is not.

Exemptions were made for Canadians, aircrew, diplomats and their immediate family to enter Canada if they meet the entrance criteria. Border restrictions do not apply to transport freight and goods. Additionally, the government ordered airlines to check for COVID-19 symptoms on all boarding passengers. The airlines did not allow anyone presenting symptoms to fly to Canada.

Who can enter Canada during the pandemic?

The challenges of new immigrants in Canada have multiplied in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exceptions to current travel restrictions allow foreign workers, foreign students, and authorized permanent residents to come into the country despite continued restrictions preventing non-essential travel to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Those who enter the country should pass a health check and isolate for 14 days following arrival. However, most remain unemployed, after days and weeks since the pandemic hit Canada, new obstacles have developed for newcomers.

The federal government has extended deadlines by 90 days for people with permanent resident applications still being processed for moves that may be hard during the pandemic, such as submitting passports or police certificates or finishing an immigration medical exam. Applicants also have 90 days to submit their letters of instruction regarding biometrics, which provide proof of submission of documents.

The federal government said citizen applications may be delayed but they are ongoing. According to the Canadian government, refugee resettlement programs are stopped for a moment but will resume when conditions allow. .

Concession for international students traveling to Canada 

The travel ban in Canada conditionally excludes foreign students. They must have a valid study permit or received study permit approval before March 18, when visa restrictions became effective.

Students need help from the universities with which they were enrolled to help them traverse logistics from airport pick-up to accommodation arrangements particularly for an initial 14-day period of isolation.

Canadian immigration and travel regulations are continually evolving and are subject to repeated change, with little to no prior warning.

Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Kazembe & Associates attorneys to discuss your immigration case. Furthermore, contact us to enquire how the current immigration reforms may apply to your present situation or if any new policy restrains you from entering Canada.

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