As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across multiple countries, many foreign nationals are unable to complete their Canadian immigration process as there are multiple travel restrictions across the Globe. As a result, the Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented special measures to facilitate applicants who are unable to complete immigration processes.

Initially, IRCC created these special measures for nationals of China, but as of February 29, 2020, this has been expanded to Iran and South Korea. Applicants from these countries who have applied for temporary visas (visitor visa, study permit) or permanent residence and are unable to complete their immigration process within specified deadlines, are being given an extension of time. The IRCC reports several disruptions, including visa application centre closures, travel bans and limited access to government services required to complete the immigration process.

Health Canada reported active travel notices and assigned levels of risk for the countries of  China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, and as of February 24th, 2020, Iran and Northern Italy have been escalated to level 3 risk “avoid all essential travel”. On the other hand, the CDC has assigned level 3 travel restrictions to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, suspending entry of foreign nationals from these destinations.

As more and more countries experience the spread of Coronavirus, it is difficult to predict how this will affect the status of Canadian and U.S. Immigration for foreign nationals that are abroad. Foreign workers looking to immigration to Canada and U.S.A will suffer the consequences as the virus spreads. A process of 6 months may be extended to 1 year.

If you are considering immigrating to Canada or the U.S., or have an approval but are waiting in your home country, contact us for additional details to help you through this process.