The government of Canada says it is still accepting most permanent resident applications. Unfortunately, the ability to review and process the applications is being impacted by COVID-19 .
While the government says it cannot currently estimate any processing times, it is prioritizing certain applications like those of Canadians returning to the country, vulnerable groups and people who perform or support essential services.
The government’s Immigration and Citizenship website says those who apply still need to submit a complete application. This means they must include all the supporting documents requested. If the applicant cannot get some of these documents right now, they are advised to wait to apply when they have the documents.
Those who have already applied for a document but it’s delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic can send proof (like a receipt), and a letter explaining why they don’t have the document and when they will get it. To avoid more delays, applicants should send the document as soon as they have it.
If applicants get their language test results or educational credential assessment report by email or electronically, the government will also accept them as part of your application.
Permanent residence applications still in process
Any applications in progress that are missing documents due to COVID-19 (such as police certificates, biometrics, passports and medical exams) will not be closed or refused. Instead, they will automatically get an extra 90 days to send the documents. This applies even if the request letter says you only have 30 or 90 days.
Applicants do not have to contact Immigration and Citizenship Canada to get this extension, just send the missing documents as soon as possible to avoid further delays.
Express Entry applicants
Because of COVID-19, applicants now have 90 days to submit an Express Entry application after receiving the invitation to apply.
Some asylum seekers on COVID-19 frontlines to get permanent residency
Last week, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced a temporary measure to provide permanent residency to asylum claimants working in Canada’s health-care sector during the pandemic.
To apply for residency now, they must have claimed asylum in Canada prior to March 13 and have spent no less than 120 hours working as an orderly, nurse or another designated occupation between the date of their claim and Aug. 14.
The decision would affect about 1,000 claimants across Canada.
Applicants must also demonstrate they have six months of experience in the profession before they can receive permanent residency and have until the end of Aug. 2021 to meet that requirement.
“The government recognizes the extraordinary contribution of asylum claimants working in Canada’s health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in long-term care centres. As these individuals face an uncertain future in Canada, the current circumstances merit exceptional measures in recognition of their service during the pandemic,” read the ministry’s press release.