How did the pandemic affect Canada's immigration in 2020?

Update: December 2020

Ontario, Canada moved 2 more regions into lockdown.

Just like the majority of the countries, Canada is experiencing high COVID-19 infection rates. Due to this reason Ontario moved into lockdown York Region and Windsor-Essex, which will join Toronto and Peel Region in lockdown.

All travelers must self-isolate themselves for 14 days after entering Canada from abroad. Exception: truck drivers who regularly cross the Canada-U.S. border to maintain the flow of goods.

You can  find more information on travel restrictions at

* Please note that these rules might change and in order to avoid any travel issues please confirm with the CBSA (Canadian Border Services).

Who are the immediate family members allowed to enter Canada?


The CBSA announced that as of June 8, 2020, 23:59 EDT, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.

Foreign nationals who are admitted to Canada must quarantine for 14 days.

An immediate family member refers to a person’s:

a)      spouse or common-law partner;

b)      dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;

c)      dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b):

d)      parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;

e)      guardian or tutor.

Non-essential traffic between the United States of America and Canada has temporarily stopped until January 21st, 2021.

Those travelers who are currently temporarily in Canada are able to apply online on IRCC’s website to update their status. No need to travel in person to the land border. Applications for temporary residence are accepted and reviewed by the Immigration Authorities, however, even if your application has been approved, you will not be able to enter Canada until the restrictions are removed.


Many potential applicants are wondering whether they are able to submit their residence application through Express Entry (EE) Application Profile. The Express Entry draws are still implemented; accordingly, you can submit both PR application and Express Entry Applications.

Moreover, despite the current “Coronavirus Quarantine” situation the Canadian provinces (PNP – Provincial Nominee Programs) hold draws as well.


Individuals who are unable to submit completed Permanent Resident Applications due to the current situation in the world are given an additional 90 days to complete the process.


Obviously, Canadian immigration processing times have been affected by Coronavirus closures and imposed restrictions. Currently, there is no expedited processing, except for special cases which will be decided at the discretion of the Migration Program Manager of the specific IRCC office.


All the temporary workers, students, and people who are in Canada on a temporary basis are able to apply for status extensions online. While your application is under consideration, you can stay in Canada.


Asylum claimants are accepted as well, except those who wish to make an asylum claim at the US-Canada border. The irregular migrants attempting to cross the border will be returned.


Keep in mind that Canadian Immigration Authorities might request additional documents necessary for all citizenship and immigration applications. Especially this might be the case with the additional medical documentation. Canadian Immigration applicants will have 90 days to respond to the request letter for additional documentation. New applications with missing supporting documentation will need to include an explanation.



In order to avoid delays Canadian Immigration Authorities require presenting the following documents as proof of immediate family members’ having Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status:

  • Canadian passport

  • Canadian permanent resident (PR) card

  • Canadian permanent resident travel document

  • Visa-exempt foreign passport and IRCC Special Authorization for Canadian Citizens


Travelers flying to Canada should provide documents establishing their relationship to the family member such as a marriage or common-law status certificate, birth certificate, a Confirmation of Permanent Resident for Family Class Immigration, or other supporting documents.


If the passenger has any sickness signs, she/he might be denied from boarding a plane unless they have a medical certificate that confirms the symptoms are not due to coronavirus.


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