The Canadian government has announced some changes to expedite the immigration application process for certain foreign nationals who are already in Canada. In addition, there is now a process in place to replace Confirmations of Permanent Residency (COPRs) which may have expired due to delays or closures as a result of COVID-19.

Temporary Suspension of Immigration Medical Examinations for some Foreign Nationals

On June 30, 2021, the government of Canada released a new temporary public policy that will exempt some foreign nationals within Canada from requiring an immigration medical exam. The public policy applies to foreign nationals in Canada who have been deemed to be low-risk by the government and exempts those individuals from having to complete an additional immigration medical exam as part of an application for permanent residence. The temporary public policy will continue until December 28, 2021. The policy applies to foreign nationals within Canada who:

  • Have submitted a new application for permanent residence or for a permanent resident visa or have a pending application for permanent residence and have not yet completed a new immigration medical exam;
  • Have completed an immigration medical exam within the last 5 years and were found to pose no risk to public health or safety, or complied with a requirement to report to public health authorities for monitoring; and
  • Have not left Canada for more than 6 months in the last year to live in a country that has a higher incidence of a serious communicable disease than Canada, as outlined in the list of countries requiring an immigration medical exam.

The list of countries that require an immigration medical exam can be found here. If you are a family member of a foreign national this temporary public policy may also apply to you based on the above criteria. The government says that this new policy will help to streamline the application process by providing faster application timelines and allowing foreign nationals to receive permanent residence more quickly. 

Permanent Residence Approved Individuals Allowed to Travel to Canada

As of June 21, 2021, any foreign national who holds a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (“COPR”) may travel to Canada. This is a change from the previous pandemic era rules that made it so that foreign nationals who held a valid COPR issued after March 18, 2020, could only come to Canada if they met another exemption or were coming from the United States to settle permanently in Canada. However, foreign nationals who held a valid COPR issued before March 18, 2020, were exempt from Canada’s pandemic travel restrictions. Now, anyone who is issued a COPR may travel to Canada as a result of the policy change.

The COPR is tied to an applicant’s passport and their immigration medical examination if an examination is required. If your COPR has expired as a result of not being able to travel to Canada and you are exempt from travel restrictions, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has indicated that they will work with you in order to reissue a new COPR. If you are an applicant with an expired COPR issued before March 18, 2020, there will be more information coming soon as to how and when you will be able to obtain a new COPR.

The IRCC has indicated that those with expired COPRs should not book flights or attempt to travel to Canada until they receive a new COPR. If you do attempt to enter Canada with an expired COPR, it is not likely you will be granted entry.

Contact Garson Immigration Law in Toronto for the Latest Canadian Immigration Updates

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We successfully guide clients through the immigration process, with an eye toward the ever-changing regulations in light of COVID-19. We will work to find an effective solution for your individual immigration needs and ensure you are positioned for success with respect to your application. 

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law are continuing to monitor the immigration fallout in relation to COVID-19 on both sides of the border and will provide updates as the situation develops. If you have any questions about your potential classification as essential or about how you should comply with the changing regulations, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling us at 416-321-2860.

Contact Us

For all questions and inquiries, call or email us via our form below<

4950 Yonge St., # 302
Toronto, ON M2N 6K1

Fax: (416) 512-6107