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Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm

COVID-19 IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Due to the exceptional and fluid circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, information will be updated as soon as possible. We direct you to government resources for a fulsome and up-to-date account of the current situation.

Travel Ban: If you are currently in Canada, we advise against all non-essential travel outside of the country. Please note that all foreign nationals in Canada must maintain valid temporary status. A travel ban is in effect and applies to all foreign nationals, unless eligible for an exemption. The following foreign nationals are exempt from the travel ban:

  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.  “Immediate family member” means the spouse, common law partner, parent/grandparent, dependent child, the dependent child of the dependent child, guardian or tutor of the Canadian citizen/permanent resident of Canada.
  • Foreign nationals travelling from the United States if the purpose of travel is not “optional or discretionary” such as “tourism, recreation, or entertainment.” Some foreign nationals will be required to demonstrate that they have been in the U.S. for 14 days prior to seeking entry to Canada, and others will be exempt from this requirement.
  • Foreign nationals travelling from all other countries outside the U.S. who fall into an enumerated exemption. Among others, enumerated exemptions include foreign nationals who hold a valid work permit, hold a written work permit approval, hold a valid study permit, hold a written study permit approval issued before noon EST on March 18, 2020, or a person whose application for permanent residence was approved before noon EST on March 18, 2020. Some foreign nationals who have an immediate family member residing in Canada who is a work permit or study permit holder may be authorized by a designated official to enter Canada for the purposes of family reunification.

The travel ban does not apply to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.

All individuals who are granted entry to Canada will also be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Note that any individual who exhibits symptoms of illness may be refused boarding by air carriers or entry to Canada at the border.

INTEGRITY. EXCELLENCE. DEDICATION.

At Green and Spiegel, we are want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to minimize the disruption of COVID-19 in terms of your immigration status and possibly your healthcare. We expect that the processing times for extensions will be significantly affected by COVID-19.  We recommend that we initiate an extension for you SIX months prior to your expiry date.  Let’s be proactive in doing what we can to carry on.  We are all in this together. 

 Click Here to Extend Your  Status in  Canada 

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the time is right to begin the process of sponsoring your spouse for Canadian permanent residence.  If both you and your spouse live outside of Canada and are planning to move back home, we can assist you. If you currently live in Canada and are a citizen or permanent resident, we would be delighted to assist you in reuniting with your spouse in Canada.   Making a spousal sponsorship application can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be.  Green and Spiegel will support you and your ​family every step of the way to make sure that the application is successful and that you and your ​family can build a life in Canada.

Click Here to Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner or Dependent Child

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, the time is right to apply for Canadian Citizenship. You are eligible for citizenship if you have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to your application. You may count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

If your child has one parent who is a Canadian citizen or a parent who is applying to become a Canadian citizen, the time is right to apply for citizenship for that child.  Children of one Canadian born parent can apply for citizenship regardless of where they were born or where they reside.

Click Here to Apply For Canadian Citizenship



If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, the time is right to apply for Canadian Citizenship. You are eligible for citizenship if you have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to your application. You may count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

If your child has one parent who is a Canadian citizen or a parent who is applying to become a Canadian citizen, the time is right to apply for citizenship for that child.  Children of one Canadian born parent can apply for citizenship regardless of where they were born or where they reside.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, the time is right to apply for Canadian Citizenship. You are eligible for citizenship if you have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to your application. You may count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

If your child has one parent who is a Canadian citizen or a parent who is applying to become a Canadian citizen, the time is right to apply for citizenship for that child.  Children of one Canadian born parent can apply for citizenship regardless of where they were born or where they reside.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, the time is right to apply for Canadian Citizenship. You are eligible for citizenship if you have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to your application. You may count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

If your child has one parent who is a Canadian citizen or a parent who is applying to become a Canadian citizen, the time is right to apply for citizenship for that child.  Children of one Canadian born parent can apply for citizenship regardless of where they were born or where they reside.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada, the time is right to apply for Canadian Citizenship. You are eligible for citizenship if you have resided in Canada for 3 out of the past 5 years immediately prior to your application. You may count each day that they were present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.

If your child has one parent who is a Canadian citizen or a parent who is applying to become a Canadian citizen, the time is right to apply for citizenship for that child.  Children of one Canadian born parent can apply for citizenship regardless of where they were born or where they reside.

Stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 immigration developments 

COVID-19 AND CANADIAN IMMIGRATION: ANSWERING TRAVEL RESTRICTION QUESTIONS

by Stephen Doherty | Apr 01, 2020

COVID-19 and Canadian Immigration 

As the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19 continue to evolve, the Government of Canada has released a series of measures to help contain the spread of the virus. On March 26, 2020, two Orders in Council (legal instruments made by the Governor in Council) came into effect and provide the details of what has been dubbed the “travel ban.” Additionally, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released Program Delivery Instructions and Special Instructions, and orders have been made pursuant to the Quarantine Act, that, in conjunction with the Orders in Council, inform who is subject to Canada’s “travel ban”, who is exempted, and the obligations of individuals upon entry to Canada.

Below is a summary of questions and answers relating to Canadian immigration and Canada’s travel ban as of March 31, 2020.

Q: Who can travel to Canada?

A: Canadian citizens and permanent residents can enter Canada. However, if traveling by air, airline personnel have been instructed to deny boarding to any passenger who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

A travel ban has been announced by the Government of Canada which largely prevents foreign nationals from traveling to Canada, with exceptions. As such, no foreign national may enter Canada unless that individual either:

  1. Has been in the United States for the past 14 days and their purpose of travel to Canada is not optional or discretionary (i.e. for tourism, recreation, or entertainment); or
  2. Falls under one of the exemptions listed below.

No foreign national will be admitted to Canada if they are exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Q: Which foreign nationals are exempted from the travel ban and permitted to travel to Canada?

A: An extensive list of exemptions to the travel ban was released on March 26, 2020. The following are notable examples of foreign nationals who are not affected by the travel ban, regardless of the country from which they are seeking entry to Canada:

  1. An “immediate family member” of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent resident;
  2. The holder of a valid work permit;
  3. The holder of a written work permit approval (issued at any time);
  4. The holder of a valid study permit;
  5. The holder of a written study permit approval issued before noon EST on March 18, 2020;
  6. A person whose application for permanent residence was approved before noon EST on March 18, 2020;
  7. A person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada, to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting with immediate family members (most applicable to family members of temporary residents in Canada);
  8. A person whose presence is in the “national interest” as determined by either the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness;
  9. There are additional exceptions for those providing medical, emergency, and other essential services.

Despite these exceptions, no foreign national will be permitted entry to Canada if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or if their purpose of travel is optional or discretionary (for tourism, recreation, or entertainment).

Q: Who is an “immediate family member” of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident?

A: The definition of “immediate family member” found in the exception to the travel ban is broader than the definition of “family member” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Immediate family members include a Canadian citizen or permanent resident’s:

  1. Spouse or common-law partner;
  2. Dependent child or their spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child;
  3. Dependent child of a dependent child;
  4. Parent or step-parent or their spouse or common-law partner’s parent or step-parent; and
  5. Guardian or tutor.

Q: How are business visitors impacted by the travel ban?

A: There is no indication as to whether business travelers who do not hold a work permit approval will be exempted from the travel ban (e.g. those intending to work for under 30 days pursuant to the Global Skills Strategy or general business visitors).  Please contact our office for more information.

Q: What is meant by the “national interest” exemption?

A: The “national interest” exemption serves as a “catch-all” exemption for any foreign national whose presence in Canada, in the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is in Canada’s national interest. IRCC’s Case Management Branch will manage these situations in “accordance with existing processes.” There is no further information provided as to how such applications can be made, what they should include, and how they should be submitted. Until clarification is provided, it may be advisable to simply email the Case Management Branch with a request for a “national interest” exemption, including all relevant documentation.

Q: What are my obligations upon entering Canada?

A: All individuals who enter Canada – including permanent residents and Canadian citizens – must self-isolate for a period of 14 days immediately upon admission to the country.

Q: My temporary resident status is about to expire and I am currently in Canada. What should I do?

A: Temporary residents in Canada must continue to maintain valid immigration status. Temporary residents are encouraged to apply to renew their status six months ahead of the expiry of their current status document, in light of the processing delays and any further unexpected delays that may occur.

Q: I am an international student currently studying in Canada. My classes have now been moved to an online format because of COVID-19. Will this affect my eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit?

A: IRCC acknowledges this unique situation and accepts that many educational institutions are now offering online learning on an extraordinary basis due to the spread of COVID-19. This scenario will not affect a student’s eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.

This is an ever-changing situation. We highly recommend contacting our office before making any arrangements to travel to Canada for the latest updates and requirements.

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