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.
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.
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.
Canada bans flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days
The federal government announced they have banned direct passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days due to rising COVID-19 variant cases. Earlier this year, Canada banned flights from the United Kingdom in an attempt to reduce the spread of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant.
This ban, effective Thursday (April 21, 2021) at 11:30 p.m. EST, will ban direct flights from India and Pakistan. Travellers who wish to travel to Canada from India and Pakistan must travel through a third country. In this third country, passengers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding their flight for Canada. As with all air travellers at this time, individuals will need to test on arrival in Canada and quarantine at a government approved hotel for up to three days while waiting for their test result. After receiving a negative test result, travellers must complete their quarantine at a different location.
This decision was made amid growing concerns from politicians on the local, provincial, and federal level.
As we await further details from the federal government, we are happy to discuss solutions as travellers navigate this significant travel ban. If you, your family, or your business are affected by this travel ban, please contact our office.