Canadian Immigration News

Not Allowed to Travel to Canada Affecting Permanent Residents

2.25 minute read
"Many foreign nationals who received their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) after March 18, 2020, are still unable to come to Canada owing to the travel restrictions imposed as an effect of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Having a COPR means that their permanent residence application has been approved by the government body of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 23, 2021
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Many foreign nationals who have received their Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) after March 18, 2020, are still unable to come to Canada due to the travel restrictions imposed as an effect of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Having a COPR means that their permanent residence application has been approved by the government body of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

A COPR states that the applicant has cleared all the necessary medical and criminal examinations and that the last remaining step in their immigration process is to physically enter Canada. However, due to the travel restrictions put in place, foreign nationals with a COPR are barred from entering Canada unless they are exempt. 

Only close family members of Canadian citizens and regular travelers between the Canada-US border are exempt from the travel restrictions. This has resulted in many foreign nationals being stuck in their home countries with no plans for the future. 

Many also feel that this segregation based on having close family members in Canada is unfair to those who have waited long years to gain permanent residence in Canada. Other than family members, certain temporary workers and international students are also exempt from the travel restrictions. 

Why Are Foreign Nationals with COPR Unable to Travel to Canada?

The Canadian border has been closed to international travelers since March 18, 2020, for a whole year and the restrictions have been extended every month. The IRCC provided no exemptions at the beginning of the lockdown. However, as time passed, exemptions were made for extended family members, international students who attended designated learning institutions (DLI) with approved Covid-19 plans, and a few other parties. 

Yet, people with an approved COPR were not exempt from these restrictions. Since a COPR is the last step in the immigration process, many had already started the process of uprooting their lives in their home country to shift to Canada. This included selling their house, pulling kids out of school, quitting their current jobs, etc. However, due to Covid-19 lockdowns, all their plans were foiled leading to massive disappointment. 

Despite this, the IRCC gave them a little hope by announcing that applicants will not be required to start their immigration process all over again if their COPR expires before the travel restrictions are lifted. However, this news was of little help to foreign nationals who had already made their plans. 

Currently, the travel restrictions for non-US residents have been extended till April 21, 2021. There is no prediction as to when the government plans to fully reopen the border. This has left many foreign nationals hanging in the middle.  

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