Important information on Ongoing and New Applications
Coronavirus pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on all countries migration and travel policies including the much popular Canada’s immigration program delivered through the Express Entry System. Prospective immigrant’s world over have been perplexed with regards to their plans, whether to start the PR Visa application now, what will be the course of their application etc.
Let’s look at what’s Canada’s strategy been so far and what they plan in these challenging times.
What is the Current Applications Status with Immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)?
As per IRCC communications so far, applications will continue in regular course at various home countries IRCC offices abroad and will not be refused due to non-compliance. There might be slow response due to service disruptions with selective staffs or closure of visa application centers.
Additional Documents, IRCC may require additional documents like police certificates, biometrics, passports, medical examinations and other documents for immigration processing in select countries. For the additional documents applicant will get 90 days to respond. If applicant is not able to provide in 90 days’ deadline, extension of 90 days would be provided.
Biometrics letter, will still state 30 days’ timeline, but will get 90 days to complete it.
Documents Submission deadline,Applicants applying for permanent residency in normal due course have 60 days to submit the completed Visa documents, however in cases where they face challenge due to coronavirus, they will get 90 days’ extension. Applicant will need to include an explanation for the delay and pay extra administration charges for the extension.
Permanent Residency Visa Holders, those who hold confirmation of permanent residence and PR Visa may be eligible for extended deadline, so long as they inform IRCC of their circumstances through submitting Web-Form online.
Is Express Entry and new permanent residency application still open?
The Express entry system continues to be operational and applicants can still submit their profile despite the major changes taking place after March 18 with regards to Canada’s immigration ecosystem response to coronavirus.
IRCC is holding regular Express Entry draws and provinces are holding draws under provincial nomination program (PNP). Permanent residency applications are getting processed as per normal procedure and where applicants are facing challenges due to Corona virus related delays and are not able to submit required documentation within deadlines, 90 days’ extension is being granted.
Over the past 2 months IRCC has brought out a cumulative 12 Canada Experience Class(CEC) and Provincial Nominee program (PNP) draws.
Latest Draw on May 28th IRCC issued 3515 ITAs to Canadian Experience Class with a low 440 CRS.
Quite Notably, On May 13, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) brought out Tech Draw with a record cutoff between421 to 451, issuing 703 ITAs.
Is WES process still open for transcript evaluation?
Its business as usual for WES albeit with reduced staff working remotely to facilitate the closure of evaluation reports. The academic transcripts are being processed in Canada and started in USA around mid of May. WES continues to work along with institutions around the world to receive credentials electronically and applicants are being advised to request the respective institutes to submit the documents electronically, and this includes many Universities in India too which have tied up with WES and created their own electronic transcript attestation portals. Some such Universities are: Mumbai University: http://mu.etranscript.in. Gujarat Technological University: https://www.student.gtu.ac.in/Login.aspx. Mangalore University: https://mangaloreuniversity.directverify.in/student/index.html and Vellore Institute of Technology: https://vit.applydirect.org/student/# The courier of degree certificates from India is also no longer required by WES and the same can now be uploaded in to your account with WES.
Who can travel to Canada?
Following individuals can visit Canada till June 30 as per the IRCC latest guidelines. However, the exempted individuals are encouraged to keep close eye on federal government’s website;
- Permanent residents
- Canadian Citizens
- Immediate family of PR Visa holders and Canadian citizens
- Transiting passengers
- Applicants who have had successfully got permanent residency before March 16th and are yet to enter Canada.
- Temporary workers from abroad
- Those foreign students who were able to successfully secure a valid study visa before March 16th
Is temporary residency applications open?
Yes, applicants can still apply for temporary residency with IRCC, however you may travel only post the travel sanctions are eased.Immediate family members of Permanent Residents or Citizens are allowed to travel only for essential travel. Any traveler arriving in Canada has to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine. They have to inform IRCC and CBSA through a website or an App( ArriveCan )
specifically designed for it to let them know of their plans for arrival and when and where they would be undergoing the quarantine to prevent delays of processing at the airport.
Although temporary resident visas are allowed to be lodged most visas require biometrics which are currently on hold in most countries along with passport processing because of which visas are not being processed.
IsIRCC’s global process times impacted due to coronavirus pandemic?
Delays in global process times may happen due to service delays caused due to current work restrictions.
Is there Change in PR Visa processing fees for Canada?
Canada PR visa Fees (Per Adult) is as Below;
- CAD 825 PR Visa processing fee
- CAD 500 Permanent resident fee
- CAD 50 Permanent Resident Card Fee
- CAD 85 Biometric Fee
Child PR visa feesCAD 225
My temporary visa as a student, visitor or workeris about to finish, what options do I have?
You may go online and file an application to extend your visa if you are in Canada. You will be able to stay in Canada pending decision on your new application. You need not physically anywhere to apply.
If I join a study course Online, am I eligible for Post study work rights
In case your course is delivered online due to coronavirus, you will still be eligible to the PGWP program and you may still apply.
In a nutshell, it can be said fairly that Canada immigration has taken enough measures during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the applicants applying the Canada Permanent residency. On a brighter side this is the best time to apply for the PR Visa as very few applicants are applying due to the confusions and misinformation prevailing in current uncertain times. This could also lead to fewer applications and better chances of ITAs as there would be fewer competing candidates to be ranked against. Also the fact that it would take 12-18 months to get a vaccine developed for Covid-19 and similar is the time frame for the Canada PR Visa process, you would surely want to start right away than delay.