Canada has taken extraordinary steps to stop Coronavirus from spreading, and extra time to help out immigrants and stranded travelers.

Restrictions on foreign travel to Canada

On March 16th, the Canadian government announced it was closing the Canada-US border to non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents. Originally, exceptions were to be made for aircrew members, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadians, and US Citizens, but from March 18th, the Canada-US border is now closed to all “non-essential travel” and there’s no longer any exception for US Citizens. Additionally, unless a person has been in the US for the 14 days prior to travel, anyone with a valid visa won’t be able to travel to Canada. Currently, there’s currently no restrictions on cargo and goods transportation however.

All Canadian airlines have been told to check every flyer for Coronavirus symptoms, and anyone with symptoms isn’t allowed to fly into the country. To prevent overwhelm, from March 18th, the Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver international airports are the only ones that will be accepting international flights. That being said, flights from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saint-Pierre, and Miquelon aren’t affected right now, and all interior flights are still happening.

Special IRCC measures

From March 15th, the IRCC has cancelled all citizenship related activities and events. All in-person appointments have also been cancelled until at least April 13. But don’t worry, applications for temporary residency, permanent residency, citizenship, and refugee claims are still being accepted, they just might take longer to process because the application centres and some IRCC offices have to close down for a while.

Documents needed to process claims will still be requested, but people will be given more time to provide them, and if they’ve been previously been given extra time but still can’t provide documents, they will be given an extra 90 days.

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