Important Update: COVID-19 Visa Processing Changes

Published on: April 14th, 2020

Borders continue to remain closed in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, the Canadian government is still processing certain visa applications at this time. Read on to find out if you fall under one of these categories, and what you can expect the visa application process to look like.

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 At this time, Canada has restricted the entry of most foreign nationals. In order to allow Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to focus their energies on essential services, Canada is suspending the processing of non-essential visitor visa applications. 

IRCC will continue to process visas and electronic travel authorization (eTA) applications for foreign nationals that are exempt from travel restrictions. The following applicants may be considered for an exemption:

International Students

The IRCC will continue to process study permit applications in preparation for the upcoming Fall semester. 

Applications for study permits typically require students to provide biometrics and many visa application centres that normally provide this service are closed. Applicants are now being given 90 days instead of the standard 30 days to provide biometrics. 

It is important to note that only students with a study permit issued before March 18, 2020 can currently travel to Canada.

Foreign Workers

Temporary foreign workers who are coming to Canada for an essential purpose will continue to be allowed entry. Foreign workers with experience in the medical field and food supply chains are currently being prioritized.

Permanent Residents

The IRCC is also continuing to process applications for permanent residency. Only permanent residents who received approval before March 18, 2020 can currently travel to Canada.

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

After arriving in Canada, you must have a plan to self-isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms.


If you’re interested in exploring your Canadian immigration options at this time, fill out our free online assessment and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your case!

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