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Immigration : Service disruption and temporary closure of the Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Paris and Lyon

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in France, the Paris office of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is functioning with reduced staff and only providing essential services.

Special measures – COVID-19

IRCC has implemented special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

A FAQ has been developed to answer your questions regarding the Implications of travel restrictions on IRCC clients. Please continue to visit this website for further updates.

We are only processing the following urgent cases:

  • Applications for permanent resident travel documents for individuals who have recently left  Canada;
  • Applications for visitor visas for individuals who are close family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada; and
  • Applications for visitor visas for individuals who have urgent humanitarian and compassionate reasons for travelling to Canada. 

Applicants who are in a situation described above and who need to urgently travel to Canada, can email IRCC Paris at for instructions.  All other applicants must apply online. 

Visa Application Centres (VACs) closed 

The VACs in Paris and Lyon are currently closed until further notice. You will not be able to submit an application or make an appointment for biometrics.

The resumption of services at the Visa Application Centres is subject to authorization from local government authorities. For more information, please monitor the website of VFS Global.

Embassy closed to the public

The Embassy does not receive the public on matters related to immigration procedures. You cannot provide biometrics to the Embassy. The Embassy does not accept applications in person, by e-mail or by mail.

You can still submit an online application for a visitor visa or for a work permit or study permit.

Pending applications

In the meantime, individuals who have applied for a visitor visa, a work permit, a study permit or for permanent residence, but who cannot complete the next steps in the process on time due to the situation in France, will not have their application refused solely on the basis of not completing these requests. More time (extensions) will automatically be provided to applicants in these situations. 

Biometrics deadline extended to 90 days

Even though your biometrics instruction letter (BIL) indicates that this step must be completed within 30 days, the deadline will automatically be extended to 90 days if you’re affected by the service disruptions. You will not need a new BIL.

Approved applications – validity of letters of introduction

Temporary residence

Individuals who have received a positive decision letter (letter of introduction) that expires in one month or less, regarding their application for temporary residence (work or study permit), and who are unable or unwilling to travel to Canada, must inform IRCC using the web form.

Under International Experience Canada (IEC), persons who have received a decision letter that expires in one month or less may also benefit from this procedure and must communicate with IRCC via the web form by selecting 'International Experience Canada' from the 'Type of Application Submitted' menu.

Permanent Residence

Applicants for permanent residence who are in possession of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (PRV) must inform IRCC using the web form that they are unable to travel within the validity period of their documents.

Request for passport return

If your passport is at the Embassy or at the VAC, please write to and indicate in the subject line « Passport return ».


You are a temporary resident of Canada and you want to travel to Canada

Update as of March 26, 2020 : The travel restriction exemptions that were announced are now in place.

Temporary foreign workers, international students who have a valid study permit or who were approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020, and foreign nationals who were approved for permanent residence before March 16, 2020, but who hadn’t yet landed, can now travel to Canada.

Health requirement: If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

Exception – Optional or discretionary purpose: We remind you that it remains prohibited for any person from a foreign country other than the United States to seek to enter Canada for an optional or discretionary purpose, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.

When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

For more information and for official updates, please visit IRCC’s website: Implications of travel restrictions on IRCC clients.


Transit through Canada to another country

Canada currently denies boarding to all foreign nationals, unless exempted, on flights to Canada from all countries. In accordance with the Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19, passengers in transit to a third country are exempt from these restrictions. Please note that leaving the airport will not be permitted and that passengers will be subject to any travel bans and restrictions in force in the country of final destination. For more information, see Implications of travel restrictions on IRCC clients.


Other questions

Find quick and direct answers to frequently asked questions, including technical questions about your online application, at IRCC`s Help Centre.


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