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IRCC COVID-19 – INFORMATION FOR IRCC PARIS CLIENTS

  1. Travel restrictions and requirements for all travelers
  2. Exemptions from the travel restrictions
  3. Travel for essential purposes
  4. Approved applications  – document validity
  5. New applications and applications in process
  6. Other questions

1. Travel restrictions and requirements for all travelers

To manage the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), travel restrictions are in place to limit travel to Canada. Most people cannot travel to Canada at this time.

These measures are currently in effect until July 31, 2020, and may be extended*. 

These restrictions stop all non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.

To travel to and be permitted to enter Canada, you must prove that you are exempt from the travel restrictions AND that your travel is for an essential reason.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published information online on How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services. IRCC has also published a FAQ for International Experience Canada (IEC) participants :  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International Experience Canada applicants.  Please visit these sites regularly for updated information.

The following requirements apply to all travelers:

  • Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. Temperature checks will be required prior to departure.
  • They must respect the measures for non-medical masks or face coverings during their trip, even if they do not show any symptoms.  
  • When they arrive in Canada, their health will be assessed at the port of entry and they will be required to provide basic information using the traveler contact information form (ArriveCAN app, web-based form or paper form).
  • They must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, even if they do not show any symptoms. 

 2. Exemptions from the travel restrictions

Who can enter Canada :

  • Canadian citizens
  • Canadian permanent residents
  • persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • protected persons
  • immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days
  • foreign nationals who are coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from the United States
  • foreign nationals who are coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from a country other than the U.S. and are exempt from the travel restrictions (see below)

The following persons may travel to Canada for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose from a country other than the United States, including France:

  • temporary foreign workers
  • some international students
  • some approved permanent residents
  • immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident who intend to stay in Canada for 14 days or less
  • immediate family members with written authorization from the Government of Canada to reunite with a family member living temporarily in Canada
  • transiting passengers (must remain in a Canadian airport to complete their connection)
  • members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces, Department of National Defence and their immediate family members
  • accredited diplomats and immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
  • air and marine crew members
  • French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have been in only Canada, the U.S. or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days before the day they seek to enter Canada
  • any person who does not pose a significant harm to public health, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and who will provide an essential service while in Canada
  • any person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest, in the opinion of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; or Foreign Affairs
  • any person who is coming at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of COVID-19 assistance
  • any person whose purpose is to make medical deliveries

An immediate family member is defined as a

  • spouse or common-law partner
  • dependent child
  • dependent child of a dependent child
  • parent or step-parent
  • guardian or tutor

 3. Travel for essential (non-discretionary) purposes

Travel for optional or discretionary purposes is defined as including (but not limited to) travel for the purposes of tourism, recreation and entertainment.  Here are some examples of travel that would not be considered essential:

  • to visit family for a vacation
  • for the birth of a grandchild, nephew, niece, cousin, etc.
  • to spend time at a secondary residence
  • to attend the funeral of a family member

Travel for the following purposes could be considered non-optional or non-discretionary:

  • economic services and supply chains
  • critical infrastructure support
  • health (immediate medical care), safety and security
  • supporting Indigenous communities
  • transiting through Canada for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes
  • studying in Canada if already approved for a study permit on or before March 18
  • tending to family matters for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes (such as bringing supplies to elderly parents or tending to sick family members) when there is no one else available in Canada to assist
  • any other activities that are deemed non-optional or non-discretionary by the Government of Canada or based on an officer’s assessment

It is up to all travelers to prove that they are exempt from the travel restrictions AND that they are travelling for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose, for example:

  • Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who intend to stay in Canada for 14 days or less must provide documents proving the relationship and explain the reason for travel.  
  • International students must present their study permit or letter of introduction for the port of entry (LOI) issued before March 18th 2020 along with proof that their study session is maintained.  If their courses are on-line, the trip may be considered non-essential or discretionary.  
  • Temporary workers must present their valid work permit or port of entry letter of introduction and proof that their travel is essential (non-discretionary).
  • A temporary worker’s travel is essential (non-discretionary) if they are in either of these situations:
    • They have a valid work permit and normally live in Canada. This applies even if they have been laid off.
    • They are a worker who
      • has a letter of introduction for a work permit (open or employer-specific), and
      • has a valid job offer, and
      • can work once they have completed their 14-day quarantine in Canada.
  • A temporary worker’s travel is non-essential (discretionary) if they are in either of these situations:
    • They have a letter of introduction for an employer-specific work permit, but their employer has closed their business due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
    • They have a letter of introduction for an open work permit, but they don’t have a job contract and are planning to find a job once they arrive in Canada.

4. Approved applications – document validity

Temporary residence: Individuals who have received a positive decision letter (letter of introduction regarding their application for temporary residence (work or study permit) ) that expires in 30 days or less 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 30 days 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.

5. New applications and applications in process

All applications currently in progress will continue to be processed but may experience delays.

Applications from persons who are exempt from the travel restrictions and who are travelling for a non-discretionary reason will be processed in priority.  This includes new applications and applications in progress.  Applicants must continue to meet the requirement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Regulations with regards to eligibility and admissibility.  

Applicants who are in a situation described below and who need to urgently travel to Canada, can email IRCC Paris at paris.im-visitor@international.gc.ca to explain their situation and obtain specific instructions.  Please include your family name, given name and date of birth.     

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

No application in progress will be closed or refused because of documents missing or inability to complete the next steps in the process on time, such as providing biometrics or undergoing a medical examination for immigration purposes.  

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.  No information concerning immigration is available by phone.

New applications for temporary residence, work permits or study permits must be submitted online.  If you are a permanent resident of Canada and do not have a valid permanent resident card to return to Canada, please send an email to paris-im.visitor@international.gc.ca and ask for instructions to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document.

Consult the www.canada.ca/biometrics website for information on when Visa Application Centres (VAC) reopen and resume biometrics collection. Only persons with an appointment to give their biometrics will be allowed to enter the VAC.

The VACs in Paris and Lyon will reopen on June 15 and the VAC in Madrid on June 22, but with limited services.  Applicants who have received a biometric instruction letter can check VFS Global’s website for more info and to book an appointment.

Visitors: While the travel restrictions are in force, IRCC will only issue new temporary resident visas (TRV) to applicants who meet one of the exemption criteria and who are travelling for a non-discretionary purpose.  Certain Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA) continue to be issued, but an approved eTA does not constitute an exemption from the travel restrictions or confirmation that the purpose of travel is considered essential and non-discretionary. 

Temporary workers:  Applications for positions considered essential will be processed in priority.  For an application to be considered complete, biometrics must be provided.  Once their application has been processed and approved, temporary workers must determine if they are exempt from the travel restrictions in force at that time.   Given that a work permit or letter of introduction indicating that the work permit application has been approved is required to prove that a temporary worker is exempt from travel restrictions, applications may not be submitted at a port of entry to Canada.

International Experience Canada (Working Holiday, Young Professional, International Coop) : IRCC is continuing to accept submissions of profiles into IEC pools. However, rounds of invitations are on hold until further notice and applications are not being processed at this time.

International students: Students destined to the province of Québec must obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) before applying for a study permit. For an application to be considered complete, biometrics must be provided.  Once their application has been processed and approved, international students must determine if they are exempt from the travel restrictions in force at that time.

Permanent residents returning to Canada: Permanent residents who do not have a valid permanent resident card must write to paris-im.visitor@international.gc.ca and ask for instructions to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document. 

6. Other questions

Help Centre: 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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Date Modified:
2020-07-01