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How COVID-19 is affecting business at IRCC and Service Canada

posted Mar 23, 2020, 9:38 PM by Milorad Borota
Covid-19 Pandemic is affecting every aspect of life in Canada, including immigration rules.

These are some of the changes announced by CIC:

Are you continuing to process and accept applications?
As announced, there are travel restrictions in place. We are continuing to accept and process applications at this time, although foreign nationals, unless exempt, will have their travel restricted until these measures have been lifted.

What is the impact on your processing times?
While we continue to serve our clients, service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 may have an impact on processing times, and the current posted processing times may not be accurate.

What is the impact on temporary foreign workers?

IMPORTANT! Workers, students and approved permanent residents who haven’t landed should not travel yet. We’ve announced exemptions but they’re not in place. Travel restrictions are still in effect for these groups.

Only Canadian citizens, and permanent residents, and some foreign nationals travelling from the United States (US) who have been in the US for at least 14 days and are asymptomatic, are able to enter Canada by air at this time.

As announced on March 20, 2020, all temporary foreign workers will be able to travel to Canada by air or land. They will be exempt from the air travel restrictions announced on March 16, 2020, as well as border restrictions. Those affected by these exemptions should not try to travel to Canada immediately. We will announce when the exemptions are in place, which we anticipate will be early during the week of March 22, 2020.

Like all travellers, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, temporary foreign workers who enter Canada by air or land will undergo the necessary health checks and must isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

In addition, a temporary modification is being made to the Labour Market Impact Assessment process for agriculture and food-processing employers, as the required 2-week recruitment period will be waived for the next 6 months. We are also increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program from 1 to 2 years. This will improve flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for employers, including those in food processing.

Will I be able to remain in Canada if I am already in the country legally?


For changes in rules and processes introduced by Service Canada please visit