To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
These are extraordinary and unparalleled times. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 ("COVID-19") has thrown the world into an unprecedented pandemic which has jeopardized the health and livelihood of individuals and businesses alike. The federal government has implemented various emergency measures to combat the pandemic including, among other things, closing the Canada-US border to all "non-essential" travel (recently extended to May 20, 2020), declaring travel requirements (e.g., all air passengers must now use non-medical masks or face coverings during travel) and issuing
Canada moved to dramatically restrict entry to try and stop the spread of a virus that has killed many thousands of people worldwide. The latest information confirms Canada-U.S. port of entry border restrictions will remain in place until June 30, 2020.
Entry restrictions are certain to limit planned immigration levels in the short term, meaning Ottawa is unlikely to reach its target of 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020. However, even within the restrictions there remains a clear nod to the importance of both permanent and temporary immigrants to Canada, with exemptions put in place by Ottawa.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is evaluating how this health risk develops before deciding on a strategy for continued Express Entry draws during the COVID-19 era. Once Express Entry draws resume at the federal level, Comprehensive Ranking Scores (CRS) will increase significantly, before falling back after initial draws.
An official global travel advisory and pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice are in effect: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
The Canadian food supply relies on the return of trained foreign workers particularly from Jamaica and Mexico, during the spring planting season. Canada is prioritizing work permit applications in the following 10 occupations:
Federal and provincial governments have kicked into action to help citizens and permanent residents who were employed and impacted by the COVID-19 response.
Measures include the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), providing $2,000 per months to workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. Employment Insurance is also available to those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Furthermore, the Canada Child Benefit has been increased, the income tax filing deadline delayed and banks have committed to helping those with mortgages, with many offering payment deferrals of up to six months.
Small businesses also have government backing, with an unprecedented 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses for up to three months, retroactive to March 15. The move is designed to help businesses keep and return workers to the payroll instead of laying them off.
Permanent residents must meet ongoing physical presence requirements of residing in Canada for two years in every five years. Those who cannot return to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic period will be required to show compelling circumstances preventing compliance during the entire five-year period.
Temporary residents unable to depart Foreign nationals who are in Canada with temporary resident status that may soon expire must apply for an extension of status. They must continue to meet all requirements and pay the required processing fees to access services. Those who have already applied for an extension of status will benefit from implied status and may remain in Canada until a decision is made in their application. Where temporary residence status has expired, foreign nationals may apply for a restoration of status where conditions are met.
Emergency Orders under the Quarantine Act (e.g., travellers, whether by air, sea or land, arriving in Canada must confirm a suitable place to isolate/quarantine or stay at a place designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada for 14 days).
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