As of 12th April 2021, Immigration, refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are processing applications as per pre-pandemic rules. The automatic 90-day extensxion for submitting missing information and supporting documents during the pandemic has been reduced to a final 30-day extension. However, if a Canada Immigration applicant can provide a reasonable explanation of COVID-19 lockdowns, the application can still proceed as per the processing officer’s discretion.
Expedited processing: Processing of an application may be expedited at IRCC’s discretion.
Requests for additional documents for open applications: Officers will now send final request letters for either of the following materials to be provided by applicants within a 30-day deadline –
- Missing information or documents
- Request for extending the submission of documents later, including a reasonable explanation and proof for the same, which would allow the application to stay open.
Upon receiving this final request letter, applicants can upload the required documents online. Once the 30-day deadline expires, officers, based on their discretion, will do either one of the following:
- Grant another 30-day extension, provided there is a reasonable explanation along with the evidence.
- If possible, take a final decision based on the information included in the file.
All applications submitted on or after 12th April must include the mandatory supporting documents or a reasonable explanation for not obtaining a copy (s) at the time, with proof.
Missing medical exams: If an application does not include an Immigration Medical Exam, the client will be expected to undergo the exam within the current 30-day timeframe. If a physician is unavailable in the applicant’s area, the appropriate Regional Medical Office must confirm this. After this, the officer can make a reasonable decision on whether or not to leave the application open. Officers can request reassessments for expired medical exams, where available, based on existing guidance.
Missing biometrics: If an application does not include biometrics, if a public policy waiver is not applicable, officers can determine the biometric collection’s availability in the applicant’s region and check if the applicant has made efforts to book an appointment. Officers will review the operating status of biometric collection sites before making a final decision.
Missing information in work permit applications: In case of missing data in a work permit renewal application or a work permit application submitted while having a valid study permit, the officer will send a letter as the final request for information. The applicant will remain authorized to work for 120 days after the letter’s date or until the officer takes a final decision – whichever is sooner.
Biometrics: Applicants will receive a Biometric Instruction Letter and provide biometrics within 30 days of receiving this letter. Some biometric collection sites are closed or unavailable due to the pandemic. In this case, officers will extend the deadline till the site reopens. Applicants must retain the original Biometric Instruction Letter, as required at the site when it reopens.
IRCC will continue to accept new permanent residence applications, which will be processed according to the standard procedures. Incomplete applications without a reasonable explanation (or incomplete for reasons not related to the pandemic) can be rejected. To understand Canada’s immigration guidelines and process in the present scenario, you can consult seasoned experts with more than 26 years of experience by contacting 8595338595 or writing to [email protected].