Canada Issues Travel Restriction Exemption For Certain Expired Visa Holders

Those With Expired Permanent Resident Visas May Be Able to Enter Canada Despite Travel Restrictions

Canada is continuing to gradually reduce travel restrictions for immigrants by allowing those with expired permanent resident visas to enter Canada despite the ongoing travel restrictions.

According to CIC News, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has issued new guidelines for holders of expired permanent residence visas seeking entry into Canada. Under these new guidelines, those who are in possession of a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident Visa (PRV) which have expired, will be able to bypass the COVID-19 travel restrictions and gain entry into Canada if they have an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are different policies in place depending on whether a permanent resident visa holder is coming to Canada from the U.S. or another country.

For instance, those who are coming from outside of the U.S. must have received their visas on or before March 18 in order to qualify for the new measure. Permanent Resident Visa-holders travelling from the U.S. will qualify regardless of the date that their visa was issued.

Furthermore, permanent resident visa holders looking to come to Canada must intend to stay and become permanent residents. They will not be able to stay temporarily and leave as they please while the travel restrictions are in place.

Travel to Canada must also be for a compelling reason. These include:

  • Traveling to re-unite with immediate family members
  • Traveling to support Indigenous communities
  • Traveling through Canada to the United States for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes
  • Any activities that are determined to be non-optional or non-discretionary by the Government of Canada or based on a border officer’s assessment

Additional Guidelines For Permanent Resident Holders

Valid COPR and PRV Holders Traveling From Outside the U.S.

If you have a Confirmation of Permanent Residence and a Permanent Resident Visa that was issued on or before March 18th, and are not traveling from the United States, you:

  • Will be exempt from Canadian travel restrictions
  • Will be able to travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons with your expired documents
  • Will be required to present an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan upon arrival in Canada

Valid COPR and PRV Holders Traveling from the U.S.

COPR and PRV holders traveling from the U.S. may come to Canada for non-discretionary purposes with the intent to settle and reside in Canada if:

  • Their application has been approved
  • Their COPR and PRV have been received and are still valid
  • They are able to present an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan.

Expired COPR and PRV Holders Traveling From Outside the U.S.

Permanent Residence applicants that are in possession of an expired COPR and PRV that are looking to settle in Canada must contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and provide the expiry date of their COPR along with the non-discretionary reasons for their travel to Canada.

Applicants will then be directed to the appropriate processing network and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • They are able to present documents that support their plan to settle in Canada
  • They have proof of an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan
  • They are able to present a proposed travel itinerary

Expired COPR and PRV Holders Traveling from the U.S.

Individuals traveling from the U.S. with expired COPRs and PRVs can travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons if they meet the following criteria:

  • Their application has been approved
  • They have received their COPR and PRV
  • They have an acceptable 14-day quarantine plan

Permanent Residence applicants that are in possession of an expired COPR and PRV that are looking to settle in Canada must contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and provide the expiry date of their COPR along with the non-discretionary reasons for their travel to Canada.

As it currently stands, Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions will be in place until August 31 but are likely to be extended.

So, until travel restrictions are lifted, permanent resident visa holders that fall under the above groups will be able to travel to Canada for non-discretionary purposes, as long as they meet the criteria to do so.