To-be immigrants to Canada have been on a tightrope since the beginning of the pandemic. Questions such as, “Can I travel with my Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)?” and “My PR application is approved. Am I exempt from the ongoing travel restrictions?” have been on their mind. While some could travel, many others waited with bated breath for their turn only to see their COPRs expire. So if you’re also wondering if you can travel to Canada with a COPR? Here’s the latest update you must know!
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced that starting June 21, 2021, any foreign national who holds a valid COPR may travel to Canada. Approved PRs are also likely to have supports in place once they arrive here — family members, supportive employers and resettlement agencies for refugees — and the means to ensure they comply with public health measures.
Under the previous rules, foreign nationals who held a valid COPR issued on or before March 18, 2020, were exempt from Canada’s travel restrictions. Those who held a valid COPR issued after March 18, 2020, could only come to Canada if they met another exemption or were coming from the US to settle permanently in Canada.
Health and safety remains a priority
Immigration remains crucial to addressing Canada’s longstanding demographic challenges and labour market shortages. And there is no doubt that it will be a vital part of the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
However, the top priority is the health and safety of all individuals in Canada. All people travelling to Canada, including those approved for permanent residence, must comply with the COVID-19 health measures and requirements upon arriving in Canada. All travellers must follow the flying to Canada requirements checklist or driving to Canada requirements checklist.
Your COPR expired? Please wait some more.
A COPR’s validity, which can last for up to one year, is tied to the applicant’s passport and their immigration medical examination. However, many applicants were not able to travel to Canada before their COPRs expired due to the travel restrictions or other COVID-19 related considerations.
Individuals whose COPR has expired should not book flights or attempt to travel to Canada until they receive a new COPR.
IRCC has been working with applicants who were already exempt from the travel restrictions to reissue them a COPR. For applicants with expired COPRs issued after March 18, 2020, more information on when and how to obtain a new COPR is expected to soon be available.
Strengthening the labour force for economic recovery
The changes to the travel restrictions complement the temporary pathway to permanent residence for those already hard at work in Canada.
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