Disclaimer: Due to the unprecedented covid-19 situation and complexity involved with traveling, official guidelines from governments and public health agencies take precedence and should be followed over any other public forums or opinions on the internet. Please ensure all rules and regulations are followed for any country(ies) involved in your travel since they may be different and some countries could take it more seriously than others.
Recently there has been an uptick in “Should I land during current COVID-19 pandemic?” questions. Here is some information that may be helpful:
Latest news on April 18, 2020
$750,000 maximum fine if 14 day quarantine is broken for recent travelers:
- This Order is mandatory and will come into force and be implemented one minute after midnight on April 15, 2020.
- The Order applies to all people entering Canada, with few exceptions. Certain persons who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, or individuals who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians, are exempt from the requirements to quarantine themselves, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 upon entry in Canada.
- Persons exempt from mandatory quarantine are still required to wear an appropriate mask or face covering upon entry into Canada and while in transit, and should otherwise respect the intent of the Order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
- Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.
- Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 or imprisonment for six months, or both, for failure to comply with this Order.
- A person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening the Quarantine Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both.
Some additional information on Canada.ca website:
This is the bulletin that is most likely for the benefit of IRCC case officers on how to address COVID-19 - related delays however this may be useful to know how your application will be affected if you decide to postpone travels.
(Approved CoPR and PRV applications section)
Approved permanent residence applications (COPR and PRV)
Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and permanent resident visa (PRV) and inform us, by submitting a web form to IRCC, that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation should be processed as follows:
Valid COPR and PRV: In an effort to reduce the number of cancelled COPRs and PRVs, a note should be placed in the file explaining that the applicant is unable to travel, and the file should be brought forward to the expiration date of the COPR and PRV. If the applicant informs IRCC that they can travel prior to the COPR and PRV expiration, they are encouraged to use their existing COPR and PRV to land.
Expired COPR and PRV: If the applicant informs IRCC via the web form that they were unable to travel after the expiration of their COPR and PRV , or if they were unable to travel prior to expiration, officers are to re-open the application, and it should be brought forward for review in 90 days.
(Also check the re-opened applications section).
Since this is an unprecedented situation, I’m still not sure how it will pan out over the next few months, however IRCC guidelines seem to be very applicant-friendly and if you cannot travel for some reason, IRCC may show leniency in not cancelling your application or re-opening it provided you inform IRCC about your plans.
I’m still not sure what “bringing your file forward to expiry date” means, but it looks to me like they will bookmark your file to keep checking it at a later time, and possibly give you more time to land (whether they will issue new CoPR/visa is still an open question). However I may be wrong and this begs some discussion as to what it means. @vik, any thoughts?
Many of you may have seen this advisory:
If you haven’t landed yet
If we approved your permanent residence application on or before March 18, 2020, but you haven’t landed yet, you’re also exempt from the travel restrictions and allowed to come to Canada. You must isolate for 14 days when you arrive even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.
You must have a plan to isolate when you arrive in Canada. If you do not have a plan, you will need to delay travel until you have one.
Find out what to do for your landing appointment or if you have a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) that’s about to expire.
There are also instructions on what to do if your CoPR and PR visa is expiring:
Approved permanent resident applicants with expired or expiring documents
If we already approved your permanent resident application but you can’t travel to Canada before your documents expire, use the Web form to tell us why you can’t travel.
Once it’s possible for you to travel, use the Web form to let us know so we can tell you what to do next.