The federal government has released details on the process for allowing approved permanent residents to travel to Canada if their documents have expired.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have released instructions to expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders on how they can renew their documents so that they can travel.
Canada does not accept expired documents at the border, this has been true since before the pandemic. Coronavirus-related travel restrictions forced many COPR holders to have to wait for the border to reopen to them, which happened on June 21. During the wait, many saw the expiry date on their documents pass by. IRCC has now come out with instructions for these people.
A COPR is a document that is issued to candidates who were approved to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. This means that the candidate must have met the program criteria, paid their fees, and passed health, security and criminality screenings. Without a COPR, candidates are unable to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.
Once again, you will not be able to travel to Canada with expired documents. IRCC says if you hold an expired COPR, someone from the department will email you about your application. If you still want to immigrate to Canada, answer the email and indicate that you still wish to come.
IRCC may then ask for new medicals or other updated information. If you choose not to respond, your file will be closed. This means that should you wish to come to Canada in the future as a permanent resident, you will have to reapply.
The government says most people with expired COPRs that were issued on or before March 18, 2020 have been contacted already. If you have already been asked by IRCC to do a new medical or to submit new documents, follow these instructions, and wait to be contacted. The department says there is no need to contact them again.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, holders of expired documents would have had to reapply for permanent residence. However, IRCC is making exceptions for those who weren’t able to travel due to the restrictions that were in place.
When you receive an email from IRCC, you will be asked if your family situation has changed. This includes if you got married, divorced or had a new child. If there has been a change, IRCC will update your application and ask you for relevant documents.
You may also be asked to submit new documents if the ones you submitted before have expired. This includes police certificates and medical exams.
It is important to note that you should wait for instructions before doing your medical exam. IRCC will provide you with instruction forms to take with you to the physician after you reply to their email.
You will have to wait to receive confirmation from IRCC in writing that they have re-issued your documents, and that they have sent you a new COPR, and a new visa sticker in your passport if needed.
If IRCC reissues your COPR, someone from the department will send you the documents you need to travel.
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