If your COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) has expired, you can no longer submit a “Ready to Travel” web form to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This process change is effective as of January 5, 2021.
Previous Web Form Process for Expired COPR
When COVID-19 forced countries to impose travel restrictions, people could enter Canada if their COPR was approved before March 18, 2020. But many people were unable to travel. For example, some people were unable to travel from their home country because of travel bans, or flights were cancelled. As a result, many people had to let their COPR expire.
In July 2020, IRCC created a new web form process for people with an expired COPR. If you were ready to land in Canada, but your COPR expired you could use the web form and request to travel to Canada. IRCC would provide an official letter to allow you to travel to Canada with an expired COPR.
Thousands of people submitted a web form to IRCC only to receive a generic response or they are still waiting for a response. This has left many people in a difficult position and feeling uncertain about their plans to immiimmigrating to Canada. Some people may have lost money on flights or left their jobs in their home country.
These changes have been frustrating for many people. And while COVID-19 has created many immigration changes, Canada is still welcoming immigrants.
New Process for Expiring or Expired COPR
As of January, 2021, IRCC will contact expired COPR holders to ask if you’re able to travel, live, and settle in Canada. When you receive approval to travel to Canada, IRCC will issue the travel documents that you need. At that point, you can book and confirm your travel plans.
If you contacted IRCC using the web form before December 23, 2020, IRCC will look into your request.
In the past, some people traveled to Canada for a short period to search for housing as an example, and then returned home. However, during the pandemic, you can no longer travel to Canada for a temporary period.
IRCC Will Contact You by Email
IRCC has contacted most people who had an expired COPR that was issued on or before March 18, 2020, about what to do next. You do not need to reapply if you were unable to travel to Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Normally, you would have to reapply, but the IRCC is making an exception for those affected by travel restrictions.
What Happens if You Haven’t Been Contacted Yet?
IRCC continues to contact people with expired COPRs by email including those issued after March 18, 2020.
If you still want to come to Canada, you must answer the email to tell them you still plan to come. They will tell you what to do next. In addition, IRCC will ask about your application, for example:
- if your family situation has changed (i.e. newborn, marriage, divorce)
- for updated documents such as police certificates, and medical exam, etc. if they are no longer valid.
If you do not respond to the email, IRCC will close your file and you will have to reapply when you’re ready to come to Canada.
Travelling to Canada
You can only travel to Canada when the IRCC has confirmed in writing that they have:
- Re-issued your documents, and
- Sent you a reprinted COPR (if you need one) and a new visa sticker in your passport.
What Happens if Your Supporting Documents Have Expired?
IRCC may require new supporting documents for:
- Medical exams
- Police certificates
However, IRCC will tell you if you need to update the documents when they contact you. If you need a new medical, IRCC will send you new instructions forms to take to your doctor. They will send you the new documents after you respond to the IRCC email stating you still intend to come to Canada. In other words, you do not need to do another medical unless you are directed to get one. This will avoid processing delays.
Other Travel Updates:
Border Restrictions Ease
Once you are approved to travel to Canada, you can avoid a quarantine period if you are fully vaccinated with two COVID-19 vaccine doses. However, you will still need to have a quarantine plan in case you test positive.
You Must Provide a Negative COVID-19 Test
As of January 7, 2021, you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before you can board a plane to Canada. All travelers ages five and older must provide one of two types of COVID-19 tests:
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or
- Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)
The test must be conducted within 72 hours of your scheduled departure to Canada. You must present your results when you board the plane. Without a negative test result, you will not be allowed to board the plane. When you arrive in Canada, border officials will conduct other public health assessments and ask questions about your quarantine plan.
You Need a Quarantine Plan
You need to show that you have a credible quarantine plan when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, and you must follow the quarantine plan for 14 days if you are not fully vaccinated.
You can face penalties if you don’t follow the quarantine plan that includes a fine, jail time, or being removed from Canada. However, by following a quarantine plan and all other public health measures, you can protect your health and the health of others.
As the COVID-19 response continues to evolve and change rapidly, we encourage you to follow IRCC updates frequently.
Looking for more information about settling in Canada? Be sure to check out our helpful resource page. We’ll help you settle in Canada with confidence and ease.