Yes, you can travel to Canada if your PR application was approved on March 18. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) state that you can travel to Canada if your Permanent Resident (PR) application was approved on or before March 18, 2020.
However, you may not be able to travel if your country has travel or border restrictions. And many airports may not be open. Or airlines may not be flying, so travel may be difficult. And, it’s important to know what travel restrictions are in place in your home country and Canada. This will help you to avoid or limit changes to your travel plans to Canada.
If Your PR Application Was Approved Before March 18
IRCC introduced travel restrictions because of COVID-19. However, there are some exceptions to the restrictions and you can enter Canada if:
- Your PR application was approved on or before March 18, 2020, but you have not yet traveled to Canada
- You are an international student with a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020.
- You are a temporary foreign worker or seasonal agricultural worker.
If your PR application was approved before March 18, you can enter Canada for several reasons. For example, you may have made plans to settle in Canada before the travel restrictions. In addition, entrance to Canada:
- Allows for immediate family members to reunite
- Reduces the backlog of entrants to Canada created by travel restrictions
- Allows Canada to meet its labour needs.
Immigration remains important to Canada’s workforce needs and the economy. And while COVID-19 is having a negative effect on the Canadian job market, there are many sectors that are facing labour shortages including:
- Agri-food, and
If Your Documents are Expiring or Expired
As of January 5, 2021, IRCC will contact expired COPR holders to ask if you’re able to travel, live, and settle in Canada. IRCC will issue the documents that you need when they approve your travel to Canada.
If you contacted IRCC using the web form before December 23, 2020, they will look into your request.
Please be patient when waiting for a reply! IRCC is dealing with many changes due to COVID-19 and with many people who are affected. So it may take longer than you expect to get a response.
You Need a Quarantine Plan When You Arrive in Canada
When you arrive in Canada you must quarantine (isolate) yourself for 14 days. To limit the spread of COVID-19, you have to isolate yourself even if you have don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. So you must make a plan before you arrive in Canada.
You also have to show your quarantine plan. Your plan must identify you:
- Have a suitable place to quarantine or isolate
- Can get basic necessities such as food and medication
- Have a way to get directly to your quarantine place.
Your quarantine plan is essential. So be sure to identify what to include in your plan. If you arrive without a plan, or if you don’t comply with quarantine requirements you may be fined or refused entry to Canada.
No doubt, you have questions about how immigration changes will affect your plans to come to Canada.
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So, the good news is that if your PR application was approved on March 18, you can travel to Canada. But it’s important that you know what travel restrictions exist in your home country and Canada. And it’s important to make a quarantine plan that you can show to border officials when you land in Canada.
Only you can decide the best time to travel to Canada. But, you can make a better decision when you have essential information about Canadian immigration and COVID-19.