Canada’s border has reopened to approved permanent residents after a 15-month closure. When they reach the border, these newcomers with COPR will be able to apply for citizenship in Canada. They will, however, be subject to the same public health regulations that apply to other entering travellers.
On June 21, 2021, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino opened Canada’s border to authorized permanent residents. Individuals who got their Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR) papers after March 18, 2020, were not immune from travel limitations prior to that date. They needed to meet another exception in order to finish the landing process. As a result, they were locked in immigration limbo, unable to become permanent residents despite having completed all other stages of the process.
According to Canadian officials, roughly 23,000 COPR holders reside outside of the country. Travel restrictions are no longer in effect for those whose documents are still valid. Furthermore, fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the required quarantine period.
Of course, the border official has the final say on who gets to enter Canada. Preparing ahead of time can help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Official information and resources, such as the online travel limitations tool, are available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) webpages. Travellers can also ask specific queries to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
As a result, below is some general information on visiting Canada as a COPR holder.
What should you do before visiting Canada during COVID?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, it goes without saying that you should not attempt to cross the border. It’s also worth mentioning that each province will have its own public health metrics available on their respective government websites.
Incoming travellers can use the ArriveCAN app to upload papers such as the quarantine plan, proof of negative COVID testing, and other necessary paperwork. Border inspectors have accepted travel documents in this manner throughout the outbreak.
Even if they are completely vaccinated, all travellers must plan for their mandated quarantine. Travellers can use a tool provided by the government to determine whether their quarantine plan is appropriate. Officers at the border will typically want to see that travellers have a place to stay for the next 14 days.
They’ll also want to know how they’ll get food and other vital supplies. Furthermore, travellers must demonstrate that they are not endangering any vulnerable persons at their quarantine location.
Passengers over the age of five must present a negative test done 72 hours prior to crossing the border. They must then take another test when they arrive.
Depending on whether you are travelling by land or by air, different border measures apply. The main distinction is that air travellers will have to wait at a government-approved hotel for the results of their on-arrival COVID test.
Whether or not a visitor is fully vaccinated with a vaccination that has been approved in Canada will determine how far they can travel once they arrive. Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are the four companies so far.
Non-vaccinated passengers who flew in will have to wait in a hotel for the results of their on-arrival test. On day eight of their quarantine, they will also have to take another COVID test. This step can be skipped by fully immunized travellers.
All exempt tourists visiting Canada will be subject to the new measure for fully vaccinated people starting July 5 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. These travellers will simply have to quarantine at home until the results of their COVID-19 test at the border are received.
Even if their parents are fully vaccinated, children who are not old enough to receive the vaccine will be required to quarantine at home for the entire 14-day period. They will, however, be exempt from the hotel quarantine rule, which requires newcomers to wait for the results of a test at a government-approved hotel. Non-vaccinated travellers, however, must still comply with this rule.
If at all possible, IRCC encourages that all family members listed on the permanent residency application travel to Canada at the same time.
What if my COPR is no longer valid?
Border authorities have refused to accept expired documents since before the outbreak. Given that the COPR’s validity is determined by the holder’s medical exam, many of the ones issued after March 18 have already passed their expiration date. There are currently no instructions for COPR holders with expired documents, but according to the government website, more information will be available soon.
No one whose COPR expired as a result of the travel restrictions will have to reapply for Canadian immigration, according to the IRCC.
Instead, the government has promised that a procedure for reissuing documents will be established. Expired COPRs should not contact the IRCC via the webform or the processing office email, according to the IRCC website. If you have already made a request, someone from the IRCC will check into it and provide you with instructions.