Canada immigration resumes in-person services - CanImmNewsletter.com - Canada Immigration Newsletter
ircc offices re-opening

Canada immigration resumes in-person services


IRCC offices re-opening starting on September 21, 2020. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that immigration services that are not currently available virtually will begin to resume on September 21, 2020. These services include permanent residence services (PR cards and status interviews) and biometrics. All in-person services will be by appointment only.

IRCC is currently testing out new protocols and procedures for offering in-person services to protect applicants and staff from the coronavirus pandemic.

At the onset of the pandemic, IRCC moved quickly to put operational safeguards in place to protect the health and safety of applicants and staff . Over the past few months, IRCC has taken steps to provide virtual services where possible (e.g. online, by phone, email), but there remain significant disruptions in Canada immigration services due to the pandemic. See for example Is Canada spousal sponsorship in crisis due to COVID-19?

ircc offices re-opening

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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IRCC says that it will slowly begin testing reopening of in-person services in select offices by appointment only, beginning the week of September 21, 2020.

This testing phase will allow us to assess our protocols and procedures, and ensure the safety of our staff and our clients. The lessons learned will help us plan for reopening services more widely in the future.

Safety measures for IRCC offices re-opening

IRCC has put the following measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and clients at IRCC facilities during testing of IRCC offices re-opening:

  • Clients will be asked to complete a Health Canada self-assessment questionnaire before coming in for an appointment.
  • Upon arrival, clients will be asked the same questions to determine if they can enter IRCC premises.
  • All employees and clients will be required to wear masks, maintain social distance and follow signs directing the flow of foot traffic.
  • Clients will be asked to reschedule their appointment if they appear ill.

IRCC will continue to follow guidelines and recommendations set by the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial and local public health authorities. The department will also monitor the offices where in-person services are offered to help us plan for reopening services more widely in the future.

Services open to in-person visits

IRCC offices re-opening as of September 21, are for limited services, include the following:

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Note that services are currently by appointment only. You do not need to reach out to IRCC offices for these services, as IRCC will be reaching out to clients to schedule appointments.

Citizenship:

  • Vancouver Expo will be reopening for limited citizenship-related services, including citizenship knowledge re-testing and citizenship hearings, for a select cohort of applicants, to test the flow and viability of client-facing services. IRCC will be scheduling appointments by email.

Permanent residence:

  • IRCC offices in Etobicoke and Montréal are reopening for permanent residence-related services. Clients who require a permanent resident card (PR card) pick up or permanent residence determination (interview to determine the client’s status) will be contacted by email to schedule an appointment.

Asylum:

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  • IRCC offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls are reopening for limited asylum-related services.
  • IRCC will schedule appointments via epost with clients who need to collect or submit documents, provide their biometric information, or come in for an interview.
  • If this pilot goes well, IRCC offices in Vancouver (Hornby), Montréal, and Etobicoke will open in the future to provide these services.

IRCC will contact clients to book appointments based on their file status, location in Canada and other factors. Client selection is largely based on the date of the client’s application.

Only clients with scheduled appointments will be allowed to come into an IRCC office.

Biometrics:

  • If you’re a permanent residence applicant in Canada waiting to give your biometrics, you’ll receive a call from Service Canada over the next few months to book a biometrics appointment.
  • If you’re in a region where more people are waiting to give their biometrics, such as the Greater Toronto Area, it may take longer for Service Canada to call you. We know that this is a challenging and frustrating time and we are grateful for your patience. Service Canada will contact you as soon as they can.

NOTE: You should not go to a Service Canada Centre unless a Service Canada officer has called you and booked a biometrics appointment for you.

ircc offices re-opening

For more information, including what to do if your contact information has changed or an authorized representative applied on your behalf, please visit the IRCC website.


You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.