On January 5, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced in a new program delivery update that permanent residence applicants in possession of an expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and permanent resident visa (PRV) – expired COPR holders – who are ready to travel to Canada should no longer be contacting IRCC through the web form or processing office email. Instead IRCC will be contacting these applicants once they are approved to come to Canada. IRCC: Program delivery update.
COPRs are issued once an applicant is approved for permanent residence and can be valid for up to one year. People use this time to make needed arrangements before setting off permanently to Canada, such as to resign from their jobs, pull their kids out of school, sell their property, and to say goodbye to their families and friends.
Normally, the approved permanent resident needs only to enter Canada and complete the landing process. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic many people’s COPRs expired before they were able to travel to Canada.
Foreign nationals are not allowed to enter Canada with expired documents. As a temporary measure in July 2020, IRCC asked expired COPR holders to use the web form to request an authorization letter to come to Canada. Expired COPR holders could then use the IRCC letter to board a plane.
Many expired COPR holders had complained that they filled out the web forms but were not issued the letter, but instead they received generic responses saying that their file was in process. Consequently, many expired COPR holders were stuck in limbo, unable to make final departure plans in their home country or commence permanent settling plans in Canada. As of November 2020, IRCC had contacted about 6,000 of the approximately 10,000 cases of expired COPR holders, and had issued 500 authorization letters.