Immigration in the Time of COVID-19: Issues and Challenges
The Standing Committee has just recently come out with a report on Citizenship and Immigration and how Covid-19 has affected it and what they feel some issues that should be considered for the current Immigration situation in Canada. I am going to discuss a few of them. There are 38 recommendations that they have brought forward in the report.
1.That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada implement measures that enable permanent residents with expired permanent resident cards, whose card renewals have been impacted by COVID-19 processing complications, to be allowed to return to Canada for the duration of the pandemic period.
Basically, what they are saying is ok we know your PR cards have expired and you are stuck overseas but because of covid we are going to give some leeway and allow those who are having difficulty returning home because they don’t have valid PR cards and getting temporary travel permits is very difficult. Good point and hopefully they listen.
2. That, during the pandemic period, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada extend the validity of medical exams beyond a year and undertake concurrent processing of biometrics, medicals, and criminality and security checks
This to me is a huge issue. Processing times as so long right now and 1 year validation is impossible to meet. Persons especially overseas are having a this extra hard with designated doctors not being open and VA for biometrics having limited places and availability.
3.That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada implement a temporary public policy allowing sponsored spouses with no access to a panel physician and medical exam in their own country to obtain the exam in Canada, on a visitor visa, during pandemic conditions
Well, this is pretty explanatory another great suggestion from Immigration. This actually should be a long-term policy. It makes sense it an individual is in a country where the spouse has to travel to another country or a city that is basically a day’s travel.
4.That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada prioritize the processing of family reunification applications where family members are classified as protected persons
This is a very sensible suggestion since many protect persons who are refugee’s family is always are risk of retaliation from persons who the primary family member may be fleeing from. This should have been implemented many moons ago.
5.That Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada add resources to speed up the processing of extension applications for temporary resident status.
Immigration came out with the policy of allowing individuals who are in Canada during the covid period if they have status to be able to apply for a work permit to fund there stay here in Canada. Yes, this does also have long term possible benefits to TRV holders when it comes to lmia’s and possible immigration as well. However, with the processing times being up to 180 days and a foreign national being on implied temporary status they cannot apply for a work permit until they have a decision on their visa application.
I will address more of the recommendations in my next blog.