COVID 2019 – How Coronavirus Pandemic Is Affecting Immigration Plans?

The coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus was first reported in the Chinese province of Hubei, on 17 November 2019.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic, as over 138,000 cases have been confirmed, with at least 5,100 deaths, in more than 130 countries. Mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran are the worst hit by this virus.

The virus generally spreads between people in a way similar to influenza, through respiratory droplets from coughing. The timeframe between exposure and symptom onset is typically five (5) days but may range from two (2) to fourteen (14) days. Symptoms are most often fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

How Countries Are Reacting To COVID 2019

As coronavirus fears sweep the world, many Countries are taking cautionary measures against the disease it causes, Covid-19.

As part of preventive measures against the outbreak of COVID-19, direct flights arriving into the UK from countries within the UK’s CMOs’ case definition are required to provide a general Aircraft declaration to airport authorities stating that all their passengers are well, Sixty (60) minutes prior to landing. Similarly, The Maritime Health Declaration Form is required for all vessels arriving from any foreign port.

The health and social care systems and public health authorities in all parts of the United Kingdom have spread information widely to all health professionals on steps to take if they identify patients who may have COVID-19.

On the other hand, the United States President Donald Trump announced a 30-day travel ban to the United States from all European countries and restrictions on cargo, but he later shed light on Twitter that he was only stopping travel and the plan did not apply to Americans or US permanent residents.

Other European countries have also announced travel bans and cancelled mass gatherings. Austria will deny entry to people arriving from Italy, except for medical emergencies, and has cancelled university lectures, indoor events for more than 100 people and outdoor events for more than 500 people.

Denmark cancelled all flights from northern Italy, China, Iran and South Korea. While Spain, where the number of cases doubled to more than 1,000 on March. 9, suspended flights from Italy and shut down schools in several regions.

Canada Expanding Measures To Contain Coronavirus Pandemic

As the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is in isolation (after his wife caught a flu-like symptom following a trip to the UK), Canadian immigration department is taking special measures to contain the virus, while at the same time accommodating visa applicants from China, South Korea and Iran and other European countries, as the spread of coronavirus causes service disruptions and travel restrictions.

Citizens of these countries who have applied for a Canadian visa, but who are unable to comply with some certain requirements due to circumstances beyond their control, will be given more time to complete the necessary steps, such as providing their photos and fingerprints.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expanded the special measures implemented for China, on February 7, to include nationals of Iran and South Korea on February 29.

Those who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence, but are unable to travel to Canada before their documents expire must use IRCC’s web form to explain their situation. Once travel becomes possible again, they must explain their situation to IRCC through the online form in order to receive instructions regarding restarting the processing of the permanent residence application.

The same instructions apply for those people whose confirmation of permanent residence has already expired.