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IRCC Extends Online Processing Of Temporary Visas And ETAs

Canada has announced that the processing of online temporary visas applications and electronic travel authorizations will continue until January 31, 2021.

New categories of applicants have also been added to the list of those who are exempted from submitting temporary residence visas applications electronically.

Under the current rules, all applications for temporary visas, study permits, or work permits from foreign citizens who are outside Canada at the time of application must be lodged electronically.

Those who are not able to lodge their application online, due to a disability or disruptions on account of the pandemic, were already exempted from this requirement and will continue to be exempt.

Beginning from Oct. 1, 2020, two new groups of applicants for temporary residence from abroad will be exempt from the online submission requirements:

  • foreign nationals holding a travel document of the type sent out by a country to refugees, non-national residents, or stateless persons who are not able to acquire a passport or other travel documents from their country of origin or citizenship; and
  • applicants under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program.

How to Process application for Temporary visas 

The Canadian government said that special priority will continue to be accorded to those who can travel under current coronavirus travel restrictions and that both new and existing applications will be processed.

In order to be approved, even if they meet international travel restrictions exemption requirements, all applicants must continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

People who applied before travel restrictions were put in place and wish to be considered on a priority basis are asked to reach out to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). at [email protected].ca and show how they meet the requirement for exemption, explain the reasons for their non-optional/non-discretionary travel, and submit acceptable proof.

IRCC also said that, even though the priority is to continue to process applications from those who fufill travel restriction exemption and those who travel on a non-discretionary basis, “non-priority Temporary residence visas applications may continue to be processed, and approved or denied, in accordance with general TRV processing.”

Canada’s immigration department will send notifications to approved TRV applicants notifying them that despite their approval, travel restrictions remain in force and that travel to Canada is not recommended.

Accelerated processing of eTAs

Under the current rules, applicants will continue to lodge Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) applications online, and the processing of eTA application that requires agent assessment and review will continue, to the extent possible.

The immigration department will however accelerate the processing of eTA applications requiring officers review for applicants who meet the requirements for exemption from the current travel restrictions.

Eligible candidates are invited to self-identify and lodge documentation to show how they meet the exemption requirement through an IRCC web form.

Canada resumed the processing of online applications for Temporary residence visas and Electronic Travel Authorization on July 1, 2020.

Two weeks ago, the Canadian government announced it was extending its travel restrictions until  October 31.