Expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) holders has been advised to no longer use the webform to contact the Immigration, refugee, and citizenship Canada (IRCC) according to a government press briefing released on January 5.
IRCC’s new program delivery update says that expired COPR holders who are ready to travel to Canada should no longer be contacting the department via the webform or processing office email.
IRCC states they will be contacting clients once they are approved to come to Canada.
Although in July 2020, IRCC asked expired COPR holders to use the webform to inform them if they were ready to land in Canada. Confirmation of permanent residence are given out once an immigration application is approved for Canadian permanent residence. Normally, these approved new permanent residents just need to arrive in Canada and complete the landing process.
However, COVID-19 measures affected people’s plans to travel in the first few months of the pandemic. Though Canada’s borders were still open to individuals who had COPRs approved prior to March 18, 2020, many people were not able to travel due to the reduced number of flights allowed to take off in some countries.
During this period, many people’s COPRs expired before they were even able to travel to Canada, and foreign nationals could not come to Canada with expired documents.
This rule has been in place since before the coronavirus pandemic.
So the immigration department announced a new webform process in July of last year, which allowed expired COPR holders to request an authorization letter to come to Canada. Once they received the official letter they can use it to board a plane.
Though the ready to travel webform process was introduced in the summer, IRCC did not start sending out any authorization letters until last year September.
The deputy immigration minister, Daniel Mills, stated that there were about 10,000 cases of expired COPR holders while addressing audience at a federal immigration committee meeting in the fall.
By November, IRCC had reached out to about 6,000 of them and had sent out 500 authorization letters.
Many expired COPR holders said that they had completed some webforms declaring they were ready to travel. Those who were not given the letter received generic messages from IRCC saying that their file was in processing.
With no ability to travel to Canada and no timeline on when they would receive their authorization letter, many holders of expired COPR were stranded, unable to make plans for their travel in their home country or in Canada.
An IRCC spokesman had previously told us that the department had chosen to issue authorization letters individually rather than en masse “given the health and safety risks involve.” They also have to confirm whether their passports and medical exams are still up to date and has not expired, since the validity of the COPR is tied to these documents.
At this point, we’re still waiting on further comments from IRCC and will promptly update the story when new information becomes available.