Canada immigration news: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced anyone with a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) can travel to Canada as of June 21, 2021.
The move comes as Canada starts its first easing of international travel and U.S. border restrictions since March 2020, when measures were put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Previously, only foreign nationals with a COPR issued on or before March 18, 2020 were exempt from travel restrictions.
Those with a COPR dated after March 18, 2020 could only come to Canada if they also met another travel exemption. Those coming from the U.S. to settle permanently in Canada were also allowed to travel.
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COPRs are valid for up to a year, meaning many applicants were not able to travel to Canada before their paperwork expired.
IRCC says it will work with those with COPRs issued after March 18, 2020 that have since expired on when and how to obtain a new confirmation.
It advised those with expired COPRs not to book flights or travel to Canada until a new one has been issued.
“The Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians,” an IRCC statement said.
“All people travelling to Canada, including those approved for permanent residence, must comply with the COVID-19 health measures and requirements upon arriving in Canada.”
The relaxing of travel restrictions for COPR holders comes as Canada looks to boost immigration to help the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
“The changes to the travel restrictions complement the temporary pathway to permanent residence for those already hard at work in Canada, to ensure we continue to have the labour force needed for our economic recovery,” IRCC said.
“While permanent residence applicants in Canada will help bolster our more immediate labour market needs, successful applicants abroad need time to make arrangements and uproot their life before coming to settle in Canada, particularly in our current environment where many may not feel safe to travel right now.
“By allowing more time for reasonable numbers of new immigrants to settle in Canada and begin their integration, we can better prepare for Canada’s economic future.”
Canada is aiming to welcome more than 400,000 new immigrants in 2021, an ambitious target as it looks to foster economic growth that stalled during the global pandemic.
The latest federal government figures show Canada welcomed 91,580 newcomers in the first four months of the year, compared to just over 73,240 in 2020.
However, the numbers are still well short of those needed for Canada to its target. If 91,580 newcomers are welcomed every four months this year, the total would reach only 275,000 permanent resident admissions.