Immigration Update: Covid-19 Impacts (April 14, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT)

During this unusual time, CILF – Caruso Guberman Appleby, is here to continue to support you with respect to all of your immigration needs. We are here to answer your questions and keep you informed. We will provide updates as soon as they are available. Our firm is well positioned to continue to focus on your immigration needs.

The immigration situation continues to evolve. Here are a few things that have happened since the long weekend:

  1. The government has been requiring all individuals entering Canada (except for certain classes of essential workers) to self-isolate for 14 days. As of midnight EST tonight, these individuals must have a suitable self-isolation plan before arriving in Canada.

    The plan must cover the location of self-isolation and how the individual will travel there. It must also set out how the individual will arrange for things such as food, medication, child care, cleaning supplies, and pet care.

    Those without a suitable self-isolation plan will be required to stay in a government-designated quarantine location for 14 days. Please contact our office if you have any plans to travel to Canada and are unsure if you are exempt from this requirement or if your self-isolation plan is acceptable. This mirrors British Columbia’s move on April 8. As of this date it began requiring all individuals entering the province to submit a suitable isolation plan or be directed to a provincial accommodation to complete the self-isolation.

  2. IRCC has paused processing of certain applications from April 9 to 29, 2020. Those who are planning to file a TRV or eTA application during this pause period should consult an immigration lawyer for guidance. Applicants must demonstrate that they are travelling to Canada for an essential purpose. IRCC continues to accept all work and study permit applications but they must be filed online and not through a visa office. Please note that as visa application centres are closed in certain countries, some applicants may have difficulty providing biometrics or sending their passport for visa issuance.
  3. We have heard from colleagues and clients that airline personnel and border officers are not applying the travel restrictions as written, with some even reading in additional eligibility requirements. Airline personnel and border officers have been denying entry to spouses of Canadian citizens even though the interim orders and government officials have clearly stated that they are allowed entry. We strongly recommend that family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents planning on returning  to Canada either speak to one of our lawyers before setting out, or delay their return until further clarification is provided by the Canadian government.

Despite all of the above, it’s important to remember that there have been positive developments at home and abroad. France has announced that it will begin the very challenging task of undoing its confinement measures on May 11. Quebec will begin expanding its list of essential businesses so that economic activity can gradually pick up again. We can’t help but feel a bit optimistic that we will be able to share some good news with you soon.

In the meantime, we continue to strongly recommend that anyone (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) seeking to enter or exit Canada speak with an immigration lawyer before doing so.  Our lawyers can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;

Please contact your lawyer at CILF – Caruso Guberman Appleby for additional details or specific questions.