The coronavirus pandemic has definitely made immigration much more difficult than it otherwise would have been in 2020. However, Canada is slowly beginning to bring things under control, and prospective candidates can look forward to a brighter future hopefully.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is always testing and implementing new protocols and procedures so that candidates can avail of in-person services without comprising their health during the coronavirus pandemic. All the immigration services that were not available online resumed on September 21.
Moreover, the immigration department is also planning to offer in-person services by appointment very soon.
What in-person services can you use now?
The services that are now being offered include:
- Citizenship: The Vancouver Expo opened for citizenship knowledge re-testing and citizenship hearings for a particular cohort of applicants. All the appointments will be made by mail.
- Permanent residence: People who must collect their permanent residence card, or complete their permanent residence interview can rejoice because the IRCC offices are now open for permanent residence-related services in Ontario, Etobicoke, Montreal, and Quebec.
- Asylum: Some asylum-related services will be provided via the IRCC offices in Edmonton, Calgary, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls. IRCC will set up appointments via epost with clients who want to collect or submit documents, give their biometric information, or sit for an interview. This is the pilot, and if it goes well, then IRCC might reopen offices in Vancouver (Hornby), Etobicoke, and Montreal to provide asylum services in the near future.
The media release of the immigration department’s media release states that IRCC will get in touch with clients in order to book appointments on the basis of their file status, location, and other factors. Immigration candidates will be allowed to use in-person services only if they have a scheduled appointment.