Canada: New Travel Options for Foreign Nationals with Valid Canadian Permanent Residence

June 22, 2021

Key Points 

  • On June 21, 2021 the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced that any foreign nationals with valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) may enter Canada.
  • Typically, COPR is valid for up to one year, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and precautions, some individuals’ COPR may have expired. IRCC is working to reissue COPR to foreign nationals who were already exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions. 
  • For foreign nationals with expired COPRs issued after Mar. 18, 2020, IRCC is preparing instructions for obtaining a new COPR. These instructions and details will be available on the IRCC website this summer.  
  • Foreign nationals with expired COPRs should not attempt to enter Canada until they are issued a new COPR from IRCC. 

What are the Changes?  

Previously, foreign nationals with valid COPR granted on or before Mar. 18, 2020 were exempt from Canadian travel restrictions. Additionally, prior rules dictated that foreign nationals with valid COPR granted after Mar. 18, 2020 could only enter Canada if they met an unrelated exemption or were arriving from the U.S. to live permanently in Canada.  Recent changes coincide with pathway stream updates for temporary workers seeking permanent residence, as the Government of Canada is eager to boost the workforce for the post-COVID recovery.  

Looking Ahead 

The Government of Canada is continuing to prepare for its post-COVID economic recovery. By introducing additional pathways and options for permanent residence, the government hopes to support immediate and long-term labor needs. Employers with Canada-bound talent should check their employees’ COPR status. If employees’ COPR has expired due to COVID-19, employers should monitor these announcements for additional instructions. If employees have valid COPR status and are comfortable traveling to Canada, employers should explain these updates. 

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Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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