If you’ve been approved as a Permanent Resident (PR) in Canada but due to COVID-19 restrictions, you haven’t been able to start your new life, the good news is that as of June 21, 2021, individuals approved for Permanent Residency may now enter Canada. Some travel restrictions to Canada are still in place, although quarantine requirements have been eased for fully-vaccinated travellers.
However, if in waiting for border restrictions to ease, your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) has expired, here’s what you need to do to extend your CoPR, so you can travel to Canada.
In this article:
|Important: As of November 1, 2021, you can no longer get your expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) extended. If you’ve been unable to travel to Canada while your COPR was valid, you will need to reapply for permanent residence.|
| Tip: Looking for more information on becoming a Permanent Resident in Canada?
See How to move to Canada and get Permanent Residence (PR) for information on the various federal and provincial immigration programs that can let you settle in Canada.
A CoPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) is a document issued to newly approved Permanent Residents by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For newcomers, a CoPR is usually issued before travelling to Canada and your landing date will be added to it at your port of entry in Canada. If you are already in Canada on a work permit or a study permit when your Permanent Residence application is confirmed, you will receive an email with instructions on how to confirm your CoPR online through the IRCC’s Permanent Residence portal. Your CoPR is proof of your status in Canada and is a record of the date you officially became a Permanent Resident.
How long is a CoPR valid?
A CoPR is usually valid for up to one year and is tied to the expiry of your medical exam, visa sticker, and passport. Newcomers to Canada need to use their CoPR and travel to Canada before it expires.
Depending on which country you arrive from, you may also require a permanent resident visa as part of your application.
If you could not arrive in Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and your CoPR has now expired, the Canadian Government has stated that individuals should not book flights or attempt to travel. You cannot travel to Canada on expired travel documents and you and your family may risk being refused entry if you attempt to do so.
Under normal circumstances, any individual who doesn’t use their CoPR before it expires would have to reapply for permanent residence. Given the travel restrictions due to COVID-19, Canadian Immigration and Citizenship had made exceptions for people who weren’t able to travel because of the pandemic. However, those exceptions have now been removed.
Exceptions for CoPR due to COVID restrictions
During the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC had been working with applicants who were exempt from travel restrictions to Canada to reissue a valid CoPR to these individuals. The government contacted most people with an expired CoPR with instructions on what to do next.
IRCC sent expired COPR holders an email from IRCC about their application, asking whether they still wanted permanent residency. Individuals who were still interested in moving to Canada were sent further instructions on what to do next.
However, as travel restrictions were lifted, the government deemed that individuals whose COPR was valid up to or after October 31, 2021, would be able to travel to Canada without further COPR extensions.
New documents required for a CoPR extension
|Important: As of November 1, 2021, you can no longer get your expired Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) extended. If your COPR has expired, you will need to apply for permanent residence again, pay the required fees, and meet the current requirements for selection. The information provided in the below sections no longer applies. For more information on how to apply for permanent residence, download our guide on Immigrating to Canada.|
If your CoPR has expired and you have not yet heard from IRCC, you are advised not to contact them, as this will cause more delays for everyone who wishes to settle in Canada. Instead, the IRCC is asking people to wait for further instructions by email.
- Medical exams
- Police certificates
If IRCC advises that you or your family requires an updated medical examination, do not arrange for one until you have received further instructions from immigration. IRCC will provide new instruction forms to take to a doctor for the updated medical exam.
You’ll also be asked to confirm if anything has changed with regards to your family situation, such as marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. Depending on your family circumstances, you may have to provide additional documents to IRCC, such as a birth certificate. IRCC should provide you with instructions on which additional documents they require, based on your circumstances.
What if my CoPR and visa are still valid?
The IRCC expects that individuals and families with a CoPR and permanent resident visa that is still valid until October 1, 2021 or after that date, will have enough time to arrive in Canada before their immigration documents expire. If your CoPR is valid till or after October 1, 2021, be sure to plan your travel accordingly as further extension will not be granted.
Once you have received your email from IRCC and been advised of any documents that might need to be updated, the next step in getting ready to travel to Canada is having your CoPR extended, as you cannot travel on expired documents. As of November 1, 2021, individuals with expired CoPRs will need to reapply for Canadian permanent residence if they still wish to come to Canada.
Your documents will be reissued by the IRCC and they will send you the valid documents you need to travel to Canada:
- A re-printed CoPR
- A new visa sticker for your passport (if you require one)
Once you have received your updated documents from IRCC, you can begin booking your flights to Canada.
|Looking for more information on travelling during COVID-19?
See How changes to Canada’s border restrictions affect new arrivals for information on current quarantine guidelines when entering Canada.