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. 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:

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.

What is a CoPR?

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. Normally, newcomers to Canada need to use their CoPR before it expires. 

Depending on which country you arrive from, you may also require a permanent resident visa as part of your application

What should you do if your CoPR has expired?  

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. However, given the travel restrictions due to COVID-19, Canadian Immigration and Citizenship is making exceptions for people who weren’t able to travel because of the pandemic. 

Exceptions for CoPR due to COVID restrictions

IRCC has already been working with applicants who were exempt from travel restrictions to Canada to reissue a valid CoPR to these individuals. The government has already contacted most people with an expired CoPR that was issued on or before March 18, 2020 with instructions on what to do next. If you have already received an email from IRCC, you do not need to contact them again. 

But for all other individuals with an expired CoPR issued after March 18, 2020, you should expect to receive an email from IRCC about your application. The email will ask whether you still want permanent residency. If you wish to settle in Canada as a PR, you must reply to the IRCC email confirming you still want to come to Canada. IRCC will then provide further instructions on what to do next.

It’s important to note that if you do not respond to the IRCC email regarding your expired CoPR, the IRCC will close your file and you will have to reapply if or when you are ready to settle in Canada. 

New documents required for a CoPR extension

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
  • Passport

As language tests must be less than two years old when you apply for PR, they might still be valid even though your CoPR has expired. However, if your language test results are no longer valid, you may be required to retake the tests in order to get your CoPR extended.

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 now 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 may not be granted.

I haven’t heard from IRCC, what should I do?

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. 

Getting ready to travel to Canada

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. 

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.

Safe and gradual arrival of new permanent residents 

If your CoPR has expired, you will not be allowed to travel to Canada. As many immigrants were unable to travel due to COVID restrictions, the IRCC is proactively reaching out to applications whose CoPRs have expired to issue further instructions on getting their CoPR reissued. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet heard from Canadian immigration, we encourage you to be patient. They are working to help newcomers with expired travel documents begin their new life in Canada as quickly and safely as possible. 

 

 

The Arrive mobile app is your one-stop shop to prepare your move to Canada, ease your transition and help you adapt faster life to Canada. It is specially designed to provide newcomers, like yourself, with information that matters, at a time when you need it the most. The best part: you’ll always have all resources in one place – in an app on your phone – and you can access it wherever you are, without having to provide any confirmation from the Canadian government. Whether you’re a year away from your move or recently landed, if you’re a PR, international student or temporary foreign worker, the Arrive app will provide timely and relevant content, tools and guidance to ensure you’re fully prepared for your move and your life in Canada. 

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About Arrive

Arrive is powered by RBC Ventures Inc, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. In collaboration with RBC, Arrive is dedicated to helping newcomers achieve their life, career, and financial goals in Canada. An important part of establishing your financial life in Canada is finding the right partner to invest in your financial success. RBC is the largest bank in Canada* and here to be your partner in all of your financial needs. RBC supports Arrive, and with a 150-year commitment to newcomer success in Canada, RBC goes the extra mile in support and funding to ensure that the Arrive newcomer platform is FREE to all. Working with RBC, Arrive can help you get your financial life in Canada started – right now. Learn about your banking options in Canada and be prepared. Click here to book an appointment with an advisor.

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Disclaimer:
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.