A Canadian Member of Parliament (MP), Christine Normandin, has written a letter to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino. In the letter, she expresses the need of the federal government to address the problems of immigrants. These immigrants cannot enter Canada despite having COPRs.
In the letter, she expresses her concern over the tough times some recently approved PR holders have to face. These immigrants are not exempt from travel restrictions and any future processing of their files.
Normandin is a Bloc Québécois immigration critic. It is also one of the federal parties with chosen officials in the Canadian Parliament.
Every party appoints MPs to review the policies of the ruling party.
According to a previous CIC News report, IRCC will leave thousands of new PR holders already settled in the country in oblivion. This is mainly those in the economic class.
These are people who have:
- Been through the permanent residence process.
- Been approved by the IRCC.
- Hold a COPR.
The approval process involves:
- Clearing medical exams
- Clearing federal security and safety checks
In a normal situation, these people may enter Canada and also become official PR holders.
The ongoing travel restrictions do not let foreigners with COPRs set foot on Canadian soil. This was primarily when their documents were issued after the closure of the Canadian border on March 18.
However, if these people are exempt under any other condition or are US residents, they may enter Canada.
In the letter by Normandin, she says that this circumstance is needless. She went on to add, “There does not appear to be any health justification for this, especially since COPR holders have long expressed their intention to comply with all quarantine measures put in place upon their arrival.”
Permanent residents undergoing sponsorship process and family reunification are exempt from travel restrictions. However, there is no such exemption for immigrant investors and skilled workers with COPRs. Thus, many such people are stuck in their nations and living in oblivion.
In her letter, Normandin writes, “Many fear the expiration of their COPRs and the need to start the process all over again, with the costs of medical examinations and criminal background checks that this entails, which can be costly, especially for a family.” She refers to the lack of any clear plan put forward by the Canadian government to handle such situations.
There have been several indications by IRCC that recently approved applicants will soon be able to enter Canada. However, this is possible only when they lift the travel restrictions.
According to the Canadian government, these people need not go through the application process again even if their documents expire.
An Unjustified Situation for the Department
According to the letter written by Normandin, this may create an unjustified situation for the department.
She writes in the letter, “Unless the restrictions for COPR holders begin to be lifted soon, we understand that with the existing admission thresholds, it will be difficult to make up for the lost time when the borders finally open, resulting in delays in the admission of files that are still pending.”
Normandin has also said, “We are also concerned that this will place an additional burden on immigration officers if, while waiting for the restrictions to be lifted, applicants are required to undergo repeat medical examinations and criminal background checks, which officers will then have to reassess.”
To rectify the situation, she proposes that recipients of COPRs after March 18, 2020, should be exempt from traveling to Canada. She said that there should be a validity extension of their COPRs by 12 months from the expiry date.
Normandin said, “The COPR holders for whom we are requesting a lifting of the restrictions are mainly skilled workers and immigrant investors who will be called upon to participate in the economic recovery through their contribution of labor, through job creation in the case of immigrant investors, and through the expenses that will be made for their settlement in the country.”
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