In COVID-19 Updates

From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

These program delivery instructions are aligned with the Ministerial Instructions (MIs) that are in effect from October 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021 (and may be extended). Under the current MIs, all applications for a temporary resident visa (including a transit visa), a work permit or a study permit submitted by foreign nationals who are outside Canada at the time of the application must be submitted using electronic means (in other words, applicants must apply online). However, applicants who, because of a disability, are unable to submit an application using electronic means will continue to be exempt from the requirement to submit their application online. In addition, the following 2 groups of temporary residence applicants who are applying from outside Canada are exempt from the requirement to submit an application online:

  • Applicants holding documents described under paragraph 52(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). This includes foreign nationals holding an identity or travel document that is of the type issued by a country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel documents from their country of citizenship. There are system issues with the Come to Canada wizard that prevent these clients from submitting an application online.
  • Applicants under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. These applicants cannot apply for a work permit (including a temporary resident visa) themselves; rather, it is the government of their country that submits paper applications to designated IRCC missions via visa application centres. Some countries do not have the capacity to submit applications online and must continue to apply by paper.

These instructions are interim procedures to enable staff to process new and existing applications from visitors, workers and international students who are exempted from the travel restrictions because of the purpose of their travel. They will end when the travel restrictions are discontinued and IRCC offices resume regular operations.

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