Canadian Visa Application Centres in some parts of the world have begun resuming services, even as COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place.

Key Points:

  • More than three dozen VACs have reopened, including VACs in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Rome, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and a number of locations in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. Up-to-date information on which VACs are open is available here.
  • Services remain limited, even at VACs that have reopened. Applicants are encouraged to visit the relevant VAC’s website to determine which services are available before traveling to a VAC.
  • New safety measures have been put in place at VACs that have reopened. Such measures may include limiting the number of people allowed inside VACs, checking temperature of applicants and staff and use of hand sanitizer, gloves, face masks and face shields.
  • VACs that remain closed will contact applicants, if necessary, to reschedule appointments that have been canceled.

Additional information: While some services have resumed at VACs, applicants should note that COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place. Currently, most foreign nationals are not allowed to travel to Canada, even if they hold a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Only those who fall under an exemption or are coming for an essential purpose are permitted entry. All travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Analysis & Comments: Although travel restrictions remain in place, some VACs are now offering services, such as biometrics collection, that will help expedite the travel process once restrictions are lifted. Applicants are encouraged to check this website and the website of the VAC they intend to visit to determine which services are available at this time. Canada’s response to COVID-19 continues to develop, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.