We have been keeping an eye on how the world is changing as governments and the business sector across the world tries to grapple with the reality of COVID-19 in an effort to contain the virus. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been providing several updates in the past few weeks to reflect the change in how they are responding to applications. IRCC has been working with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) in a concerted effort with how these new rules and measures will be implemented.

Deportations of unsuccessful refugees and other immigration applicants have been suspended for the time being. The CBSA has stated that in some circumstances deportations will occur but only for the most serious of criminal offences.

The processing of Appeals will remain suspended at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) until June 1st and the Federal Court until May 15th, 2020.

However, the IAD and the CBSA have both agreed in the meantime to accept immigration documents from counsel, electronically, which is a big step forward. Any immigration case, whether it is an appeal by the IAD, a Stay of Removal, or Judicial Review application before the Federal Court will proceed virtually or by telephone if it is possible for all participants to attend in this manner. Furthermore, the IAD just sent out correspondence to stakeholders to inform them that all decisions will be released by email at this time as well.

If you have been served a deportation order or are a Permanent Resident facing the possibility of having your status revoked for criminality now is the time to act and retain legal representation. Speak to your representative, if you do not have one, consider seeking assistance and feel free to reach out to one of our team members for more information.

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