September 18th, 2020
The Honourable Marco Mendicino
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
House of Commons Ottawa,
Re: Help prospective newcomers having received their confirmation of permanent residence
Dear Minister Mendicino,
I write to you today, urging your department to help those who hold Confirmations of Permanent Residency (CoPR) but who remain stranded as a result of the travel restrictions implemented on March 18, 2020.
Many CoPR holders have reached out to my office since last March, asking for help. They have all the proper documentation to immigrate to Canada, but because of the March deadline they are unable to come to Canada. These CoPR holders have already invested so much in their journey to Canada: some have sold their homes, put their education on hold, and quit their jobs to prepare for their move. However, because of circumstances out of their control, they were not able to settle in Canada. One such family with young children was even turned away upon arrival at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport.
These families are now stuck in limbo. Even though they were granted visas, they still do not have any idea when they will eventually be allowed into Canada. While they wait, the expiration dates for their confirmations approach.
I understand that it is the government’s first priority to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Canadians. Naturally, this means that certain types of travel must be restricted. However, the arbitrary March 18 cut-off unfairly shut prospective immigrants out, despite having completed all the necessary applications. In addition, these families are more than willing to follow traveler guidelines such as showing proof of a negative COVID test and quarantining. All they ask is for the government to open up a pathway for them to enter Canada and activate their PR status.
I urge you to do everything in your power to aid these prospective newcomers. At the very least, providing more information to these newcomers on the status of their PRs or on travel restrictions would be a great help. I know that since becoming Minister, you have been proactive and responsive when dealing with challenging COVID travel restrictions; I now ask you to extend that same effort to these affected CoPR holders.
Member of Parliament for Fredericton