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Feds to allow foreign nationals approved for permanent residency to enter Canada

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The federal government will once again allow individuals approved for permanent residency to enter Canada as COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease.

As of Monday, any foreign national with a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) will be allowed to enter Canada.

Previously, as a result of the border restrictions introduced in March 2020, only holders of COPRs issued on March 18, 2020, or earlier were allowed to enter. Foreign nationals who received their COPR after that date could only enter Canada if they were entering from the U.S. to settle permanently in Canada, or if they met another exemption criteria.

COPRs are valid up to one year. For foreign nationals with expiring or expired COPRs, the feds say they'll have more information about how to apply for a new COPR in the future.

“The safety and security of Canadians remains our top priority as we look to support the careful and safe arrival of new permanent residents to Canada over the next year," said immigration minister Marco Mendicino in a statement, "These new permanent residents will finally be able to start their new life in Canada and Canada will benefit from their skills when we pivot to post-pandemic economic recovery."

According to an official briefing reporters on the changes on background, there are approximately 23,000 people who currently reside overseas and have been granted permanent residence status in Canada after March 2020 who were not exempt from the travel policy until today.

COPR holders entering Canada will still need to comply with existing quarantining and testing requirements.

This announcement comes as a part of a broader easing of​COVID-19 travel restrictions. The feds also announced on Monday that travellers who are currently able to enter Canada under the existing rules will be able to do so without having to self-isolate for 14 days, taking a test on day 8, or having to stay in a quarantine hotel upon arrival, if they are fully immunized against COVID-19 starting July 5.

This also comes two months after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced that over 90,000 essential temporary workers and international graduates would be eligible for permanent residency.

With files from Rachel Aiello.

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