FAQs on how the pandemic may affect our services and your profession
Last updated: March 25, 2020
This is a time of great anxiety for each of us as the Canadian and provincial governments respond with unprecedented steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. ICCRC supports guidance from public health organizations and governments as we strive to do the right things for you, your family and our communities.
For that reason, our four office locations (Burlington, Toronto, Montreal and Burnaby) are closed since March 16 and our employees are working remotely until further notice.
1. How do office closures impact regular mail and packages?
Receipt of all physical mail and courier packages is suspended until further notice. Please submit documents electronically.
2. Is ICCRC maintaining full regulatory operations?
Yes, this has been made possible by leveraging technology and implementing remote collaboration.
As usual, we can be reached by phone at: 289-348-0422 or toll free: 1-877-836-7543 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our response time may be slower than normal, but we endeavour to serve to the best of our abilities.
3. How will COVID-19 impact the immigration services industry?
For more information, please visit the following official websites:
IRBIRB – Measures related to COVID-19
IRCCIRCC – Special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19)
4. What is the expected response time for my inquiry if I call or send and email?
We endeavour to respond within 2-3 business days for general enquiries.
Response times for Department specific enquiries are as follows:
- Registration – 5 business days
- Complaints & Professional Conduct – 2 to 3 business days
- Education – 3 to 5 business days
- Finance – 3 to 5 business days
- Communications – 2 to 3 business days
5. What guides ICCRC’s response to COVID-19?
We rely on our Business Continuity Plan and Emergency Preparedness Plan to make rapid decisions. We appreciate your patience as we adapt our policies and processes to address this unprecedented public health crisis.
We follow public health authorities and governments updates and are assessing the organization’s critical business functions should this continue over a longer term.
6. How is the federal government helping Canadians whose livelihoods are impacted?
The federal government announced a massive $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic. The package will include $27 billion in direct supports and another $55 billion to help business liquidity through tax deferrals, as well as a temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit payments, a new Emergency Care Benefit for those who have to stay home and don’t qualify for paid sick leave for employment insurance, and a new Emergency Support Benefit for workers who are not eligible for EI and are facing unemployment. More information is available on the link provided here: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response PlanCanada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
7. How does the Federal economic response apply to RCICs?
As sole practitioners, many RCICs can access economic support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
The government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
- workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
8. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on my finances. Can I defer the April 1 quarterly payment of the annual membership dues?
Drawing on the best practices of similar professional self-regulatory bodies, the Council will defer the April 1 quarterly payment of annual membership dues for those members who have opted to pay quarterly.
The April 1 quarterly payment will be collected in four equal payments of $113 commencing with the July 1, 2020 invoice for the next membership year.
How does this work?
- Members who have opted to pay dues quarterly will not receive an invoice on April 1, 2020 for the fourth quarterly payment.
- No late fees will be assessed in respect of these unpaid fourth quarter dues.
- On July 1, 2020, members who have not paid these dues will be invoiced for $2,260 representing $1,808 for the 2020 – 2021 membership year plus the $452 outstanding fourth quarter dues from 2019 – 2020.
- Members who opt to pay their 2020-2021 memberships dues quarterly will be invoiced for the deferred April 1, 2020 payment in four equal payments with their 2020-2021 quarterly dues invoices.
- All of the above amounts are subject to applicable taxes.
- All invoices will be payable in accordance with the Council’s usual payment terms.
9. Most authorities recommend social distancing and ask people to avoid gatherings. How is this affecting in-person courses?
ICCRC has suspended delivery of all in-person classes at each of our three ICCRC learning centres, until further notice. Classes that were scheduled to be provided in-person will instead be provided remotely.
Those RCICs who had registered for an in-person class in the upcoming weeks had their registration automatically switched to the remote class.
If you are unable to attend the course online, please cancel your course by emailing email@example.com and re-register to take the course at a later date, when in-person courses will be again offered.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We will inform you when in-person courses resume.
10. How will the recent developments affect registration for the May 3, 2020 Entry-to-Practice Exam and its administration?
The upcoming May 3, 2020 Entry-to-Practice Exam (EPE) has been postponed. At this time, we are assessing administering the EPE on Sunday, June 21 or 28. We will confirm the dates once we organize the logistics.
Due to the developing situation and the recommendations of Canadian public health services and the directions of both the federal and provincial governments, we have made the following changes:
- The new deadline to apply for the next EPE is May 15, 2020.
- Application forms, statutory declarations, and other documents should be scanned and emailed. Please gather your application documents and scan them as a single PDF. Receipt of all physical mail and courier packages is suspended until further notice.
- Colour copies of the applicant’s Canadian status-proving identification are no longer required to be certified. Qualifying identification can be scanned by the applicant and submitted with their application.
- Documents and statutory declarations that require certification, can temporally be witnessed by a friend, relative or other, as long as that does not require you to break the social distancing requirement in place by the provincial and federal governments. Please have the witness fill out the commissioner’s section appropriately. If you are unable to get a witness, please contact us.
All submissions and questions related to the above should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that any exam fees already paid will be applied to the next exam date; there will be no refunds at this time.
The EPE scheduled dates for August and November will not be affected.
We have adopted measures with our collective health and wellbeing in mind. We will continue to reassess the public health risk as the situation evolves. Please keep visiting this page for any updates.