Canada Travel Restrictions – who can travel to Canada at this time?

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Canada travel restrictions

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada currently has travel restrictions in place. While most foreigners cannot travel to Canada at this time (even those with valid Visitor Visas and electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs)), there are exceptions. Read on to learn more about current Canada travel restrictions that are in place.

Travel restrictions are currently in place.

UPDATE EXPIRED PR VISAS AND COPRS ALLOWED ENTRY TO CANADA

IRCC has announced that travellers with expired Certificates of Permanent Residence (COPR) and Permanent Resident (PR) Visas will be exempted from travel restrictions currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IRCC has made changes to some of its existing policies, including allowing travellers with expired COPRs and PR visas to enter Canada.

Previously, travellers from countries other than the United States were required to have been issued visas on or before March 18, 2020 to be allowed entry into Canada. US travellers qualified regardless of when their visas were issued.

Only travellers who intend to stay in Canada after arrival will be allowed entry. Travellers who cannot demonstrate that they intend to stay in Canada, or are not exempted from travel restrictions, will be denied entry into Canada.

Only non-discretionary travel is allowed.

These are the travellers currently exempt from travel restrictions:

TRAVELLERS FROM COUNTRIES OTHER THAN THE US WITH VALID COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from countries other than the US with COPRs and PR visas issued on or before March 18, 2020 are exempted from travel restrictions and are allowed to travel to canada for non-discretionary reasons. Travellers must present a 14 day quarantine plan.

TRAVELLERS FROM THE US WITH VALID COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from the US with valid COPRs and PR visas are exempted from travel restrictions. Travellers must present a 14 day quarantine plan.

TRAVELLERS FROM COUNTRIES OTHER THAN THE US WITH EXPIRED COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from countries other than the US who have expired COPRs and PR visas are required to contact IRCC using this form here. Travellers are required to indicate the expiration date of their COPR or PR visa, as well as the non-discretionary reason for their travel.

Travellers will be evaluated using the documents submitted, which must include an acceptable settlement and quarantine plan, as well as a travel itinerary.

IRCC will provide further instructions after receiving the form.

TRAVELLERS FROM THE US WITH EXPIRED COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from the US with expired COPRs and PR visas will be required to present proof that their application has been approved, that they are in possession of their COPR and PR visas and that they have a two week quarantine plan.

REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELLING TO CANADA WITH EXPIRED COPRS AND PR VISAS

Travellers who have expired COPRs and PR visas must contact IRCC using the electronic form. Using the form, travellers will provide the expiration dates of their COPRs and PR visas as well as a non-discretionary reason for travel.

Travellers must present documents, including lease agreements and home ownership documents and letters of employment, if available.

Other documents also required include a two week quarantine plan, indicating how they will access essential services such as groceries and medical care.

Travellers must provide a detailed travel itinerary.

Travellers must be able to leave their country of origin in order to board aircraft bound for Canada.

IRCC will prioritize travellers who have confirmed travel plans, as well as travellers who are able to book and confirm their itineraries as soon as IRCC gives them approval.

IRCC is currently accepting new applications for Permanent Residency.

New applications that are incomplete will be retained by IRCC and reviewed within 90 days.

Incomplete applications will be required to provide a COVID-19 related explanation as to why their documents are incomplete in order to qualify for a review of their application.

Complete applications are being processed by IRCC normally.

WHO CAN ENTER CANADA?

At this time, only the following can enter Canada:

  • Canadian Citizens
  • Permanent Residents
  • Persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • Protected persons

There are exceptions, including:

  • Eligible foreign nationals
  • Immediate family members of Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents

Other exceptions are being made for the following:

  • temporary foreign workers (including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the Philippines)
  • certain international students
  • certain approved permanent residents
  • immediate family members authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) who will be joining a temporary resident of Canada
  • travellers passing through Canada
  • Members of the Canadian Forces, Department of National Defence, visiting forces as well as their immediate family members
  • Diplomats and their immediate family members
  • air and sea crew members
  • French Citizens from Saint-pierce and Miquelon who have been in Canada, the United States of America or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon for 14 days before entering Canada
  • People whose presence in Canada has been identified by the IRCC, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Foreign Affairs ministers as being of national interest
  • People who have been invited by the Health minister to help with Canada’s COVID-19 response and
  • People making medical deliveries.

Eligible foreign nationals must travel for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose and be travelling directly from the United States of America or be exempt from travel restrictions.

Immediate family members are:

  • spouses or common-law partners
  • dependent children
  • dependent children of dependent children
  • parents or step-parents
  • guardians or tutors

Immediate family members must provide evidence that they are related to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents and that they will be staying in Canada for at least 15 days.

Immediate family members must also submit a mandatory quarantine plan before being allowed to enter Canada.

REQUIREMENTS FOR BOARDING A FLIGHT TO CANADA

Travellers bound for Canada must pass a health check and meet the minimum requirements of airline companies. Any traveller sowing symptoms of COVID-19, including elevated temperatures, coughing and difficulty breathing will no the allowed to board the aircraft.

Travellers must advise the airline company that they are allowed to travel to Canada and show proof that they are either Canadian citizens, permanent residents, a person registered under Canada’s Indian Act, a protected person, an immediate family member or another eligible traveller exempted from travel restrictions.

Travellers must also show that they have a valid travel document, as well as a valid passport.

Travellers coming from all countries except for the United States of America must secure written authorization from IRCC to show that they are exempt from travel restrictions.

Immediate family members must have a copy of their family member’s status as a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, as well as a document showing their relationship to their family member.

These documents will include:

  • Canadian Passports
  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Cards
  • Permanent Resident Travel Documents
  • marriage certificates (or documents showing a shared address)
  • birth certificates
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR)

Paper and electronic copies of these documents will be accepted.

Travellers coming from the United States of America must provide proof that their travel is essential (non-discretionary) in nature.




HOW TO REQUEST FOR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION FROM IRCC

To request written authorization from IRCC, travellers must send an email here.

The email must include the following details for each traveller:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • Unique Client Identifier (UCI)
  • passport numner
  • detailed reason for travel
  • proof of relationship to family member already in Canada
  • proof of immigration status of family member already in Canada
  • proof of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or eTA

IRCC will respond within 5 business days with further instructions.

Travellers who do not have written authorization from IRCC will not be allowed to board their flight to Canada.




PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES

Travellers will be required to submit to a health check by airline companies prior to boarding and wear a non-medical mask or face-covering for the duration of the entire flight.

Upon arrival in Canada, travellers must provide their contact information using the ArriveCAN mobile app, the web-based form or a paper form.

Travellers will be assessed by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers upon arrival at the Point of Entry (POE). Travellers who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.

Travellers must present a detailed quarantine plan upon arrival in Canada. Details must include:

  • where they will be staying during the quarantine
  • details about how they will travel from the POE to their place of quarantine, how groceries and other essential supplies will be delivered and their access to essential services and medical care.

Travellers who do not follow the mandatory quarantine will be subjected to fines up to CAD$750,000, jail time of up to 6 months and be removed from Canada (with an entry ban of 1 year).

Only travellers who provide essential services are exempt from quarantine requirements.





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