How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services: travel restrictions and exemptions

From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID 19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that will limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most people cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

These restrictions stop all non-essential travel to Canada by foreign nationals, but there are some exemptions. Some people may still be able to travel to Canada by air if they’re exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose.

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Who can enter Canada

You can travel to and may be permitted to enter Canada if you’re a

  • Canadian citizen
  • Canadian permanent resident
  • person registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • protected person
  • United States (US) citizen or foreign national travelling from the US for an essential reason and have been in the US, Canada or both for at least 14 days before the day you enter Canada
    • There are some exemptions to the 14‑day rule, for example, those whose work is essential for the movement of goods and people.
  • foreign national who is exempt from the travel restrictions (see Exemptions to the travel restrictions for more information)

Exemptions to the travel restrictions

The following people may travel to Canada for an essential purpose:

  • temporary foreign workers
  • some international students
  • some approved permanent residents
  • immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident (see below for more information)
  • immediate family members with written authorization from the Government of Canada to reunite with a non-Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada (see below for more information)
  • transiting passengers (must remain in a Canadian airport to complete their connection)
  • members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces, Department of National Defence and their immediate family members
  • accredited diplomats and immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
  • air and marine crew members
  • French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have been in only Canada, the US or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days before the day they seek to enter Canada
  • any person who does not pose a significant harm to public health, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and who will provide an essential service while in Canada
  • any person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest, in the opinion of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; or Foreign Affairs
  • any person who is coming at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of COVID-19 assistance
  • any person whose purpose is to make medical deliveries

An immediate family member is defined as a

  • spouse or common-law partner
  • dependent child
  • dependent child of a dependent child
  • parent or step-parent
  • guardian or tutor

Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents

To board your flight to Canada, you must

  • have your health checked by airline officials to confirm that you don’t have symptoms of COVID‑19, including a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing
    • Anyone showing symptoms will not be allowed to board.
  • tell the airline that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions
  • show that you’re travelling to Canada for an essential reason and not for reasons that are optional or non-essential, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment
  • present proof to show that you’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
  • make sure you have a valid travel document (visitor visa or eTA) and a valid passport to fly to Canada

Documents to use as proof that you’re an immediate family member

You must have 2 types of documents:

  • one that shows your immediate family member’s status as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • one that shows your relationship to that family member

Documents that show your immediate family member’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status include

  • a Canadian passport
  • proof of Canadian citizenship, such as a citizenship certificate, citizenship card or provincial or territorial birth certificate
  • a Canadian permanent resident card
  • a Canadian permanent resident travel document
  • a visa-exempt foreign passport with an IRCC Special Authorization for Canadian Citizens

Documents that show your relationship to that family member include

  • a marriage or common-law status certificate
  • a birth certificate
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for the family class (the COPR category under Application Details will be FC) or under the One‑Year Window of Opportunity Program (coded OYW under Special Program)
  • other documents that show an immediate family connection (for example, correspondence from us showing a spousal sponsorship application in progress or documents that show a shared home address)

Note: Paper and electronic copies of the documents above are accepted.

Reuniting with an immediate family member who lives in Canada but is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

To board your flight to Canada, you must

To be eligible to travel to Canada, you need

  • a written authorization from IRCC confirming that you are exempt from the travel restrictions
  • a valid visitor visa (if you’re from a country whose nationals require a visa) or an eTA (if you’re from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt)
  • a valid passport
  • to tell the airline that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions
  • to show a consular or immigration officer that you’re coming for an essential purpose, such as to live with your spouse, partner or parent
    • You’ll be refused an authorization if an officer finds that you’re travelling for an optional or non-essential purpose, such as for tourism, entertainment or recreation.
  • to have your health checked by airline officials to confirm that you don’t have symptoms of COVID‑19, including a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing
    • Anyone showing symptoms will not be allowed to board.

If you don’t have written authorization, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Canada, even if you have a valid visitor visa or eTA.

Mandatory isolation for travellers entering Canada

When you arrive in Canada by air or land, we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry.

You must isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

You must have a plan to isolate when you arrive in Canada. If you do not have a plan, you will need to delay travel until you have made one.

Only people who provide essential services, for example truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the isolation requirements.

Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html

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