Canada Travel Restrictions updated January 2021

COVID-19 travel restrictions to Canada remain in effect. Travellers are advised to check that they meet official Philippine Government and Government of Canada requirements before making travel arrangements.

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Canada Travel Restrictions

The Government of Canada currently has travel restrictions in place. Learn more about Canada travel restrictions currently being enforced in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Current travel restrictions for travellers from the United States of America are in place until July 21, 2020 and for all other travellers, travel restrictions are in place until July 31, 2020.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS EASED FOR ELIGIBLE FAMILY MEMBERS, OTHERS

2020-10-02 Canada travel restrictions have been eased to allow eligible family members to enter the country.

Canada’s borders continue to be closed to all non-essential travel until October 31, 2020, with exceptions.

The changes were announced by Marco Mendicino, minister for immigration, Bill Blair, minister for public safety and Patty Hajdu, minister of health, at a press conference on Friday, October 2, 2020.

At the press conference, the ministers said that the government is trying to be as compassionate as possible despite the surging cases of COVID-19 in the country.

“We needed to take these steps, given that this is not a short term problem,” Hajdu said at the press conference. “This disease is not going away any time soon.”

Starting October 8, 2020, eligible family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, including those in an exclusive dating relationship of at least one year, dependent children, adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents can come to Canada.

Unmarried couples may be asked to provide a notarized declaration about their relationship.

Also eligible to enter the country will be non-relatives for compassionate reasons. Reasons may include friends of Canadians experiencing life-threatening illnesses, injury or death.

“These situations could include being with someone you love to say goodbye at the end of their lives, or attending a funeral, or end of life ceremony… The decision to allow someone to end their quarantine early will be coordinated with the provincial or territorial government,” Hajdu explained at the press conference.

Beginning on October 20, 2020, international students who have submitted a quarantine plan and have been cleared by provincial or territorial health authorities will be allowed to enter Canada.

The Government of Canada said that more details will be announced next week.

All travellers will be required to quarantine for 14 days, and will be required to stay in Canada for a minimum of 15 days.

“These are the relationships that are helping us to get through these unprecedented times… At the same time, many families and loved ones have been kept apart, and are separated from their Canadian relatives,” Mendicino said at the press conference.

“While the travel restrictions we’ve put into place have been difficult, the protections at the border are helping to keep us safe through the pandemic,” Mendicino continued.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is deploying more staff, including 190 officers at borders, to monitor travellers who enter the country to make sure that they are following their quarantine plans.

Fines and jail times can be imposed on those who break quarantine.

“Any individual who cannot be reached… or if there is a suspicion that someone is not currently complying with the quarantine requirements, local law enforcement follows up and they have the full authority to issue fines and undertake enforcement, as is necessary,” Blair said at the press conference.

Before boarding flights to Canada, travellers are required to pass health checks, any traveller showing signs of symptoms will be denied entry.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that keeping Canadians safe remains his government’s top priority.

“From the very beginning, our priority has been quite simple: Making sure that Canadians are protected from COVID-19 and that has meant taking strong actions at the border and continually looking how we can improve our actions to prevent importation of COVID-19,” Trudeau said at the press conference.

The Government of Canada maintains that community spread, not travel, is the main reason for the surge o COVID-19 cases in the country.

Mendicino said that many Canadians have been waiting for the announcement, including Filipinos who have made appeals to the government to allow family members to travel to Canada.

“My heart goes out to everybody who is separated right now… it’s our commitment to try and get these processes in place as quickly as possible, so that we can reunite as many families as possible… But at the same time protecting the health and safety of Canadians,” Mendicino said at the press conference.

TRAVELLERS WITH EXPIRED COPRS AND PR VISAS TO BE ALLOWED ENTRY TO CANADA

IRCC will be allowing travellers with expired documents, including Certificates of Permanent Residence (COPR) as well as Permanent Residency Visas (PR Visas), to enter Canada, adding to the existing list of travellers exempted from Canada travel restrictions the Government of Canada has put in place.

IRCC has made changes to expand the list of travellers included in the exemptions from restrictions put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the changes, only travellers from countries other than the US who were issued visas on or before March 18, 2020 were allowed to enter Canada.

Travellers from the US who were issued visas were allowed to enter Canada, regardless of when their visas were issued.

Only travellers who intend to settle in Canada will be allowed entry. Those who cannot provide proof that they will stay in Canada, as well as those who are not on the list of exemptions, will be denied entry.

Only travel that is non-discretionary in nature will be allowed.

Below is the list of travellers that will be exempt from current travel restrictions.

TRAVELLERS FROM THE US WITH VALID COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from the United States with valid COPRs and PR visas are allowed to enter Canada for non-discretionary reasons after presenting a detailed, two week quarantine plan.

TRAVELLERS FROM THE US WITH EXPIRED COPR AND PR VISA

Travellers from the United States with expired COPRS and PR visas are allowed to enter Canada after presenting proof that their application has been approved, and that they are in possession of their expired COPR and PR visas. A detailed, two week quarantine plan is also required.

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

Travellers from countries other than the United States who have valid COPRs and PR visas that were issued on or before March 18, 2020 will be allowed to travel to Canada for non-discretionary reasons after presenting a detailed, two week quarantine plan.

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

Travellers from countries other than the United States who have expired COPRs and PR visas must contact IRCC and fill out the electronic form found here.

Travellers will provide the expiration date of their COPR and PR visa and the non-discretionary reason for their travel.

Documents required will include a detailed two week quarantine plan, an detailed settlement plan as well as a detailed travel itinerary.

IRCC will provide additional instructions after receiving the electronic form.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR TRAVELLERS TO CANADA

Travellers must submit documents to IRCC, including rental agreements or home ownership documents, if available.

Additional documents which will be required will include a 14 day quarantine plan, outlining how they intend to access services such as groceries and healthcare.

Travellers will also be required to submit a detailed travel itinerary.

Travellers must be able to leave their country of origin.

Travellers with confirmed travel plans, and travellers who will be able to book and confirm their travel plans as soon as they receive approval will be prioritized by IRCC.

IRCC continues to accept new applications for Permanent Residency.

Applicants who submit incomplete applications will be required to provide an pandemic-related explanation why they were their documents were incomplete, after which IRCC will review their application within 90 days.

Applications that are complete are processed as normal by IRCC.

WHO CAN ENTER CANADA DURING THIS TIME?

While travel restrictions are in place, only the following travellers are allowed to enter Canada:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents
  • Persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • Protected persons

Exceptions are being made for some travellers, including:

  • Eligible foreigners,
  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents,
  • temporary foreign workers (including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the Philippines),
  • international students,
  • 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

Travellers coming directly from the United States of America must demonstrate that the purpose of their travel is essential (non-discretionary), or that they are exempt from travel restrictions.

WHO ARE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS?

Immediate family members include the following:

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

Immediate family members travelling to Canada must provide proof that they are related to Canadian citizens or permanent residents and that they will be staying in the country for at least 15 days.

All immediate family members are required to submit a mandatory quarantine plan in order to enter Canada.

REQUIREMENTS FOR BOARDING AIRCRAFT BOUND FOR CANADA

Travellers are required to successfully pass a health check conducted by the airline. Travellers exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board aircraft.

Travellers must provide documents to the airline that they are allowed to travel Canada.

These documents 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)

Electronic copies of these documents will be accepted.

Travellers from countries except the United States of America must provide written authorization from IRCC to show that they are exempt from travel restrictions currently in place.

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

HOW TO REQUEST FOR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION FROM IRCC

Travellers must send an email to IRCC to request for written authorization.

The email must have details for every travellers, including:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • Unique Client Identifier (UCI)
  • passport number
  • 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 reply to every request within 5 business days. Further instructions will be sent by email.

Travellers who have not secured written authorization from IRCC will not be able to board aircraft bound for Canada.

CURRENT PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES IN PLACE

Travellers boarding aircraft bound for Canada are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering for the entire flight.

When travellers arrive in Canada, they must provide their contact information to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at the Point of Entry (POE).

Travellers can use the ArriveCAN mobile app, the online form or the paper form to provide their contact information.

Travellers are also required to provide CBSA officers with a quarantine plan which will include details about where they will stay during their quarantine as well as details about their transportation from the POE to their place of quarantine.

Other details such as how they will access groceries and medical services must be provided.

Travellers who fail to follow the approved quarantine plan can be fined up to CAD$750,000 and jailed for up to 6 months.

Travellers who fail to follow the approved quarantine plan can also be deported from Canada and be banned from coming back for a year.

Travellers providing essential services are exempt from providing a detailed quarantine plan.


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