Last Updated on October 2, 2020
Canada has announced new exemptions to coronavirus international travel restrictions for extended family members of citizens and permanent residents, foreign nationals entering on compassionate grounds and international students.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement on Friday.
New International Travel Restriction Exeptions
1) From October 8 2020, certain extended family members of citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada. Extended family members include those in a long-term, exclusive dating relationship and their dependent children, plus adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents.
The extended family member must be staying in Canada for more than 15 days and observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine. They must have a valid passport of documentation showing their relationship to the citizen or permanent resident, and written authorization from authorities.
2) Foreign nationals will be able to enter Canada for compassionate reasons in specific and limited situations, including to say goodbye to a loved one, to provide care for a loved one or to attend a funeral.
These foreign nationals must observe the 14-day quarantine period, although they may be able to break quarantine in certain situations, such as to attend a funeral.
3) Effective October 20, international students attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) approved by a provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan will be allowed to enter Canada. Again, these students must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) urged travellers not to make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and obtained all necessary authorizations to qualify to come to Canada under the new exemptions.
Mendicino issued a reminder that everyone entering Canada must provide a plan for their quarantine to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers. They reserve the right to refuse entry where an adequate plan is not provided.
Needs of Canadian Families
“The travel restrictions we’ve put in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians remain in effect, and we must continue to be disciplined and vigilant in our response to the COVID‑19 pandemic,” Mendicino said.
“The updates announced today respond to the needs of Canadian families who have been separated from their loved ones by international borders, some of whom are facing the most difficult period of their lives.
“Canadians and anyone intending to travel to Canada must follow the quarantine requirements and public health guidelines to help control the spread of COVID‑19. There are strict but necessary penalties in place for those who break these rules.”
Closed Since March
Canada’s international travel restrictions and the closure of the border with the U.S. have been in place since March, following the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
Travel restrictions currently expire on October 31, while the agreement to close the Canada-U.S. border expires on October 21. Both are expected to be extended.
The follow people can already travel to Canada, covered by previous exemptions to the travel restrictions:
The following people can currently travel to Canada:
- Citizens and permanent residents.
- Work permit holders travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary reasons.
- International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, on March 18, 2020, who are travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary reasons.
- Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada.
- Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.