Canadian travel restrictions due to COVID-19

The situation regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly, this post is current as of March 26, 2020.

These are stressful times for everyone. Global solidarity in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 drove governments to extraordinary actions and Canada is no exception.

The Canadian government has provided clearer guidelines with respect to the travel restrictions into Canada.

Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents along with their immediate family members continue to be exempt from travel restrictions. An immediate family member means: “The spouse or common-law partner of the person; a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or dependent child of a dependent child referred herein”

Restrictions on travel by air have some exemptions which apply to asymptomatic Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and certain exempt foreign nationals.

Exempt foreign nationals are those who have been in Canada or the US for 14 days or more before their flight, as well as  those who already have a valid work permit or study permit.

In addition, individuals who were approved for Permanent Residency awaiting travel for landing will be allowed to travel.

Travel across the Canada-US land border will continue be restricted to essential travel. While it is understood that leisure travel is non-essential, the governments did not provide an interpretation for what “essential” means. People who regularly travel for work across the border, especially in the medical field, will likely be deemed essential.

Everyone, except for a narrow exceptions, who enters Canada will have to be in self isolation for 14 days to monitor symptoms.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) also issued a statement deeming “flagpolling”, or travel to a port of entry for receiving immigration services, as non-essential. As such, all applications should be submitted online.

Lastly, the current measures are presently set to expire on June 30, 2020. Depending on development related to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic, this date may change.

For the government official order visit: https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/attachment.php?attach=38952&lang=en

For Immigration Specific measures by IRCC visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html