Can I return to Canada During the travel restrictions?
Returning to Canada Amid the Spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Government of Canada has announced Travel Restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19. In general, these restrictions state that:
Borders are closed to those who are not Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada;
Borders are closed to all non-essential travellers;
Airlines will ban all travellers with symptoms from boarding planes. Anyone who has symptoms will not be able to come to Canada;
Only 4 Canadian airports will be accepting international flights as of March 18th, 2020
In essence, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines.
More recently, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced exemptions to these restrictions. Exemptions to the air travel restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home. The exemptions include:
Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers
International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada
Those affected by Travel Exemptions are still advised NOT to travel to Canada immediately. The Federal Government will announce when the exemptions are in place, which we anticipate will be this week. These exemptions follow others announced last week, which include:
Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Canadian government for a purpose related to the containment of COVID-19;
Close family members of Canadian citizens;
Close family members of Canadian permanent residents;
A person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members;
A person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
Accredited diplomats and family members (including NATO, those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations);
Any foreign national, or group of foreign nationals, whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Minister of Public Safety;
Members of the Canadian military, visiting forces and their family members; and
It's important to note that IRCC defines a family member as:
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
a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b) the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
the guardian or tutor of the person
The Government of Canada and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continue to issue updates regularly. We will monitor all changes and share these updates with you as soon as possible.
We understand that this is both a stressful and confusing time for Canadians, Temporary Residents, and Travellers. Please feel welcome to reach out to us for further information and guidance regarding your current situation.
For more information, you may find these pages helpful:
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.