Who Can Enter?

Canadian Citizens, Canadian PR, Indians registered under Indian Act, Protected Person, U.S. Citizen, Foreign National travelling from the U.S. for essential purposes AND has been in the U.S., Canada, or both for at least 14 days before entry into Canada. Everyone else is barred from entering.

Exceptions to the 14-day rule

Foreign Nationals who are travelling from a foreign country will not be subject to the 14-day rule so long as their work is essential for the movement of goods and people.

Exemptions to the Travel Restrictions – Through to June 30, 2020

So long as their travel is for essential purposes, the following can enter Canada: temporary foreign workers; some international students (approved prior to March 18th); some approved PR applicants (approved prior to March 18th); immediate family members of Canadian Citizen/PR; immediate family members of foreign nationals already living in Canada, with written authorization from the Government of Canada; transit passengers; members of Canadian forces, visiting forces, Department of National Defense and their immediate family members; diplomats and their immediate family members; air and marine crew; French citizens living in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and been only in Canada, the U.S., Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the last 14-days before entry to Canada; persons performing essential services while in Canada; persons whose presence in Canada is in national interest; persons invited by the Minister of Health for the purpose of COVID-19 assistance; and, any person making medical deliveries

Who is an Immediate Family Member?

Spouses or common-law partner; dependent child; dependent child of a dependent child; parent or step-parent; or, guardian or tutor

Immediate Family Members of Canadian Citizens/PR Boarding Flight

Any immediate family member entering Canada must: conduct health check by airline officials – those with symptoms CANNOT board; advise airline official that you are EXEMPT from travel restrictions; present proof that you are an immediate family member (proof your immediate family member is a Canadian citizen or PR and proof of your relationship); and, ensure you have valid travel document (visitor visa or ETA) and valid passport; and, show you are travelling for essential reason and not for optional, non-essential tourism, recreation or entertainment. coming to Canada to establish residence is not being deemed optional or discretionary, where the foreign national is subject to an exemption from the travel restrictions (workers, students, immediate family members of CCs/PRs). 

There has been some guidance that immediate family members of Canadian citizens who ordinarily reside abroad and are entering Canada to reside as visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic are being refused entry by Border Services Officers. The justification for this is that the intent of the Quarantine Act orders is to restrict optional or discretionary travel as part of Canada’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Immediate Family Member of Foreign National living in Canada Boarding Flight

In order to board your flight to Canada, you must email IRCC at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca, or contact the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to obtain written authorization to fly to Canada. In addition, you must: perform a health check (symptomatic will be denied boarding); possess a valid visitor visa or ETA (if from visa-exempt country); have a valid passport; advise airline of your exemption from the travel restriction; inform consular or immigration officer that you are coming for an essential purpose (to live with your spouse, parent, or partner) and not for optional or discretionary travel (guidance according to the Quarantine Act). You will be refused entry if you do not have written authorization from the Government, or, if the Officer concludes that you are travelling or an optional or non-essential purpose.

There has been guidance that there is no exemption from the travel restrictions for accompanying family members of foreign nationals.  Again, the intent of the Quarantine Act orders is to restrict optional or discretionary travel as part of Canada’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The family reunification exemption may not be used for accompanying family because this was intended to allow foreign nationals who are separated as a result of the travel restrictions to return to Canada to be with their foreign national family members.

Mandatory Self-Isolation under the Quarantine Act

On April 14, 2020, PM Trudeau updated the Quarantine Act (implemented on March 25, 2020), effective for April 15, 2020 that anyone returning to Canada from abroad by air, land or sea, whether asymptomatic or not, must have a “credible quarantine plan” or will be forced to spend 14 days in isolation in a “quarantine location”.