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Coronavirus related travel restrictions in Canada

Posted on April 13, 2020
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Canada travel restrictions

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many countries to impose travel restrictions to prevent outsiders from entering the country. These restrictions have caused confusion among international immigrants, students and employees. Canada is among the many countries that has introduced travel restrictions to control the spread of Coronavirus. What do these restrictions mean for the various categories of immigrants in the country or wanting to enter Canada?

 Canadian government travel restrictions:

The Canadian government has imposed travel restrictions on its citizens, permanent residents and family members of Canadians. However, it has made exemptions for ‘essential’ travel.  Also, temporary foreign workers, study permit holders and PR visa holders who are not yet in the country can enter the country.

These restrictions came into effect from March 27,2020.

International flights arriving in Canada have been restricted to the four airports below:

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport

 Exemptions to the rule:

There are exemptions to these travel restrictions. Such exemptions apply to all foreign nationals who are working, studying or have made Canada their home. The following persons are now permitted to enter Canada:

  • Persons holding valid Canadian work permits or Canadian study permits
  • Persons approved under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) for a work permit but have not yet received it
  • Persons who have been approved a study permit by IRPA before March 18 but have not yet received it
  • Persons who have been approved a PR visa by IRPA before March 18 but have not yet become one
  • Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident which includes the spouse or common-law partner, dependent child of the person or the person’s spouse, the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse

Entry ban:

The following persons are not allowed to enter Canada:

  • Entry into Canada is forbidden to foreign nationals who want to come here for travel, leisure or entertainment.
  • Foreign nationals with a valid visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), but with no study or work permit will not be allowed entry.

 Permission to stay:

  • Temporary residents who are already living in Canada are entitled to stay if they have a legal status
  • Temporary residents who wish to extend their status can make an online application and can continue to stay in Canada while the application for extension is under process

Compulsory self-isolation:

All persons entering Canada from abroad (including Canadian citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals) will have to undergo compulsory self-isolation for 14 days after entering Canada.

Travel restrictions are one of the many steps the Canadian government is taking to stop the spread of Coronavirus and protect its people. However, these rules are subject to change in keeping with the fluid nature of the Coronavirus pandemic. Foreign nationals planning to travel to Canada must be aware of the latest rules before making their travel plans.

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