Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and immigration laws have been updated recently.
According to Bloomberg, the date and plan to re-open the Canada-US border are expected to be announced soon:
Canada is poised to propose a proposal to re-open the border with the United States. This proposal might unveil in a matter of days. The re-opening of the border schedule to done in stages, with fully vaccinated travelers being allowed in first. In our guide to Canada’s border re-opening, you’ll find all the latest information.
Please see the below for information on who is exempt from travel restrictions and expected visitors to Canada. At this time, Canada has created no specific provisions or exclusions for anyone who has already received a COVID-19 vaccine. All other restrictions and conditions for travel remain in place.
Canada extends flight bans from India and Pakistan:
The suspension of all commercial and private passenger aircraft arriving in Canada from India and Pakistan has been extended until June 21.
Canada has extended all travel restrictions until at least June 21, 2021, with all countries:
Bill Blair, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, announced Canada’s travel restrictions to all countries, including the United States, in a tweet on May 20, 2021. (the US restrictions manage through a separate order). Conditions will remain in force until June 21, 2021, at the earliest.
During COVID-19, who is allowed to enter Canada?
The majority of foreign nationals now prohibit from entering Canada; however, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Even if a person is exempt from the travel restrictions, they must nonetheless adhere to the particular precautions in place for visitors.
The following groups are eligible to cross the border into Canada by air or land:
- Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents;
- immediate family members* of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents who are travelling to Canada for non-discretionary reasons;
- extended family members** and long-term partners** of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (or their partners) who apply for written authorization from IRCC;
- immediate family members* of temporary residents in Canada who receive written permission from IRCC;
- temporary workers who hold a valid work permit or who are approved for a work permit but have not yet been issued the work permit (please note that flagpole is not permitted at this time, refer below for more details);
- IEC participants who have not yet activated their work permits must have a valid job offer in order to enter, this job offer does not need to be in an essential sector;
- IEC participants who have already activated their work permits and were outside the country temporarily do not require a valid job offer in order to re-enter ( note that anecdotal reports suggest airline staff and border officers may still deny entry without proof of a connection to Canada like employment, housing, or family);
- International students attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that is on the approved list (schools which have a COVID-19 readiness plan) and have either a valid study permit or a letter of introduction showing that they’ve been approved for a study permit ;
- COPR-holders with a valid COPR who are residing in any country other than the United States and were approved for their COPR before 12pm EDT on March 18, 2020, and who are travelling to Canada to settle permanently ;
- COPR-holders with valid COPR who are residing in the United States and approve on the date (even after March 18, 2020) and who are travelling to Canada to settle permanently ;
- those granted special permission to enter for compassionate reasons.
What do you need to bring with you to Canada for COVID-19?
If you do decide to visit Canada at this time, you must meet severe entrance conditions. First, double-check that you are permitted to visit Canada (refer to the section above on who can and cannot enter at this time). If you qualify for a travel restriction exemption, you will need the following documents to enter:
Pre-departure negative when entering via air COVID-19 test:
All air passengers over five must-have negative COVID-19 test results acquired no more than 72 hours before boarding their aircraft (or a positive COVID-19 test result 14 to 90 days before boarding). The traveler is responsible for obtaining test results. (Photo courtesy of the Government of Canada)
COVID-19 testing and mandatory hotel stay for air travelers arriving in Canada:
All air travelers arriving in Canada must complete a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival (Source: Government of Canada). Then, while waiting for test results, travelers must quarantine for up to three days at their own expense in a government-approved hotel. Before boarding their aircraft, passengers must book a hotel room at a government-approved hotel.
COVID-19 testing criteria for those crossing the US border by land:
All non-essential travelers entering Canada through the land border from the United States must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the United States within 72 hours of crossing the border (or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days before arrival). Travelers entering Canada through the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and another COVID-19 test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. (Photo courtesy of the Government of Canada)
Quarantine for all travelers requires 14 days:
Anyone who enters Canada will be. Before you arrive in Canada, you must establish an isolation plan that outlines where and how you will finish your quarantine. This quarantine strictly enforces, and anyone who violates it may face fines and imprisonment time. There will be some exceptions for critical personnel and, in particular, compassionate situations (Source: IRCC). In some parts of Canada, a new obligatory quarantine format with less mandatory isolation and testing is testing.
All travelers – Download the ArriveCAN app:
Travelers arriving in Canada by plane must use the ArriveCAN app to input travel/contact information, quarantine plans, and COVID-19 self-assessments. (Image courtesy of the Government of Canada.)
There are no special provisions to exempt COVID-19 vaccine recipients from any of the Canadian travel restrictions and criteria. Please note that just four Canadian airports now allow international arrivals.