Canada Announces Further COVID-19 Travel Exemptions for Foreigners Looking to Enter Canada
Canada is continuing to ease up on travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This time, Canada is allowing international students and family members of Canadians to enter Canada.
Ministers responsible for immigration, health, and public safety announced these changes earlier this month at a press conference.
During the press conference, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino stated that beginning on October 8, certain extended and immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to travel to Canada, with certain restrictions.
Family members who qualify for a travel exemption include:
- Romantic partners that are in exclusive long-term relationships with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Dependent children
- Adult children
A press release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) added to the announcement, explaining that there would be a strict process in place for family members looking to enter Canada. This process involves applying for and obtaining government authorization before traveling to Canada.
As of October 20, any international students that are currently enrolled at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) will also be able to enter Canada. The main stipulations are that international students must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, and the DLI must have a COVID-19 readiness plan that has been approved by the province or territory it is located in.
The DLI can include universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that the government has approved to allow international students to study.
Until October 20th, international students will only be allowed to travel to Canada if their program requires in-class participation. This can include labs and/or workshops.
Prior to this exemption, COVID-19 travel restrictions in place since March dictated that students would only be able to enter Canada if their study permits had been approved prior to March 18.
Foreign nationals can now also apply to enter Canada for compassionate reasons, such as travelling to attend a funeral.
While these travel exemptions are a step in the right direction, COVID-19 travel protocols are still in place and must be followed.
As with any other incoming travelers, individuals newly exempted from travel restrictions must self-quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in Canada and provide evidence of a valid quarantine plan.