Today, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expanded the list of persons who are eligible to travel to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic and confirmed the ongoing efforts by the Government of Canada to protect Canadian public health.

In an official statement, the Government of Canada made clear, in addition to the border restrictions that remain in place, that they continue to strengthen the public health presence at the border and enhance quarantine monitoring. These efforts include 100 designated screening officers making approximately 4,300 live calls and 3,500 automated calls daily to travelers entering Canada, for a total of nearly a million contacts since March 2020.

With all of the updated robust protections in place, new processes are being introduced to support greater family reunification, entry for compassionate reasons, and the safe and gradual entry of some international students.

Under the new guidance, the following persons are added to those admissible to Canada:

  • Travelers in exclusive dating relationship of at least a year, and their dependent children, with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (traveler and dependent children must have spent time in the physical presence of the Canadian citizen or permanent resident);
  • Adult children, grandchildren, siblings, half-siblings, step-sibling, and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Travelers entering for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death, with potential limited release from quarantine;
  • International students, starting October 20, 2020, if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan in place.

The non-student travelers detailed above are eligible to travel to Canada without demonstrating that they are entering for a purpose that is non-optional or non-discretionary, if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • Will be staying in Canada for 15 days or more;
  • Provide IRCC with the required documentation, including a completed and signed statutory declaration, to show that they meet the definition of an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements to enter Canada;
  • Are travelling to Canada with a valid passport and travel document (visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), if needed); and
  • Have received written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member.

The immigration legal team at Moodys Tax continues to stay on the pulse of changes in immigration law and policy. Stay tuned for the latest.

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