Travel to Canada: Most Recent Updates (October 2020)

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Travel to Canada

The government of Canada is updating its exemptions to travel restrictions for international students, family members, and those entering the country for compassionate reasons. The Minister for Immigration, Health, and Public Safety announced the recent changes in travel to Canada and its restrictions on 2nd October 2020.

While the county’s border will remain closed for another 30 days, at least for non-essential visits, the new changes will allow international students and more family members into the country. These changes will come into effect throughout the month.

International students

If you are an international student, you’ll be able to enter the country effective 20th October 2020. However, the relevant territorial or provincial government should have approved your Designated Learning Institution (DLI)’s COVID-19 readiness plan before you can enter the country and resume your studies.

International students who will be exempted from travel restrictions are mainly those whose academic courses need in-class participation, for instance, workshops and labs.

When the government of Canada started restricting international travel in March 2020, only students whose study permits had been approved before 18th March could enter the country. They also exempted students from the US from the restrictions.

Extended Family members

Effective October 8th, if you are an extended family member of a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, you can enter the country. The categories of persons who will be allowed entry include:

  • Adult children
  • Dependent children
  • Siblings and grandparents
  • Grandchildren
  • Those in dating relationships of more than a year

Compassionate reasons for entry

If you wish to enter Canada for reasons such as attending a funeral, critical injury, life-threatening illnesses, or death, you can apply to enter the country on compassionate grounds. You don’t have to be a relative of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to enter the country for compassionate reasons.

 The government has stated that it will post more detailed guidance on persons who qualify to enter the country on IRCC’s website on 8th October 2020.

Quarantine requirements

All travelers who will enter the country must self-quarantine for two weeks upon entry. The government authorities enforce this quarantine requirement. If you go against your quarantine requirements, you could attract a fine or serve a jail term.

Extension of the international travel ban

The country has extended the ban on entry to most foreigners until 31st October 2020. The same exemptions and restrictions as has been in place in the previous months will continue to apply. Those who can enter the country include:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Canadian permanent residents
  • Immediate family members of Canadian permanent residents and citizens—effective October 8th, this group will include extended family members and long-term couples.
  • Temporary residents’ immediate family members—those who receive IRCC’s written authorization
  • Persons with temporary work permits
  • IEC participants with active work permits or those who haven’t activated their work permits but have valid job offers.
  • International students with approved study permits—as of 20th October, this will include those attending a DLI that has been approved by territorial or provincial health authorities as having a COVID-19 readiness plan.
  • Persons with a valid COPR

Immigration updates

There are also plans to expedite the process of applying for a spousal sponsorship. The government plans to process over 600 applications monthly.

Canada continues to welcome qualified foreigners to fill labor gaps in the country. It will allow selected persons to settle in the country after the COVID-19 pandemic. Open draws include:

  • Express Entry
  • PNP—Provincial Nominee Program
  • Quebec
  • BC—British Columbia

The government conducted three Express Entry draws on September 2020. In the draws, it sent a whopping 12600 invitations to successful nominees. The number is the second largest in the country’s history.

Are you planning to study or work in Canada? Rameh Law can help you with navigating the legal process of settling in Canada. Get in touch with us today.

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