Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Apply for a visitor visa, eTA, or study or work permit from outside Canada

Until further notice, most people can’t travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). If you’re exempt or in the US, you can travel to Canada if you’re coming for an essentialFootnote 1 (non-discretionary) purpose.

Make sure you meet one of the criteria to travel to Canada.

Due to the impacts of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we can’t

We’re prioritizing some applications, including

So we can keep processing applications from people who are able to travel to Canada, we’re temporarily changing how you can apply to visit, work or study in Canada.

Until May 19, 2020, processing of some applications is suspended, and the application process has changed for

On this page

Apply for a visitor visa or eTA

Follow these steps:

  1. You must check to make sure that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions if you’re outside the US.
  2. If you’re able to travel to Canada, use our online tool to find out if you need a visitor visa or an eTA (opens in new window).
  3. Select your situation from the list below and follow the steps.

If you’re not eligible to travel to Canada, don’t apply during the suspension (April 29 to May 19, 2020). You will not be able to come to Canada.

For more information, see Common questions about applying for a visitor visa or eTA.

What you need to do if you’re eligible to travel to Canada

If you’re eligible to travel to Canada at this time, what you need to do next depends on if you’ve applied already or not.

If you’ve applied already for

If you need to apply for

If you already applied for a visitor visa

Step 1: Email us at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca to tell us

Step 2: When emailing us, make sure you give us the following information:

Step 3: You’ll receive a notification, either via your IRCC Secure Account or in your email, confirming if your application is approved or refused or requesting more information, so we can make a decision.

If you haven’t been able to give your biometrics due to a service disruption, we’re now giving applicants an extension to complete this step. Find out more on giving biometrics.

If your application is approved, we’ll tell you the next steps in the process.

If you originally applied for a visitor visa by paper, you can link your application to an online account. In your online account, you can see the status of your application.

Your application won’t be processed until the suspension is lifted if

Step 4: You need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to fly to Canada.

Step 5: When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the airport.

You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

If you already applied for an eTA but haven’t heard back about next steps

Step 1: Send us a Web form to tell us

Step 2: When filling out the Web form, do the following:

Step 3: When you’ve filled out the form, make sure you do the following:

Step 4: Once an officer is satisfied that you meet one of the necessary criteria and are travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non discretionary) purpose, based on the evidence you have submitted, you’ll receive an email from IRCC with the next steps.

Step 5: You need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to fly to Canada.

Step 6: When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the airport.

 You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

If you need to apply for a visitor visa

While these temporary changes are in effect, we’ll process your visitor visa application only if

You also must meet all regular visitor visa eligibility and admissibility requirements.

When you apply for a visitor visa

For us to prioritize and process your application, you must self-identify on the application form that you qualify for an exemption if you’re outside the US and are coming for an essentialFootnote 1 (non discretionary) reason.

Step 1: If you need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, you must apply online for one. Only online applications will be accepted and processed.

Step 2: When answering the question on the application form about the purpose of travel, enter the following information exactly as written to ensure your application is prioritized:

Step 3: Pay the application fee and submit all required supporting documents, including giving biometrics.

As a special measure due to COVID-19, applicants are now being given more time to give biometrics. Find out more information on giving biometrics.

Step 4: You must provide evidence that you meet one of the travel restriction exemption criteria if you’re outside the US and are travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non discretionary) purpose. The type of evidence you need to provide depends on which criterion you qualify for.

For example, if you qualify as an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, you can provide one of the following:

  • a letter of support from your family member
  • your birth certificate
  • your marriage licence
  • a letter from your spouse, partner or parent

Step 5: You’ll receive an email confirming if your application is approved or refused, or you may receive a letter requesting more information, so we can make a decision. This will be sent to your IRCC Secure Account. If your application is approved, we’ll tell you the next steps in the process.

Your application won’t be processed until the suspension is lifted if

Step 6: You need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to fly to Canada.

Step 7: When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the airport.

 You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

If you need to apply for an eTA

Step 1: You’ll need to apply online for an eTA.

Step 2: After you apply, send us a Web form to tell us you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, if you’re outside the US, and you’re travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non discretionary) purpose.

Step 3: When filling out the Web form, do the following:

Step 4: When you’ve filled out the form, make sure you do the following:

Step 5: If your eTA is automatically approved, you’ll receive an approval email with the details of your eTA.

If your eTA is not automatically approved, you’ll receive an email with next steps.

Step 6: You need to prepare properly before arriving at the airport to fly to Canada.

Step 7: When you arrive in Canada, we’ll assess your health before you leave the airport.

  You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

Apply for a study or work permit

If you’re applying for a study permit or work permit from outside Canada during the suspension, you must apply online.

Once your application is processed and approved, find out if you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, if you’re outside the US, and can travel to Canada. All temporary foreign workers and some international students can travel to Canada for an essentialFootnote 1 (non-discretionary) purpose.

Before you travel

Before travelling to Canada, make sure you have what you need to show you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, if you’re outside the US, and evidence that you’re travelling for an essentialFootnote 1 (non-discretionary) purpose.

If you’re a student, you must bring

If you’re a temporary foreign worker, you must bring

Many non-essential businesses in Canada are closed or are operating with limited staff. If you have a job with a specific employer, check that the job you’ve been hired for is still available. If you have an open work permit, it may be difficult to find a job.

Airline officials will be conducting a health check, and anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be able to board their flight to Canada.

When you arrive in Canada

We’ll assess your health before you leave the airport.

You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

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