Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Who can travel to Canada – Citizens, persons registered under Canada’s Indian Act, permanent residents, foreign nationals and refugees 

To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

These restrictions stop most non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.

Who can enter Canada

You can travel to and enter Canada if you’re a

Foreign nationals, including United States (US) citizens, can travel to Canada only if they’re eligible.

Foreign nationals who are eligible to travel to Canada

To be eligible to travel to Canada as a foreign national, you must meet the requirements for one of the following:

Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident

To be eligible, you must be both

  • an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident
  • staying in Canada for 15 days or more

You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you’ll quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.

Immediate family members staying for less than 15 days must be travelling for a non-discretionary purpose.

Find out who’s considered an immediate family member and how to unite with them

Extended family members of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident

To be eligible, all of the following must apply:

  • You’re an extended family member of a Canadian citizen, person registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent resident.
  • You’re staying in Canada for 15 days or more.
  • You have written authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you’ll quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.

Extended family members staying for less than 15 days must be travelling for a non-discretionary purpose.

Find out who’s considered an extended family member and how to unite with them

Coming for compassionate reasons

If you’re a foreign national travelling to Canada for a compassionate reason, you must get authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada to travel to and enter Canada.

Examples of compassionate reasons can include:

  • being present during the final moments of life for a loved one
  • providing support to a person deemed critically ill
  • providing care to a person who medically requires support
  • attending a funeral or end-of-life ceremony

If you’re not eligible to come for compassionate reasons, you must meet the requirements for immediate or extended family members or all other foreign nationals who are eligible to travel to the country.

All other foreign nationals

To be eligible, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You must be travelling directly from the US for a non-discretionary purpose.
  • You must be exempt from the travel restrictions and be travelling for a non-discretionary purpose.
Travellers coming from outside the US who are exempt from the travel restrictions
  • temporary foreign workers
  • some international students
  • some people who have been approved to become a permanent resident of Canada, but who are not yet permanent residents
  • immediate family members with written authorization from IRCC to reunite with a temporary resident of Canada (see Uniting with immediate family members for more information)
  • transiting passengers (must remain in the secure transit area of a Canadian airport to complete their connection)
  • members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces coming to perform official duties, Department of National Defence and their immediate family members
  • accredited diplomats and their immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
  • air and marine crew members
  • French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have been in only Canada, the US or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days before the day they seek to enter Canada
  • any person who does not pose a significant harm to public health, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and who will provide an essential service while in Canada
  • any person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest, in the opinion of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; or Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • If you fall under this exemption, you don’t have to demonstrate that you’re entering Canada for a non-discretionary reason.
  • any person who is coming at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of COVID-19 assistance
  • any person whose purpose is to make medical deliveries

You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you will quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.

Public health measures for travellers to Canada

If you’re travelling by air, you need to

Arrival in Canada

ArriveCAN

As of November 21, 2020, you must use ArriveCAN before checking in at the airport or crossing the border to submit your

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment

Please bring your ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper) with you to show the border services officer upon arrival.

Travellers entering Canada by air, land or sea must

Quarantine requirement

When you arrive in Canada by air, land or sea, we’ll assess your health before you leave the POE. If you’re a foreign national, and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you won’t be allowed to enter Canada.

You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada, including

This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. A border services officer will determine if you can enter the country.

The penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you’re in the country can include

Only people who provide essential services, for example truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

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