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

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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 an authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to travel to and enter Canada.

Examples of compassionate reasons can include

  • being present during the final moments of life of 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

After you get an authorization from PHAC

You may also need to apply for a visitor visa or eTA. This will allow you to board your flight and travel to Canada.

If you don’t know which travel document you need to travel to Canada, use our online tool to find out if you need a visitor visa or eTA.

Participating in an International Single-Sport Event (ISSE)

You may be eligible to come to Canada to participate in an ISSE, if you’re a

  • high-performance amateur athlete
  • person providing essential support and are affiliated with your national organization responsible for that sport

To come to Canada, your National Sport Organization must

  • get a letter of authorization from the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage (PCH)
  • receive ongoing support from provincial or territorial governments and local public health authorities

You need to bring the letter of authorization with you to travel to and enter Canada.

In most cases you also need a visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). PCH will give you instructions about when to apply for your visitor visa or eTA (if needed) and how to get your application prioritized.

Find out more about the authorization process.

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.
    • This exemption may be applied only by any of the 3 ministers listed above.
    • This exemption is for exceptional circumstances only. All other options must be considered before it will be considered.
    • If you think you may qualify for a national interest exemption, you can contact your nearest visa office.
  • 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.

Before you travel to Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts most travel to Canada. If you’re eligible to travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive. Use the checklist that applies to you:

You need to use ArriveCAN

Use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.

Make sure you’re using the newest version of ArriveCAN. If you previously submitted your information using an older version of ArriveCan, you must download the latest version and resubmit your information.

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