Compassionate entry for travellers and limited release from quarantine

We understand that you're arriving under difficult circumstances, but all travellers entering Canada, regardless of citizenship, must follow testing and quarantine requirements.

On this page

Applying for an exemption

You must make an online application request to enter and/or for a limited release from quarantine for compassionate reasons if it's to:

A limited release from quarantine is required when:

The person you'll care for, visit at end of life, or attend the funeral of must reside in Canada and be one of the following:

As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers aren't required to apply for a compassionate exemption. Vaccines must be accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel to and within Canada. Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Canadians

You can apply for a limited release from quarantine for compassionate reasons if you don't qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and require a limited release from the 14-day quarantine period on arrival.

Find out if you qualify as fully vaccinated.

Travelling within Canada

Unvaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act are not able to board a flight or train to travel within Canada.
You'll need to qualify as fully vaccinated in order to board:

  • domestic flights departing from most airports in Canada, including charter and foreign airlines carrying commercial passengers
    • Medevac flights are excluded, regardless of where they depart or land
    • Private flights that don't require access to airports with a vaccination requirement are excluded
  • VIA Rail, AMTRAK, White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR), and Rocky Mountaineer trains

When planning your trip, we recommend that you choose the Canadian airport closest to your final destination.

For more information, please consult: Boarding flights and trains in Canada.

Unvaccinated foreign nationals

If you don't qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must make an online application request to enter for compassionate reasons and receive written approval prior to your entry to Canada. Without this advanced approval, you'll likely be denied entry.

You can also apply for a limited release from quarantine for compassionate reasons if you require a limited release from the 14-day quarantine period on arrival.

Request an exemption online

Travelling within and departing Canada

If you're a foreign national permitted entry into Canada without qualifying as fully vaccinated, you may take a connecting flight that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the departure time for your flight to Canada.

If you don't qualify as fully vaccinated and don't permanently reside in Canada, you'll continue to be allowed to depart Canada (via air or rail) until August 31, 2022.

As of February 28, 2022, if you're travelling outbound from Canada and don't qualify as fully vaccinated, you must show proof of a valid COVID-19 test result (molecular or antigen).

After August 31, 2022, you'll need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight or train to depart Canada.

For more information, please consult: Boarding flights and trains in Canada.

Once your application is approved

  • Print or take screenshots of your compassionate approvals and attachments. Bring these with you to enter Canada.
  • A government official will make the final decision for entry at the border, based on information presented to them.
  • International travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada.
  • An approval under the Compassionate Exemption Program won't impact the processing time of your visa application.
  • Find out if you need a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Please note, Compassionate Exemption applications do not expedite or prioritize the processing of visa applications.

Testing and quarantine requirements for travellers

Travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe.

Make sure you meet all the entry requirements for your situation:

Provincial and territorial requirements for travellers

It's important to check for the most up to date information on travel requirements to enter Canada. Each province and territory sets their own provincial border measures and public health guidelines.

They may also apply public health measures for vaccinated Canadians differently. Where the requirements differ, you must follow the stricter rules.

COVID-19: Provincial and territorial resources

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