Compassionate entry for travellers and limited release from quarantine
You need to request an exemption online if:
- You need to leave your place of quarantine for compassionate reasons
- You'll quarantine where you'll support, care or have the funeral or end-of-life ceremony
As of November 30, 2021, the following COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization will be accepted by the Government of Canada for travel to and within Canada.
- AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
- Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
- Moderna (mRNA-1273)
- Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
- Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)
- Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)
Fully vaccinated travellers may not be required to apply for a compassionate exemption. Check if you qualify as fully vaccinated
On this page
- Unvaccinated Canadians applying for a limited release from quarantine
- Foreign nationals applying for compassionate entry and/or limited release from quarantine
Unvaccinated Canadians applying for a 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.
If you don’t qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, or you require a limited release from quarantine on arrival, then you will need to apply for a compassionate exemption. Check if you qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption
Travelling within Canada
You’ll need to be fully vaccinated in order to board:
- domestic flights departing from most airports in Canada, including charter and foreign airlines carrying commercial passengers
- VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
Unvaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act who do not qualify as vaccinated are not able to board a flight or train to travel within Canada.
It is recommended that all travellers plan their trip accordingly by selecting a Canadian airport that is closest to their final destination.
Foreign nationals applying for compassionate entry and/or limited release from quarantine
Fully vaccinated foreign nationals are eligible to enter or return to Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller. Fully vaccinated travellers can apply for a compassionate exemption, prior to arrival, if they require a limited release from quarantine.
You will require a limited release from quarantine if you need to leave your place of quarantine for compassionate reasons or if you'll quarantine where you'll support, care or have the funeral or end-of-life ceremony.
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.
You can apply to enter and/or for limited release from quarantine for compassionate reasons if it's to:
- be present during the final moments of life for a loved one
- provide support to a person who's critically ill as determined by a licensed health care practitioner in Canada
- provide care to a person who has a medical reason as determined by a licensed health care practitioner in Canada
- attend a funeral or end-of-life ceremony
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:
- Canadian citizen
- person registered under the Indian Act
- permanent resident of Canada
- temporary resident of Canada
- protected person (refugee status)
All foreign nationals who don’t qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption, or who require a limited release from quarantine on arrival, must request an exemption online and receive written approval prior to their entry to Canada. Without this advanced approval, you'll likely be denied entry.
Once your application is approved
Print or take screenshots of your compassionate approvals and attachments to bring with you to enter Canada.
A government official makes the final decision for entry at the border, based on the information presented to them at the time.
All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. An approval under the Compassionate Exemption Program will not impact the processing time of your visa application. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for more information.
Testing and quarantine requirements for travellers
Travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe.
Meet all the entry requirements for your situation:
- Requirements for fully vaccinated travellers
- Requirements and exemptions checklists for unvaccinated, essential service workers and all others
Provincial and territorial requirements for travellers
Provinces and territories may have their own provincial border measures as well as public health guidelines within their jurisdictions. It‘s important that travellers check for the most up to date information for requirements for travel into Canada, but also requirements imposed by their intended province or territory of destination. They may also apply public health measures for vaccinated Canadians differently. In cases where the requirements differ, you must follow the most stringent measures.
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