The COVID-19 virus pandemic continues to take center stage in the area of immigration law. The men and women who control our borders are very busy at determining who can and who cannot enter Canada.
Every category of immigration has its own list of the types of cases who can enter Canada. It is mandatory for every person who is arriving, regardless of who they are, that they must self-quarantine for 14 days. If they don’t have a plan in place for self-quarantine then that person will have to follow the recommendations of the public health department as to where they will have to self-quarantine. So it is much better to have a plan in place before commencing your travel.
If a person has a visitor visa and they want to come to Canada, it appears that the only ones being allowed to do so are those who are close family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident OR be an immediate family member of someone who is temporarily in Canada and they must obtain written authorization from the government of Canada. They must email the government of Canada at the following unique email address: IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca
The web link for updates by the government is: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html
An immediate family member is defined as a spouse or common-law partner; dependent child; dependent child of a dependent child; parent or step-parent; guardian or tutor.
The government recommends to follow the following list in order to board your flight to Canada, you must
- have your health checked by airline officials to confirm that you
don’t have symptoms of COVID‑19, including a fever, a cough and difficulty
- Anyone showing symptoms will not be allowed to board.
- tell the airline that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions
- show that you’re travelling to Canada for an essential (non-discretionary) reason and not for reasons that are optional or non-essential, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment
- present proof to show that you’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
- make sure you have a valid travel document (visitor visa or eTA) and a passport that is valid to fly to Canada.
I think regardless of any category you fit in, make contact with the airline of your choice and see what requirements they have in place in addition to what the government of Canada has imposed as their conditions for entry.
For INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS they are allowed to travel if their study permit issued before MARCH 18TH, 2020. But they will need to do a medical exam supervised by the airline they will travel on. Further, on line courses will not affect their ability to obtain a post graduate work permit.
Plus some students are allowed to work while on a study permit if they are essential workers in the health sector.
For foreign workers, if you have a work permit that is approved and you have a letter that goes with it then you are allowed to travel and enter Canada but self quarantine is mandatory. Further, it is best for the worker to check if they still have a job or not.
It is very true that all jobs in the health sector and in the agriculture industry, that those jobs are considered essential workers. The LMIA or labour market impact assessment for jobs in these categories are being approved and processed much faster than they used to be.
It is strongly advisable though that any and all persons who are going to travel to Canada ought to be in contact with the airline they intend to use and discuss with the airline first and to take any medical exam they are being instructed to take. It is possible that a person could meet the criteria for exemption to travel and still not be able to board a plane. It is quite simply a moving target at this time which is not going to see any significant changes at present time.
Further, it appears the only persons who are exempt from self-quarantine are truck drivers driving back and forth between Canada and USA. Others may be exempt but its best to check the OIC (orders in council) announcements like this one at the following web link: https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/attachment.php?attach=39166&lang=en It is best to closely monitor the government web site and list of exemption categories on a daily basis.