Due to the current travel ban, most trips to Canada cannot take place. However, exceptions may be made in certain situations. For example, if the travel purpose is very important, or if the traveller is an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or resident. This page explains the exemptions that are currently in place and the procedures that must be followed.
eTA Canada not a guarantee for entry
Despite all the measures as a result of the coronavirus, it is still possible to submit an eTA application for Canada. The application is processed in the same way as before the coronavirus crisis. However, those that have a valid eTA do not yet have a guarantee that the trip to Canada can actually take place due to the current travel ban. This is only allowed if the exceptions and requirements on this page are met.
Who can travel to Canada despite the travel ban?
The current travel ban for Canada applies to travellers from all nationalities. Only a select few exceptions are made, namely for:
Citizens and inhabitants of Canada and their immediate family members
Persons with the Canadian nationality or Canadian Permanent Resident status, as well as their immediate family members. Immediate family members are: the spouse or legal partner, a dependent child, a child of a dependent child, a (step) parent, a guardian or an attendant. Immediate family members must provide two pieces of evidence. First, a piece of evidence showing that their family member is actually a Canadian citizen, or has Permanent Resident status. And secondly, proof that this person is actually an immediate family member.
Persons registered under the Canadian Indian Act
Persons at risk of persecution in their country of origin on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion may be considered a protected person.
Persons with a very important travel purpose flying directly from the USA
A member of the Canadian Immigration Department will assess upon arrival whether the reason is compelling enough to travel into the country. Furthermore, airlines and law enforcement may exclude travellers prior to departure if they believe that the traveller does not have a very important reason to travel to Canada. Though not mandatory, it is recommended to ask the Canadian immigration service (IRCC) in advance by e-mail whether the intended travel purpose is considered important enough.
Persons with a very important travel purpose that are not flying directly from the USA
Individuals who are not flying directly from the United States of America to Canada, but wish to travel to Canada because of a "very important travel purpose", as described in the previous section, must fall into one of the following categories in order to be admitted:
- Travellers with a Canadian work permit and a work-related travel purpose
- International students with a study permit issued on or before March 18 2020, who have to travel to Canada to study
- Travellers with a permanent residence permit granted on or before 18 March 2020
- Travellers who are only transferring in Canada and will not leave the airport transit zone
- Members of the Canadian Armed Forces, visiting Armed Forces, the Canadian Ministry of Defense and their immediate families
- Recognized diplomats and their immediate family members
- Air and ship crew
- French nationals who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have only been in Canada, the USA or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Canada
- All persons who, in the opinion of the head of the Canadian Public Health Organization, do not pose a threat to public health and will provide essential services during their stay in Canada
- Persons whose presence in Canada, according to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Ministry of Public Security or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is of national interest
- Persons who come to Canada at the invitation of the Minister of Health for support in controlling the coronavirus
- Persons providing medical supplies
Additional requirements for who can still travel
Travellers for whom an exemption to the travel ban is made must also be able to prove that they meet the following requirements:
- The stay in Canada must be at least 15 days
- The traveller passes the health check carried out or required by the airline company
- The traveller complies with the other precautions set by the airline company
- The traveller has a quarantine plan, which includes where and how the mandatory 14-day quarantine in Canada takes place, how to travel from the airport of arrival in Canada to the quarantine facility and how the necessary groceries, services and medical care are provided at the quarantine facility
- The traveller has a valid visa or eTA Canada
These terms and conditions continue to apply until at least July 21 for travellers traveling to Canada from the USA, and at least until July 31 for all other foreign travelers.
Canadian authorities strongly recommend not to travel with symptoms of coronavirus. Travellers showing symptoms of coronavirus will not be allowed to board any aircraft with a destination in Canada. Travellers who are unable to hand over a well-designed quarantine plan are also not allowed on Canadian territory.
Travelling to Canada after the travel ban
It is currently not know when the restrictions mentioned on this page will be lifted. Stay informed about this by regularly read the page on developements regarding the coronavirus in Canada.