Travel Information

This page was last updated: May 27, 2020**Disclaimer: We strive to update the information on this page as quickly as possible.

 

My office has received many questions on travel outside of Canada during these unprecedented times.

Below are some commonly asked questions, as well as links to important information and contact numbers.

If you have any travel questions not answered below, please feel free to contact my office directly.

 

I heard that the Canada-U.S. Border is closing. When is that happening?

  • The Canada-U.S. Border closed at Midnight on March 20th, 2020 to all non-essential travel.
  • For more information on the U.S.-Canada joint border closure for non-essential purposes, please visit here.

 

Do you have more information on the recent domestic travel restrictions in place?

  • By air:
    • A requirement for all air operators to conduct a health check of travelers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This would include asking health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the traveler follow guidance from local health authorities.
    • A requirement for air operators to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveler’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19. These measures will apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more.
    • A requirement for air operators to notify travelers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.
  • By rail:
    • A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to do a health check to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms before they board a train, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This will include company representatives asking simple health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the passenger follow guidance from local health authorities.
    • A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveler’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
    • These measures do not apply to commuter trains.
    • For general information on these restrictions, visit here.

 

I am currently outside of Canada. Should I be returning home to Canada earlier than planned?

  • Yes, you should!
  • It’s recommended that all Canadians abroad return to Canada by commercial means while they are still available.
  • However, some countries have put measures in place such as closing land borders and in some cases shutting down airspace.
  • In some cases, such measures can go as far as the complete cancellation of flights for an indeterminate amount of time and may prevent some Canadians from leaving the country in which they are located.

 

Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?

 

The Government mentioned that there is financial support for Canadians abroad. How can I access that?

  • The government set up a loan program of up to $5,000 per person to assist Canadians who need to either book an emergency flight or extend their stay abroad. For financial assistance, Canadians abroad can contact the nearest Government of Canada office, Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or email finances.CV19@international.gc.ca.

 

 What happens when I return to Canada?

  • All travelers returning from outside Canada must complete mandatory self-isolation for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
  • Travelers must also have a quarantine plan upon entry into the country. Any traveler without an adequate quarantine plan will quarantine at a Government location at the cost of the Federal government.
  • Failure to self-isolate may result in fines or prison time. 
  • If you have symptoms upon arrival, CBSA will provide instructions and will direct you to health authorities.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days:
  • How to self-isolate

 

Should I be cancelling my travel plans because of COVID-19?

  • To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
  • If you must travel outside of the country during this time, you should do the following:
  • The Government of Canada is also advising that you avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.

 

Will travel insurance cover me if I get COVID-19 outside of the country?

  • On March 13th, 2020 the official global travel advisory came into affect. As a result, travel insurance providers are no longer providing coverage for travel booked on or after this date.
  • If you are already outside Canada, including the United States, choosing to stay abroad could change or complicate your travel health insurance coverage, including losing coverage for COVID-19 and other conditions. Your travel insurance provider may only give you a 10-day notice before placing limits on your insurance policy. It is your responsibility to know and understand the terms of your insurance policy. Read the fine print carefully and ask for help, if you need it. Check with your travel insurance provider to know more about your policy related to COVID-19.

 

Visitors to Canada:

  • https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html
  • Travel for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. If you are in Canada, and are seeking to travel to the border in order to make an application for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence, you are asked to consider federal and provincial guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. Do not travel to the border for these services until further notice.
  • If you are currently in Canada as a visitor, student or worker, you can apply online to IRCC to extend your temporary resident status. By doing so, you can continue to stay, study or work in Canada while your application is being processed. This is referred to as implied status, and as long as you apply before your current document expires, your current immigration authorizations and conditions remain unchanged.  In-Canada services are available through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Visitor Visa/Study Permit/Work Permit 

  • New applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online
  • At this time, if you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, apply online.
  • Due to service disruptions related to COVID-19, we are experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in person at a VACTemporary foreign workers, approved PR and students
  • Temporary foreign workers, some international students and approved permanent residents who haven’t yet landed are now able to enter Canada.
  • The travel restriction exemptions that were announced are now in place. If you’re exempt, you can now travel to Canada.
  • If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
  • When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.
  • Only people who provide essential services and truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods are exempt from the isolation requirements.
  • More information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

 

Other Important Links:

Travel Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

General COVID-19 Travel Advice: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#

Border tips for returning Canadian snowbirds: https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/03/border-tips-for-returning-canadian-snowbirds.html

 

This page was last updated: May 27, 2020**Disclaimer: We strive to update the information on this page as quickly as possible.