Once again, Canada has extended the travel restrictions due to the challenges posed by the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. Canada had imposed the travel restrictions for the first time on 18 March and has been extending it every month, keeping in mind the health and safety of all Canadians.
As of now, Canadian shores are open only to travelers deemed essential by the government. In the previous travel restriction updates, the Canadian government has identified certain criteria that would exempt the individuals wanting to travel to Canada from the travel restrictions. Travelers are also exempt from the travel restriction if they are traveling for compassionate reasons.
Individuals should satisfy the following criteria if they wish to travel to Canada:
- Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.
- Individuals who have already been approved for Permanent residence.
- Certain essential temporary workers.
- Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Medical/Health specialist willing to provide services in Covid-19 related fields.
- Certain International students whose DLIs have Coronavirus readiness plan approved by the Federal or Provincial government.
- Extended family members of Canadian citizens.
- Protected individuals.
In October, Canada has eased travel restrictions for International students. As of 20th October, Designated Learning institutes in Canada that have a Coronavirus Readiness Plan approved by the province and federal government are allowed to host international students.
A major statement which was issued by Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino stated that the international students who have received their study permits and are enrolled at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) but are stuck at their home countries due to the pandemic will be allowed to travel to Canada after 20 October if the DLI they have enrolled at requires in-class attendance for lab-work or workshops. International students will only be able to travel if the DLI they have enrolled at follows all the necessary guidelines and has a Covid-19 readiness plan as per the requirements mentioned by the state or the province their DLI is located in. International students should have a study permit or have been approved for one.
According to the Canadian government, Coronavirus Readiness Plan is necessary because it;
- Protects the health and safety of all students and the surrounding community
- Describes how they will manage the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international students, including arrangements for transportation to the students’ quarantine location.
- Provides information and support to international students about how they can get the items they need for their quarantine, like food and medications.
There is a 14-day mandatory quarantine rule that is to be followed by every individual who travels to Canada. The only exceptions to the quarantine rule are:
- Crew members of any airline.
- People invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 response and other healthcare workers.
- People coming to Canada in order to receive medical services.
Canada is also issuing invites to apply for permanent residence even during the pandemic to applicants living in Canada as well as overseas. Travel restrictions specify that only those candidates who have received their permanent residence before March 18th will be allowed to travel to Canada. Canadian border services officers have the full authority on selecting which individual is eligible to enter the country and which individual is not.