Visa Crunch

Relaxation in travel ban for family members and people traveling to Canada for compassionate reasons.

From October 6, people coming from overseas will be allowed to enter Canada even if they are extended family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and are traveling for compassionate reasons.

According to the government of Canada, The extended family members of Canadian citizens who are exempt from travel restrictions are as follow:

  • Exclusive partner of a Canadian who is in a relationship with others for at least a year, and have been in the physical presence of each other during their relationship.
  • Grand-children of Canadian citizens.
  • Siblings (Including Step and half-siblings).
  • Children of Citizens over the age of 22.

The above-mentioned individuals should existing eligibility and admission criteria to travel but do not require an essential reason to explain their travel to the country, provided that they stay in Canada for more than 15 days and are required to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The travelers should give thorough documentation to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which should include a signed statutory declaration which proves that they are an extended family member to a Canadian citizen, should be traveling with a valid passport and visitor visa, and should have written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member.

According to IRCC, more information on this front would be available on October 8 and travelers will not be allowed until they have submitted all the required documents and authorizations.

Another new step taken by the IRCC states that people traveling from overseas for compassionate reasons such as providing support to critically ill people, being present with someone with a terminal illness, or in case of a death of a loved one to be able to attend their funeral proceedings. Rules and requirements for people traveling for compassionate reasons will be available from October 8 on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

“The travel restrictions we’ve put in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians remain in effect, and we must continue to be disciplined and vigilant in our response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. The updates announced today respond to the needs of Canadian families who have been separated from their loved ones by international borders, some of whom are facing the most difficult period of their lives. Canadians and anyone intending to travel to Canada must follow the quarantine requirements and public health guidelines to help control the spread of COVID‑19. There are strict but necessary penalties in place for those who break these rules.”

—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship

“Canadians made sacrifices, often heartbreaking, to respond to this new virus. Thanks to the measures in place and the public health presence at ports of entry, we can now confirm a new process for entry applications. While we want to be compassionate, we also need to manage the risk of community spread, and we must all continue to be vigilant. Cases of COVID‑19 are increasing, and we must all follow public health measures.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Health

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