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Executive Summaries Mar 19, 2020

COVID-19: Clarifications on Land Border and Air Travel to Canada

Following the recent announcement by the Canadian government to close the Canada-U.S. border to non-essential travel between the two countries, the clarifications below have been made, which, are subject to change:

1. US Citizens, green card holders or foreign nationals that have a Canadian visa issued in their passport or are in possession of a valid Canadian temporary work permit, can be denied entry into Canada from a land border if they are considered to be “Non-essential travel”

2. US citizens can also be barred from entry into Canada from a land border if they have been in a recent hot spot in the past 14 days or if they show symptoms upon arrival. For Canadian Citizens and/or permanent residents and/or First Nations, including family members, this measure would not apply but they would be required to self-isolate if allowed entry into the country

3. Travel to land borders for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. There is no definition of clarification provided at this time as the what is considered “essential” apart from what has been published below:

“Essential to the movement of goods and people. This includes travel associated with the movement of healthy workers in the trades and transportation sector such as flight crews, truck drivers, railroaders, mariners, or the movement of other healthy workers across our border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers.”

4. International students and temporary foreign workers who are outside of Canada and the United States will not be permitted to board an aircraft to return to Canada, unless they are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

5. Disclaimer: There is no official position on how this is being applied at airports or land borders: Foreign nationals who have resided in the United States and/or Canada continuously for the last 14 days immediately prior to travel to Canada may be permitted to travel by plane to Canada

6. There are ongoing discussions within the government as to whether non-essential travel (work or study permit holders) will be permitted to enter Canada from the U.S. given the current travel ban

BCF is continuing to monitor official announcements from the Canadian government. Please contact our immigration professionals if you have any questions.

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