Canada Explains Who Is Affected By Coronavirus Travel Ban

Ottawa provides details on who will be allowed into Canada amid coronavirus travel ban. The federal government issued a new official statement to clarify the terms of the travel ban first announced on Monday, March 16 to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Travel ban, which started on the 18th of March 2020 is in effect until June 30, 2020, at 12 p.m. EDT, according to the government statement.

Initially, government officials said the ban applied to all foreigners, but excluded Canadian citizens and permanent residents, close family members of Canadian citizens, as well as diplomats, aircrews, and U.S. citizens. The exception for United States citizens was amended on Wednesday to prevent non-essential travel across the border.

However, the new statement released by the government of Canada today confirms that close family members of Canadian permanent residents are also excluded from the travel ban, meaning they are still able to travel to Canada.

Who is Allowed to Travel to Canada

Besides Canadians citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families, Canada will allow certain people to be excluded from the travel ban.

The government’s website highlights Sixteen (16) scenarios that would permit a person to enter Canada, including the following exemptions which pertain to temporary and permanent residents:

  • immediate family members of permanent residents or Canadian citizens, immediate family members include spouses, common-law partners, dependent children of the resident or their partner, and grandchildren of permanent residents or citizens;
  • people who have been instructed, in writing, by a consular officer of Canadian citizens to enter the country for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members;
  • people who have only been in Canada or the United States during the fourteen (14) day period before arriving in Canada;
  • people who are deemed “protected persons” where their refugee protection has been conferred and they have not had their applications or claims subsequently considered being rejected;
  • people who will offer an “essential service” while in Canada; and
  • Individuals whose presence in the country is in the interest of the nation according to the opinion of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

There is also conflicting information on the status of the valid work and study permit holders who are presently outside of Canada and the United States.

Public speech made by Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Wednesday, March 18 was quoted as evidence that such people would be eligible to return to Canada.

However, recent federal government statements obtained by Canusim through email provide more information.

This statement suggests that work or study permit holders outside of Canada and the United States who are not the immediate family member of a permanent resident or Canadian citizen are forbidden from coming to Canada for the time being.

On the other hand, work and study permit holders currently in the United States, who have not travelled to any other country may be allowed to return to Canada as long as the travel is considered to be “essential”. The government has yet to define what “essential” travel is.