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Canada To Provide ‘Limited Exemption’ To Reunite Families

Canada will provide an exemption to the U.S. border closure to allow close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enter. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the ’limited exemption’ in response to series of stories of families being separated by COVID-19 border closures.

“This is really difficult times to be apart from a spouse, a child or dad or mom. We hear that” Trudeau said in his daily COVID-19 briefings.

“That’s why we are announcing a limited exemption to allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to travel to Canada.”

The exemption applies to all qualified foreign nationals, irrespective of which country they are coming from. This exemptions is not only limited to eligible travelers entering Canada from the United States.

Foreign nationals can enter Canada if they are an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent residents and do not have coronavirus or exhibit any symptoms of the virus.

They will be allowed to enter Canada as long as the visit is at least fifteen (15) days long and they must self-quarantine by law for fourteen (14) days upon entering Canada.

Immediate family is defined as:

  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent children
  • Parents or step-parent
  • Guardian or tutors

These exemptions does not apply to temporary residents living in Canada. Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents can be reunited with their families.

Trudeau had noted on May 29th that the federal government was considering easing restrictions for immediate family, though it required to garner support from its provincial counterparts.

In a follow-up briefing some minutes after Trudeau’s announcements, immigration minister Marco Mendicino confirmed that the government successfully obtained such supports from the provinces.

The Minister said that these new exemptions for families was to bring families closer together, however the federal government would not allow short-term trips. This is meant to protect the health and safety of Canadian people.

Canada has implemented a series of special immigration measures since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

Many of the measures aim to ease the processing of immigration applications and movements of people during the pandemic.