Changes to travel restrictions for family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
On June 8, the Canadian government announced modifications to the travel restrictions put in place to prevent the propagation of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These changes, which have been highly anticipated, touch on the rights of direct family members to visit Canadian citizens and permanent residents during the period of border shutdown.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that as of June 8, 2020 23:59 EST, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe that they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
Immediate family members include the following:
spouse or common-law partners
dependent children, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
dependent children of a dependent child
parents or step-parents or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
guardians or tutors
Foreign nationals admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must still quarantine for 14 days and should have a quarantine plan in place when arriving at the border.
It is important to note that this change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work permit.
Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in immigration law, administrative law and professional discipline litigation.