Immigration Canada Has Updated Their Entry Requirements, Allowing More Foreigners To Enter And Reunite With Family Members

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The Government of Canada has updated their entry requirements for foreigners in times of Covid-19 and implemented what the Prime Minister called a more compassionate approach especially for those who have been separated from family members for a longer period.

This also includes those individuals who are “in a committed relationship for at least a year” with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (a notarized declaration has to be provided).

The Canada / U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel through at least October 21, 2020 however it is to be expected that will will be once again extended. Canada has now locked down their border for international arrivals (some exemptions) for half a year with very little signs of loosening their tight grip as far as tourism is concerned.

The National Post wrote about the government update which has since been posted to the Immigration Canada website as well.

People desperate to bring extended family members to Canada as the world remains locked down due to COVID-19 are being given some hope by the federal government.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced Friday that more family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will now be eligible to enter the country.

“The pandemic is an ongoing threat and we need to continue to be cautious and restrictive about who can enter into Canada,” he said.

“We recognize, however, that these restrictions should not keep loved ones apart.”

Those now eligible for entry include adult children, siblings, grandparents and those who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year, which will have to be proven by a notarized declaration.

The process of how’ll they will be able to enter will be published online soon and those who have the needed documentation can arrive beginning Oct. 8. …

The federal government is also implementing a compassionate-entry program for those who don’t qualify as family but want to enter Canada for specific reasons, such as to see a dying loved one.

Those granted compassionate entry may also be exempt from the current 14-day quarantine requirement, pending discussions with local health officials. …

International students are also being granted more flexibility and starting Oct. 20 will be admitted if their places of learning have been identified by provincial governments as having suitable COVID-19 plans. …

This obviously brings back some form of reasonable approach and normality to immigration policy. Governments the world over have a problem on their hands because people are revolting against the harsh restrictions when it comes to immigration. These cases aren’t always cut and dry which causes problems over a long period, especially when it comes to people in relationships who aren’t married.

Obviously this also opens up some loopholes, after all a notarized declaration isn’t hard to produce and all it does it stating that right now and for the past year two individuals have been in a committed relationship. A relationship can end at anytime for a variety of reasons so this document wouldn’t be binding for the future.

You can access Health Canada here and research a suitable solution:

You’ll only be considered for an exemption to border restrictions at Canada’s ports of entry if your reason for travel is:

There are exemptions that will allow visiting immediate family members and extended family members to enter Canada. Your family member must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in order to enter Canada. …

To be considered an immediate family member, you must be in one of the following relationships:

  • you’re the spouse or common-law partner of the person
  • you‘re the dependent child of the person or the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • you’re the dependent child of a dependent child of the person
  • you’re the parent or step-parent of the person or the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • you’re the guardian or tutor of the person

You’ll be required to demonstrate that you plan on entering Canada for a period of at least 15 days.

In order to enter Canada as an extended family member, you must be in one of the following relationships:

  • in an exclusive dating relationship with the person for at least 1 year and have spent physical time together
  • a dependent child of the person you’re in an exclusive dating relationship with
  • a non-dependent child of the person or the person’s spouse, common-law partner, or the person you’re in an exclusive dating relationship with
    • a dependent child of this person
  • a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
  • a grandparent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner

You’ll also be required to:

  • demonstrate you intend to enter for a period of at least 15 days
  • have a declaration signed by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that confirms your relationship
  • be authorized in writing by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada to enter Canada to be with your extended family member

This is a very comprehensive, far reaching and generous policy which shouldn’t be abused.  Travellers are required to download the ArriveCAN app and provide arrival documentation to the government.

These policies have been implement as of October 8, 2020 and remain in place until further notice.

Conclusion

Canada has finally put a proper policy in place that should cover most if not all reasons why a foreigner would need to enter the country at this time. Going to Canada still includes a mandatory two week quarantine irrespective of being Covid negative or being able to provide a test to attest that. This is a bit out of touch in my opinion.

We’ll see what is going to happen to the U.S. / Canada border two weeks from now but I don’t see any changes. The government will likely announce yet another month of border closure for U.S. citizens seeking entry into Canada as the situation in the lower 48 isn’t much better than it was several weeks or months ago with the exception that vaccines are in the final phases of their clinical trials and await FDA approval.

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