Throughout the years, Canada has managed to establish itself as a staunch advocate for a convenient and hassle-free immigration. In these efforts, the country’s own government has also managed to work its way through pre-set travel bans and border closures.
A current problem
In today’s context, where the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on around the world, the country’s government has rolled out a first travel ban order. Given the current situation of the virus in Canada, the country’s immigration is much tighter than ever as it seeks to flatten the curve as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, the Canadian government has also recognized the growing need for both permanent residents and permit holders to come back home. This resulted in an opening for foreign nationals and permanent residents to circumvent the current travel ban itself.
With the help of set travel ban exemptions, those keen to emigrate or make their way back home can successfully do so as long as the right documents are made available.
If you’re currently abroad and wish to come back home during the pandemic or know someone in the same predicament, here’s all you need to know about the current travel ban exemption:
Who is exempted?
Amidst the current border closures in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the country’s immigration ministry has set a few exemptions for various types of visas, permanent residents, and permit holders. Here’s the current list of qualifying individuals that can re-enter the country during this health crisis:
1. International students
If you’re an international student who currently holds a valid Canadian study permit or are currently enrolled or accepted at a Designated Educational Institution, then you are allowed to travel back to Canada. It is worth noting, however, that your permit or status of enrollment must have been handed out before the implementation of the set travel restrictions to qualify for the exemption.
International students are also required by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to self-identify themselves to airlines before boarding. They should do so by providing a valid study permit or letter of introduction dated on or before March 18, 2020.
2. Temporary workers
Another demographic that is exempt from the current travel ban is temporary workers who had been working in Canada or those who have made arrangements to emigrate for work before the travel ban. Aside from pre-existing workers, however, new employees coming to the country for work in various key sectors, such as food processing, health, transportation, agriculture, and emergency services, are also exempt.
Similar to international students, temporary workers are required to identify themselves before boarding and provide a letter of introduction from the CIC or a valid work permit.
3. Holders of permanent resident visas
The CIC has also made it clear that current holders of Canadian permanent resident visas that have made arrangements to settle in the country before the travel restrictions may enter. Before boarding, it is required that you identify yourself at the check-in counter of your specific airline and provide a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document or permanent resident visa to be cleared for flight.
If you are worried that you cannot travel to Canada during the COVID-19 crisis, you now know several demographics that are exempt from the restrictions. Before travelling, however, remember to prepare the necessary documentation so that you will have a smooth process.
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