Canada and the US declared the official border closer for two months in March because of the pandemic COVID-19 and that was to last until May 20. Canada has now officially extended that closure of the border with the US for one more month until June 21.
Considering the situation and possibilities of the crisis in the future, this may be extended even further depending upon the contemporary situation in the countries.
Canada decided to close the international borders to most foreign nationals. Ports of entry at both the airport of Canada and Canada-US border have been closed to most of the travelers and migrants. Border closure, for now, is scheduled until June 21 while another international travel ban is scheduled until at least June 30. The further decision of lifting the ban or extending it may depend upon the intensity of the crisis and condition of coronavirus in the country.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published official guidelines for the border closure and there are some exemptions are given from the travel ban. We mentioned it in earlier articles about the exemptions of the travel bans. However, we have mentioned below the relaxations in brief for your reference:
The following groups can cross the borders of Canada by air or by land:
- Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents
- Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents
- Temporary workers who hold a valid work permit or candidates approved for a work permit but have not yet been issued the work permit
- IEC participants must have a valid job offer to enter, but having a job offer does not guarantee entry in case they cannot demonstrate that their travel to Canada is essential at this time
- International students with a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, when the travel restrictions took effect
- Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before 12:00 pm EDT on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet traveled to Canada
There are a handful of other exceptional exemptions as well.
It may be possible that the travelers with an exemption of travel restriction may be denied boarding on flights or denied entry at the border or port of entry, in case they cannot provide a plan for their self-isolation upon arrival or provide evidence that their travel is essential at this time. Such travelers include individuals with arranged employment in essential sectors. Please be prepared for such uncertainty if you choose to travel to Canada at this time.
As of March 26, anyone who enters Canada will be enforced to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and travelers must produce a plan for the same. Canadian Health Minister has announced that the quarantine is enforced and anyone who is breaking those may be subject to fines and jail time. However, the essential workers are allowed certain exemptions.
International students already in Canada:
The international students/study permit holders who are working in essential services should know that the government has lifted the 20 hours of work per week restriction. This will allow international students to work more hours in critical sectors.