The wait is over and the time has finally come! Entry to Canada is now permittable and land border crossings have resumed. We’re finally starting to see some “back to normal” activity since COVID-19 shut everything down, however, there are entry requirements that the Government of Canada has put into place. We’ll go over the requirements below on how to enter Canada, and what the Canadian government is doing about fully vaccinated travellers, COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements.
You Must Be Fully Vaccinated To Enter Canada
The Canada Border Services Agency is (CBSA) is dedicated to the safety of Canadian citizens and those entering Canada, therefore, as the Government of Canada states, you must provide full proof of vaccination if you are 12 years of age or older for:
- Entering Canada as a tourist
- Flying on domestic or international flights departing from Canadian airports
- Land border crossing
- Boarding VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
- Boarding cruise ships departing from Canadian ports
You should have received your second dose at least 14 days prior to the day you’ve begun travelling. But remember, if you are a Canadian citizen who is fully vaccinated and can provide proof of your vaccination status via the new barcode system, this may not guarantee your entry into other countries. You should always check the country’s website before booking a scheduled flight in the first place. Not all countries have the same plans in place.
Vaccines accepted include:
- Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
Vaccines from other countries that have not yet been authorized in Canada are currently under review by the World Health Organization. If you are vaccinated but have not received any of the authorized vaccines you will not be able to enter the country as a tourist.
Only individuals who qualify under the “uniting with family exemption or travelling for a non-discretionary purpose” will be allowed to travel to Canada even if they have not been vaccinated or they have received a vaccine that is not yet authorized by Canada.
If you are fully vaccinated, you will be exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine plan, and day-8 testing. You may, however, be randomly selected to undergo an arrival test at the border or an airport.
A Pre-Entry Molecular Test Is Still Mandatory
Even if you are fully vaccinated, you must undergo a pre-entry molecular test. All travellers who are five years of age or older must (regardless if they are a fully vaccinated foreign traveller or fully vaccinated Canadian citizen) provide proof of their negative pre-entry test or proof of a positive test result from the last 14-180 days. You will not be charged for this test. You should receive your test results in 48 hours via text or email. If you test positive, you must continue a 14-day suitable quarantine plan.
For Fully Vaccinated Foreign Nationals Wanting To Enter Canada
Foreign nationals may still be eligible to enter Canada but are encouraged to answer a few questions on the Government of Canada website to see if they meet the requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Unvaccinated travellers entering Canada must have a medical reason for exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine. You must also comply with the local public health measures provided to you in a handout by a border officer.
Unvaccinated Travellers Arriving To Canada
If you are unvaccinated, you can still come to Canada if you are coming to study, work or reunite with a family member. You will need to comply with all testing requirements and you will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period while completing daily COVID-19 self-assessments. You’ll need to stay at a government-authorized hotel (and confirm your arrival) or at the address you provided and arrive within 48 hours. An agent will keep in contact with you via emails, calls, or in-person visits (socially distanced, of course).
If you start experiencing symptoms, you should immediately contact the local public authority, explain your symptoms, and continue to self-isolate.
Use ArriveCAN To Enter Canada
All travellers that are entering Canada by air, land train or ship must use ArriveCAN to submit information within 72 hours before arriving. This is is a free app that is available for iOS and Android where you can submit the following information:
- Your contact information and those travelling with you
- Why you’re travelling
- Exempt essential travel, i.e. work, medical care support, etc.
- Regular travel, i.e. permanent resident, foreign work or study, etc.
- None of the above
- Your date and time of arrival
- Flight number, airline and airport
- Pre-entry COVID-19 test result
- Where you were 14 days prior to Canada (minus connection flights)
- Quarantine plans and address
- And more
Again, using ArriveCAN is mandatory for all travellers, regardless of their reason for travelling or vaccination status. Not filling out the mandatory fields can result in being denied entry if it is not filled out within 72 hours of your arrival. It’s very easy to use and only takes a few minutes to submit your information!
Looking To Become A Permanent Resident?
Immigrating to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult but as restrictions have eased and rules became more clear, it is still very much possible. Whether you’re a refugee or are a foreign worker or student looking to become a permanent resident, allow our immigration consultants here at Oro Immigration to assist you. We’ll help you through every step of the process, especially when it comes to the current rules and regulations and filling out confusing applications! Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can assist you.