The Government of Canada announced Friday that it will be introducing a process to allow entry for extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents.
As well, a new process will be created to allow foreign nationals to come to Canada “for compassionate reasons in limited circumstances and with limited release from mandatory quarantine,” said Federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino. Limited release from quarantine “for compassionate reasons” will also apply to returning Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
“These changes will help families in Canada unite with loved ones while maintaining the integrity of the border measures put in place to protect the health of Canadians,” said Mendicino.
The new measures are set to take effect on October 8, and “travellers should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and received all necessary authorizations.”
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Under the new process, the following extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents would be eligible to travel to Canada:
- Individuals in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least one year “who have spent time in the physical presence of the Canadian citizen or permanent resident during the relationship and these individuals’ dependent children”
- Non-dependent children (adult children who do not meet the definition of a dependent child in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations) and
- Siblings (including half- and step-siblings)
Mendicino said these individuals will be eligible to travel to Canada and will not need to demonstrate that they are entering for a purpose that is non‑optional or non‑discretionary, as long as they:
- Are staying in the country for 15 days or more
- Provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with the required documentation, including a completed and signed statutory declaration, to show they meet the definition of an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
- Meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements to enter the country
- Are travelling to Canada with a valid passport and travel document
- Have received written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member
Like all travellers, extended family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14‑day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.
The government noted that the final decision on who can enter Canada “is made by a border services officer at a port of entry.”
The original restrictions were put in place as part of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and were part of a multi-layered system, including quarantine measures and travel restrictions.