Restrictions on Types of Foreign Nationals Allowed to Enter Canada
If an individual has obtained a Student Visa or Work Visa during the COVID-19 Pandemic, they may be allowed to enter the country if they follow the mandatory quarantine rules. It is more complicated for those arriving on a Visitor Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
If someone would like to come visit Canada, they can right now only come for the purpose of family reunification. Depending on the type of relationship you have with the individual who is living in Canada, different procedures must be followed before crossing the border.
You must also remember to follow all quarantine rules when entering Canada. Please visitor our blog post about the different rules and how to navigate them here.
Step 1: Ensure that you have a valid Visitor Visa or an eTA
Before navigating the family reunification process, it is important to determine whether you need a Visitor Visa or an eTA to visit Canada. This depends on what country you are visiting from. Please visit this link to determine which of the two you will require before visiting Canada.
AP Lawyers can assist you in applying for either a Visitor Visa or an eTA!
Step 2: Determine that you qualify for family reunificationand what type of family member you are
Once you have received your Visitor Visa/eTA, you must assess what is your relationship to the person that you are visiting in Canada.
(1) You must determine whether you, the visitor, fall under the Immediate family member category or the Extended family member category.
Being an Immediate family member can include being:• Spouse or common-law partner• Dependent child (under the age of 22 or completely financially dependent on a parent because of mental and/or physical incapacity)• Dependent child of a dependent child• Parent or stepparent
Being an Extended family member can include being:• In an exclusive dating relationship for at least a year and have spent time in the physical presence of each other at some point during the relationship. • A non-dependent child (adult child)• A grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent child)• A sibling, half-sibling, or stepsibling• Grandparent
(2) Once you have determined whether you are an immediate family member or an extended family member, you must follow specific instructions which will be summarized below.
Step 3A: The process and requirements for immediate family members
You do not need written authorization from Canadian Immigration that you are exempt from travel restrictions. You must however ensure that:• You meet all airline requirements• Inform the airline that you are exempt from travel restrictions• Make sure that you have a valid travel document (either a visitor visa or eTA) and a passport that is valid to come to Canada• Present proof that you are an immediate family member of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Residento A document that shows your immediate family member’s status as a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident such as their Canadian passport, Canadian permanent resident card, or Canadian citizenship certificate/cardo A document that shows your relationship to that immediate family member such as a marriage certificate, a document that shows a shared address (for common-law), a birth certificate or any other documents that show an immediate family connection
Step 3B: The process and requirements for extended family members
Compared to immediate family members, extended family members need to go under several extra steps and authorization before being allowed to reunite with family members in Canada.
(1) Your family member who is a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident must fill out the following form
(2) The family member in Canada sends you the signed form for you to sign as well. You then send this form back to your family member in Canada.
(3) The family member in Canada must then sign the form by solemn declaration. This is done in front of any official who is legally authorized to witness such as a commissioner of oaths, a lawyer, or a notary public
(4) Once the form has been signed by solemn declaration, the form is sent to the visiting family member
(5) You must then request a written authorization to travel by providing a copy of the completed form as well as evidence of your family member’s legal status in Canada as well as evidence of your relationship to that family member• If you already have a valid visitor visa in process or an application for one in progress, you email the following: IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. You will be asked to provide all necessary documents and your travel plan (purpose, who you are visiting and the dates you are visiting). You will hear back in 14 business days• If you already have an eTA or need one to travel, you must contact Immigration Canada though their Web Form to inform them of your purpose of travel, a full travel plan and the required documents to confirm your relationship with the extended family member in Canada.
(6) Once you have received written authorization, bring a copy of this written authorization as well as the signed statutory declaration form with you when you travel. Please note that once the solemn declaration is signed, you have 6 months to travel to Canada.
Are you interested in finding out if you can visit Canada through family reunification? Do you have further questions about applying for a Visitor Visa or an eTA? We at AP Lawyers are always happy to help our clients with these applications. Contact us today to book your consultation at (905) 492-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website https://ycanada.ca to start the process.
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