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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Information for non-Canadians

Notice: New border measures

As announced on , new processes are in place for extended family members and those wishing to enter Canada for compassionate reasons. In addition, new processes will soon be in place for international students. Information on this page will be updated shortly to reflect these changes.

In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, travel restrictions are in place across all ports of entry.

This section summarizes important information for non-Canadian travellers.

Entry restrictions

In this section

There are many factors that come into play when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is determining if you are permitted to enter Canada. It is important to note that the final determination is made by a border services officer at the port of entry. They base their decision on the information presented to them at the time of entry into Canada.

In addition to the temporary entry restriction in place due to COVID-19, you must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation.

Travel to Canada for discretionary reasons (non-essential), such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment is currently prohibited. Unless exempted, if you do not have a non-discretionary (essential) reason to travel to Canada, a border services officer will deny you entry.

If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be permitted to enter Canada, regardless of your reason for travel.

Full details of the travel restrictions are available in the applicable Orders in Council.

More information

Arriving from the United States

If you are a foreign national arriving from the United States, to enter Canada, you must prove to the CBSA that you:

The Canada-U.S. temporary border restriction continues. All discretionary/optional travel remains prohibited.

Transiting through Canada to Alaska

As of , at 12:01 am PDT, if you are transiting through Canada to Alaska for a non-discretionary (essential) reason, you must follow stricter rules and meet additional entry conditions.

Specifically, you have to enter Canada at one of the following ports of entry (POE):

If you arrive at a non-identified POE for the purpose of transiting to Alaska, the CBSA will deny you entry and advise you to go to one of the five identified POEs.

No matter the reason for travel, if you have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to enter Canada.

Providing false information to a BSO may lead to consequences such as being denied entry and/or banned from returning to Canada.

Following admission into Canada, you:

The CBSA will issue you a vehicle "hang tag" to attach to your rear view mirror for the duration of your transit. The tag will include the date you must depart Canada as well as information on the conditions imposed upon entry, the Quarantine and Emergencies Acts and a list of public health and safety measures to follow. These measures include:

Arriving from a country other than the United States

If you are a foreign national arriving from a country other than the United States, to enter Canada, you must prove to the CBSA that you:

The temporary border restriction on entry into Canada from countries other than the U.S. continues. All discretionary/optional travel remains prohibited.

More information

Penalties and fines

Providing false information is considered misrepresentation and has consequences. If you provide false immigration information or false information about the purpose of your travel, you may be denied entry and/or be banned from returning to Canada.

Failure to comply with the current border restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to:

If you cause a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this act or the regulations, you could be liable for:

To report violations of the Quarantine Act (such as failure to abide by the mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation upon entry to Canada), persons should contact the Public Health Agency of Canada or the police agency of jurisdiction.

Members of the public should note, however, that there may be a legitimate reason for the presence of a US resident or US-plated vehicle in Canada.

Foreign nationals who are family members of a Canadian citizen, a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act or a permanent resident

Immediate family members

If you are an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen, a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act or a permanent resident, you may be eligible to enter Canada for a discretionary (optional) purpose as long as you meet entry requirements and the following:

If you intend to stay for 14 days or less, you may enter Canada for non-discretionary (non-optional) reasons only and must have written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member and meet entry requirements.

Visit How to unite with extended family members who are Canadian citizens, people registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent residents, for detailed information, including the definition of extended family members, and the process and requirements to be eligible to enter Canada.

Note: If you are an immediate or an extended family member of a temporary resident in Canada, such as someone on a student or work visa, you cannot enter Canada.

Extended family members

If you are an extended family member of a Canadian citizen, a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act or a permanent resident, you may be eligible to enter Canada for a discretionary (optional) purpose as long as you meet entry requirements and the following:

If you intend to stay for 14 days or less, you may enter Canada for non-discretionary (non-optional) reasons only and must have written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member and meet entry requirements.

Visit How to unite with extended family members who are Canadian citizens, people registered under Canada’s Indian Act or permanent residents, for detailed information, including the definition of extended family members, and the process and requirements to be eligible to enter Canada.

Note: If you are an immediate or an extended family member of a temporary resident in Canada, such as someone on a student or work visa, you cannot enter Canada.

More information

Students and temporary workers

In Canada

Until further notice, travellers should not visit a Canada Border Services Agency office to apply for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence.

Visitors, international students or temporary workers who are already in Canada can apply online to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to extend your temporary resident status.

Temporary foreign workers with employer-specific work permits who are currently in Canada can also apply online and do not have to wait to start a new job.

Learn more about Visitors, international students or temporary workers in Canada.

Outside Canada

If you are a temporary worker, you may enter Canada as long as you qualify under current entry restrictions and meet the criteria outlined in this section.

Arriving from the United States

If you are a temporary worker arriving from the United States, you must also prove to the CBSA that you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you currently live in Canada and have a valid work permit
  • you are coming to Canada for the first time to begin work (employment) and
    • you have a valid work permit or a work permit approval letter and
    • you have proof of employment at an operating Canadian business
  • you are eligible to apply for a work permit at a port of entry and have proof of employment at an operating Canadian business

More information

Arriving from a country other than the United States

If you are a temporary worker arriving from anywhere other than the United States, you must also prove to the CBSA that you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you currently live in Canada and hold a valid work permit
  • you are coming to Canada for the first time to begin work (employment) and
    • you have a valid work permit or a work permit approval letter and
    • you have proof of employment at an operating Canadian business

Entering Canada

All travellers entering Canada are given a Public Health Agency of Canada handout with instructions to quarantine for 14 days.

Before you travel, consult provincial/territorial entry, quarantine and public health requirements.

Screening

We assess all travellers, no matter their country of origin, upon arrival to Canada. Entry screening is one of many important public health tools and part of a multilayered government response strategy.

A border services officer will ask you when you arrive in Canada at an air, land, marine or rail border about the purpose of your visit and whether you are feeling ill or unwell. The border services officer may ask additional questions as part of their assessment.

CBSA officers will look for signs of illness, regardless of how you respond to screening questions. Officers will refer any traveller they suspect is ill for a further medical assessment by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Masks

You must wear non-medical masks or face covering upon arrival in Canada. Masks or face coverings may be provided upon arrival as appropriate.

Contact information

Note for non-commercial highway travellers

There is a dedicated lane at the Peace Bridge border crossing (Fort Erie, Ontario) for non-commercial travellers using ArriveCAN. To access this lane submit your personal contact information prior to arriving in Canada.

You must provide your contact and quarantine information upon and after entry into Canada.

If you are flying to Canada as your final destination it is mandatory for you to submit your information digitally using ArriveCAN prior to boarding your flight.

If you're travelling by land or sea, you're strongly encouraged to continue using ArriveCAN to submit your travel information.

On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the CBSA captures your:

  • basic biographical data
  • personal contact information
  • quarantine-based information

All information collected is shared with PHAC who determines when and how to share this information with provincial authorities and/or law enforcement.

More information

Mandatory quarantine

Foreign national travellers who are permitted to enter Canada must quarantine for 14 days.

Certain travellers are exempt from the requirements to quarantine. This includes those who:

  • cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, or
  • receive or provide other essential services to Canadians

Find about the measures you must follow when returning to Canada, before you travel.

More information

Information for foreign boaters

Unless you are exempt, you cannot currently enter Canadian waters (territorial sea and internal waters) or boundary waters for discretionary (non-essential) reasons. These reasons include:

Consult Entry restrictions for more information.

Transiting boaters

You may still navigate through international or Canadian waters while in transit directly from one place outside Canada to another place outside Canada, if the transit is:

Transiting travellers may only make non-discretionary (essential) stops along the way, including to use facilities, refuel or for essential supplies.

You must follow social distancing practices and wear a non-medical mass or face covering during these stops.

Anchoring

You may stop and anchor out of ordinary navigation, particularly if it becomes dangerous to navigate at night or if the crew must rest before safely continuing your trip.

If you anchor to spend the night, you must quarantine on your boat. If this is not possible, you may quarantine at a hotel until you are ready to resume your trip.

Consult Quarantine requirement for more information.

Reporting requirements

If at any point a transiting vessel lands on Canadian soil, anchors, moors or comes alongside another vessel in Canadian waters, or if anyone onboard disembarks in Canada, the operator must report to the CBSA. All entry restrictions apply.

The CBSA and its law enforcement partners are actively monitoring Canadian waterways. If you fail to report to the CBSA, regardless if your purpose is non-discretionary (essential) such as to refuel, you may face severe penalties. Failure to report may also affect your immigration admissibility and ability to re-enter Canada in the future.

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