Details have been released on Canada’s definition of extended family members, requirements for compassionate travellers to get exempt, and how to get limited release from quarantine.
As of today, October 8, extended family members can now cross the border to Canada, provided they are staying for at least 15 days and meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements. If you are extended family, you do not need a non-optional, non-discretionary reason to travel to Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s definition of extended family shifts depending on how the foreign traveller is related to the Canadian, or their spouse, common-law partner, or dating partner:
If you are directly connected to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can be exempt if you:
If you are related to the Canadian’s spouse or common-law partner you are considered extended family if you are:
And if you are related to the Canadian’s eligible dating partner, you are extended family if you are:
Exempt extended family members will also need a signed declaration by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that confirms your relationship. You will also need written authorization by IRCC.
There is a six-step process to apply for the travel exemption.
Your family member who is the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must fill out the application for authorization and statutory declaration form.
Your family member in Canada sends you the application for authorization and statutory declaration that they filled out. You sign the form and send it back to your family member in Canada.
Once you’ve sent the form back to your family member in Canada, they must sign the form by solemn declaration in front of any authorized official, such as a commissioner for oaths, justice of the peace, lawyer, or notary.
Your family member in Canada must send you a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration.
Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration use it as evidence of your relationship with your family member and request a written authorization from us.
You need written authorization from IRCC no matter where you’re travelling from.
You should not book a flight to Canada until you get your written authorization from IRCC.
You must have a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when you travel. This is mandatory. If not, you won’t be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.
Once the form is signed by solemn declaration, you have six months to travel to Canada. If you don’t travel within six months, you’ll need a new statutory declaration.
Friends and family can come visit Canadians, First Nations, permanent residents, temporary residents, and protected persons for compassionate reasons.
You can apply to be exempt from travel restrictions and limited release from quarantine if you are coming to Canada for one of the following reasons:
Before coming to Canada, you need advance approval for both the exemption to the border restrictions, and the limited release from quarantine. Otherwise, you won’t be able to board a plane or enter Canada and you’ll be subject to the mandatory quarantine requirements.
Each person making the trip to Canada must fill out their own application form. You need a Letter of Required Support or proof of death, as well as any necessary Site Visit Authorizations in order to submit an application.
Depending on your situation, you may not need all items in the following list:
You may also need permission from the site you will be visiting, if you are going to a hospital or other location where you may come in contact with vulnerable people. Canada aims to process applications within seven business days, but notes that some cases will fall outside of the service standard.
Each province and territory may have additional requirements and processes for the limited release.
International travellers will also have to carry acceptable identification and a valid visa, such as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), when coming to Canada. IRCC has more information on what travel documents you will need to cross the border.
Border services officers have the final say on which individuals are allowed to enter the country. Along with your exemption, you will need a 14-day quarantine plan. If you will quarantine with a vulnerable person, you may be asked to provide proof that they consent to let you quarantine with them.
Last week, minister of immigration, Marco Mendicino, announced that students and families would be allowed to come to Canada. Shortly after, IRCC announced that the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) would open to expressions of interest from October 13 to November 3.
Once all the Interest to Sponsor forms are in, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to submit an application. Once applicants receive this invitation, they have 60 days to formally apply to sponsor their parent or grandparent.
IRCC will accept up to 10,000 PGP applications for 2020. There will also be another intake period in 2021, when IRCC will accept up to 30,000 applications.
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