Canada extends India flight ban until August 21

Kareem El-Assal
Published: July 19, 2021

Canada is extending its flight ban on India.

The restrictions will roll over for one more month until August 21.

On April 22, 2021, Canada introduced a travel ban on both India and Pakistan due to concerns on rising cases of COVID-19 variants. All passenger and business flights from the two countries were suspended.

The ban was initially in place for 30 days but it was extended once for Pakistan and then lifted last month on June 21.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has announced it is easing travel restrictions on fully-vaccinated tourists beginning in August.

Canada has also lifted other travel restrictions over the past month. As of late June, all Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) Holders (i.e., newly approved immigrants) are now allowed to travel to Canada and complete their landings. In addition, Canada now exempts fully-vaccinated travellers from needing to quarantine.

The relaxed travel rules come amid Canada's recent success in fighting COVID-19. The country now enjoys one of the highest vaccination rates in the world with some 80 per cent having received one shot and over 40 per cent being fully vaccinated. In addition, case counts last week were in the 400-per-day range compared with a peak of over 9,000 per day in April 2021. This has also allowed provinces across the country to reopen and reduce their social distancing requirements.

India is by far Canada's leading source country of new immigrants and international students. In recent years Indians have accounted for 20 per cent of new permanent residents and 30 per cent of new students.

Canada is pursuing its most ambitious immigration targets ever. Beginning this year, it is seeking to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants annually to support its post-COVID economic recovery.

A growing share of Canada's new immigrants are former international students. Canadian government research shows former students tend to integrate successfully into the country's labour market. As such, Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and other skilled worker programs offer advantages to international students such as extra points and dedicated pathways.

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