Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Who can travel to Canada – Citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals and refugees
To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).
These restrictions stop most non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.
Who can enter Canada
You can travel to and enter Canada if you’re a
- Canadian citizen
- dual Canadian citizen with a
- permanent resident of Canada
- person registered under Canada’s Indian Act
- protected person
Foreign nationals, including United States (US) citizens, can travel to Canada only if they’re eligible.
Foreign nationals who are eligible to travel to Canada
To be eligible to travel to Canada as a foreign national, you must meet the requirements for either
You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you’ll quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.
Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
To be eligible, you must provide evidence that you’re both
- an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- staying in Canada for at least 15 days
If you’re staying for less than 15 days, you must meet the same requirements as all other foreign nationals.
All other foreign nationals
To be eligible, you must meet 2 requirements:
- You must be travelling for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose.
- You must be either
- travelling directly from the US
- exempt from the travel restrictions
Travellers coming from outside the US who are exempt from the travel restrictions
- temporary foreign workers
- some international students
- some people who have been approved to become a permanent resident of Canada , but who are not yet permanent residents
- immediate family members with written authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to reunite with a temporary resident of Canada (see Uniting with immediate family members for more information)
- transiting passengers (must remain in the secure transit area of a Canadian airport to complete their connection)
- members of the Canadian forces, visiting forces, Department of National Defence and their immediate family members
- accredited diplomats and their immediate family members (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
- air and marine crew members
- French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and have been in only Canada, the US or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the 14 days before the day they seek to enter Canada
- any person who does not pose a significant harm to public health, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, and who will provide an essential service while in Canada
- any person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest, in the opinion of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; or Minister of Foreign Affairs
- any person who is coming at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of COVID-19 assistance
- any person whose purpose is to make medical deliveries
You must also have a quarantine plan that shows how you will quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This plan is mandatory.
Who is an immediate family member
An immediate family member is defined as a
- spouse or common-law partner
- dependent child
- dependent child of a dependent child
- parent or step-parent
- guardian or tutor
Public health measures for travellers to Canada
If you’re travelling by air, you need to
- pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’ll be allowed to board your flight
- wear a non-medical mask or face covering during travel (including to the place you’ll quarantine)
Arrival in Canada
Travellers entering Canada by air or by land must
- provide basic information using the traveller contact information form, available through
- be screened by a border services officer or quarantine officer to assess symptoms
Use this mobile app at Canadian ports of entry (POEs). Make sure you have the official version by installing it from this page.
When you arrive in Canada by air, land or sea, we’ll assess your health before you leave the POE. If you’re a foreign national, and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you won’t be allowed to enter Canada.
You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada, including
- a place to stay
- how you’ll
- get to your destination
- get your groceries
- access essential services and medical care
This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. A border services officer will determine if you can enter the country.
The penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you’re in the country can include
- a fine of up to $750,000
- 6 months of jail time
- being found inadmissible , removed from Canada and banned from entering for 1 year
Only people who provide essential services, for example truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.
Updates and related links
Essential refers to travel for reasons that are non-discretionary and non-optional. The emergency orders under the Quarantine Act do not allow people to travel to Canada for optional or discretionary reasons, such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment.