Arisnel Mesidor, M.A., RCIC
Travel restrictions for family members of immigrants in Canada were clarified
The government of Canada published a new program delivery update announcing changes to travel restrictions for family members of immigrants on January 17, 2022.
Foreign nationals who are not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated will no longer be able to enter Canada as of January 15, 2022. The government introduced new rules, terminating the exemption for immediate family members of temporary residents.
Those accompanying a fully vaccinated traveller or travelling to reunite with extended family members who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons registered under the Indian Act are exempt from the requirement to be fully vaccinated to enter Canada.
Also, children under the age of 18 are permitted to enter Canada unvaccinated, but are required to follow specific quarantine guidelines depending on their age. In addition, immediate family members, person registered under the Indian Act or permanent resident must be fully vaccinated in order to travel to Canada, unless they qualify for another exemption under the Orders.
However, passengers must provide evidence of their family member's citizenship, Indian Act registration or permanent residency status, as well as their relationship to that family member, at the time of boarding.
Note that, if the foreign national is a child, their age and dependency determine whether they meet the family member definition under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) as a dependent child, and, therefore, whether they meet the immediate family member definition under the Orders.