Canada Travel Restrictions: Unvaccinated New Permanent Residents, Some Foreign Workers Exempt

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Canada Travel Restrictions: Unvaccinated New Permanent Residents, Some Foreign Workers Exempt
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Canada immigration news: As Canada demands COVID-19 vaccine passports for almost everyone, only new permanent residents, refugees, temporary foreign workers in agriculture or food-processing, asylum claimants, and some minors are exempt.

Restrictions limiting travel to Canada went into effect on Saturday.

“The government of Canada continues to adjust its border measures due to the evolving epidemiological situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Jan. 15, 2022, Canada has limited travel restriction exemptions for unvaccinated persons to a small proportion of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s clients,” Ottawa notes on its website.


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Under the new travel restrictions everyone – except those categories of people who are explicitly exempted – must be fully-vaccinated before entering Canada.

The new travel restrictions have led to a backlash towards the federal government because the rules even apply to truckers bringing goods into Canada.

“Truckers coming to Canada must be fully-vaccinated,” tweeted Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “Unvaccinated Canadian truckers must meet pre-entry, arrival and Day Eight testing requirements, as well as quarantine requirements.

Travel Restrictions In Place In Bid To Boost Vaccination Rates

“Our government’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians,” tweeted the minister.  “Vaccines are our best tool to end the pandemic.”

These vaccine passports for truckers have met with political opposition as some fear even more supply chain disruptions in the eventuality the measure results in fewer truckers being able to bring goods into Canada.

“Ordering an illogical vaxx mandate for trucking (the definition of socially-distanced transport) will have a deep impact our supply chain – from stores to refrigerators,” tweeted one user.

Despite the backlash against the measure for the trucking industry, foreign nationals who are want to come to Canada under the new travel restrictions still need to either be fully vaccinated or meet a travel exemption.

“Regular travel document requirements for air travel and entry to Canada continue to apply,” notes the RCC on its website.

“Foreign nationals who are exempted from the travel restrictions must continue to meet all travel document requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).”

Earlier during the pandemic, then-Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino issued instructions that all new applications for temporary resident visas, work and study permits had to be submitted online due to the reduced processing capacity of the federal government during the pandemic.

Applications For Temporary Work Visas Must Be Submitted Online

Exempt from that requirement are foreign nationals who are unable to submit their applications online because of a disability or otherwise unable to provide a signature or provide information by electronic means.

Also exempt from the requirement to submit applications online are:

  • foreign nationals who hold an identity or travel document described in paragraph 52(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that was issued by a country, that does not prohibit travel to Canada, that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue and that is of the type issued by that country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality, and;
  • foreign nationals applying for a work permit who are intending to perform work under an international agreement or arrangement between Canada and one or more countries concerning seasonal agricultural workers.

Canadian immigration has announced it will not accept any applications submitted in another way after Sept. 1, 2021 and processing fees will be returned.

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