How Canada’s Latest Changes To COVID-19 Restrictions Affect Immigration

How Canada’s Latest Changes To COVID-19 Restrictions Affect Immigration
Canada immigration free assessment

Canada immigration news: As the COVID-19 pandemic slowly comes to a conclusion, Canada has announced a wave of new measures to update its border and immigration restrictions.

In an announcement on November 19, Ottawa laid out its plan for upcoming changes, including:

  • The removal of testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers on short trips out of Canada.
  • An expansion of the vaccines accepted by Canada for travellers to be considered fully vaccinated.
  • Requirements for certain exempt groups, including international students and most temporary foreign workers, to be fully vaccinated.

“Requiring foreign nationals to be fully vaccinated adds another important layer of protection at the border,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“Many foreign nationals and international students arriving in Canada are already fully vaccinated, and the measures announced today will help ensure that Canadians remain protected against COVID-19 as the economy reopens and international travel returns.”

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Short Trips Out Of Canada

From November 30, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents who depart and re-enter Canada within 72 hours are not required to present a negative PCR test result.

The exemption covers accompanying children under 12, and those who are not vaccinated for medical reasons.

New Vaccines Recognised

Also from November 30, the list of vaccines recognised by Canada will be updated to match the World Health Organisation’s emergency use list.

The Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN vaccines will be added to the list, which already includes those made by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

New Groups Required To be Vaccinated

From January 15, Canada is requiring groups of travellers previously covered by exemptions to be fully vaccinated when entering the country.

Those groups are:

  • Those travelling to reunite with family.
  • International students aged 18 and older.
  • Those with a valid work permit, including most temporary foreign workers (not those working in agriculture and food processing).
  • Essential service providers, including truck drivers.
  • Professional and amateur athletes.

After January 15 unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers can only enter Canada if they are covered by an exemption.

Exemptions apply to:

  • New permanent residents.
  • Agricultural and food processing workers.
  • Marine crew members.
  • Those entering on compassionate grounds.
  • Resettling refugees.
  • Some children under the age of 18.

Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements.

Vaccination Required for Travel

From November 30, vaccination will be required for travel within and out of Canada. A PCR test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless travellers are exempt.

“The upcoming changes to Canada’s border testing and entry requirements reflect the next stage in our government’s approach as we align with the improving vaccination rates both here in Canada and around the world,” said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.

“The situation at our borders remains closely monitored, with officials and experts continuing their work to evaluate the measures in place and recommend necessary adjustments as required.”

Canada immigration free assessment
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Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.