Immigration Update: Covid-19 Impacts (March 17, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EDT)

Information with respect to all aspects of immigration and travel are evolving moment by moment and is subject to change at anytime. We will continue to keep you informed.

The Government of Canada has clarified the terms of its air travel restriction which will go into effect at 12:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow, March 18, 2020. Here are some key takeaways:
  • It only applies to travel by air. Surface traffic and marine shipping are exempt.
  • U.S. citizens are not automatically allowed to board flights to Canada, contrary to what Trudeau announced during his speech yesterday afternoon. American citizens that have not been in the US for the last 14 days will not be covered by the exemption.
  • Airlines will be instructed to deny boarding to anyone who has been outside Canada or the U.S. in the last 14 days UNLESS the individual is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or in transit to a third country.
  • The measure comes into force at 12:00 p.m. EDT on March 18. It applies to denial of boarding, and not denial of entry into Canada. Therefore it appears that foreign nationals who are caught by the restriction could still be admitted into Canada should their flight arrive after 12:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow.

It is still unclear whether temporary residents with a valid work or study permit and the family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed entry if they have been in a country other than the U.S. in the last 14 days.

For full details, please refer to:

We expect things to continue to evolve rapidly and are monitoring the situation closely. It is unknown as to  how well-versed the airlines will be in applying the terms of the restriction to individual cases and cannot guarantee that foreign nationals who appear to be eligible to travel to Canada will be allowed to board the plane.

We encourage you to get in touch with one of our lawyers directly to discuss any specific situation.