Zooming through Canada to Alaska, but NO Zoom weddings – this and other Canadian Immigration Updates! (August 6, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT)

During this unusual time, CILF is here to continue to support you with respect to all of your immigration needs. We are here to answer your questions and keep you informed. We will provide updates as soon as they are available. Our firm is well positioned to continue to focus on your immigration needs.

We have a few immigration developments to share today:

Travel restrictions extended again 

The restrictions on travel from the U.S. have been extended to August 21. The restrictions on travel from any country other than the U.S. and the mandatory isolation order applicable to everyone entering Canada have been extended to August 31.

New COVID-19 tracking app 

After weeks of delay, the Canadian government launched its COVID-19 exposure tracking app, COVID Alert. It will notify a user if he/she has been in close contact with another user who has tested positive. It is currently only available in Ontario but will be rolled in other provinces shortly.

Open work permit for sponsored spouses in Canada 

This pilot program has been extended and will be made permanent. Spouses sponsored from outside Canada are not eligible for an open work permit.

Canadian passport services 

These have resumed by mail and by appointment for those travelling in less than 30 days.

Foreign nationals travelling to Alaska through Canada 

Stricter rules in effect as of July 31, 2020. Foreign nationals heading to Alaska through Canada for a non-discretionary purpose will be required to notify CBSA at the border between Canada and Alaska that they have left Canada. They will also be required to display a vehicle tag indicating that they are in transit to Alaska and the date by which they must leave Canada.

FaceTime/Zoom weddings are not recognized by IRCC 

Proxy marriages (a marriage in which only one of the two parties is physically present and the other is participating by phone or video chat), while legal in some jurisdictions, are not recognized by IRCC. Many cross-border couples have had difficulty reuniting during Covid-19. As spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are exempt from the travel restrictions, some have opted for a proxy marriage. Unfortunately, these couples risk being denied entry to Canada.


We continue to recommend that anyone (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) seeking to enter or exit Canada speak with an immigration lawyer before doing so. Our lawyers can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; guberman@cilf.ca; appleby@cilf.ca; cowling@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; tsoi@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; green@cilf.ca; elmalah@cilf.ca 

Please contact your lawyer at CILF for additional details or specific questions.