Immigration in Review – Immigration Update: Various (January 4, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EDT)

CILF is here to support you with respect to all of your immigration needs with information to keep you informed. Our firm is always available to focus on your immigration needs.

Happy new year to all! We hope everyone had a restful holiday season.

Here are some recent immigration developments worth noting:

Pre-departure COVID testing mandatory as of January 7 at 12:01 a.m. EST: As of this date, all individuals aged five or older (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) flying to Canada must present a negative COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight. Airlines are required to deny boarding to any individuals who are unable to fulfill this requirement.

The only individuals exempt from this requirement are crew members, emergency service providers and those on flights that are refueling in Canada.

This does not replace the 14-day self-isolation requirement upon arrival in Canada applicable to most individuals entering the country.

Travel restrictions to Canada and self-isolation extended to January 21, 2021: Based on the most recent Orders in Council, travel restrictions continue to apply to those travelling to Canada from the United States and to those travelling to Canada from a country other than the United States. The requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering Canada has also been extended to January 21, 2021.

Implication of new COVID strain for those entering Canada: Due to the new strain of coronavirus recently detected in the U.K., passenger flights from the U.K. are suspended until at least January 6. Individuals who have been in the U.K. or South Africa in the 14 days prior to entering Canada will be subject to additional screening.

Extension of temporary public policy applicable to certain out-of-status foreign nationals: In July 2020, we reported that IRCC has announced a temporary public policy allowing certain out-of-status foreign nationals in Canada until December 31, 2020 (instead of the usual 90 days) to apply for restoration of status. It also allows certain former work permit holders with job offers to work while the restoration application is in process. Normally individuals cannot work while waiting their status to be restored. This policy has been extended until August 31, 2021.

U.K. citizens no longer eligible for work permits under CETA: As of January 1, 2021, U.K. citizens are no longer eligible for work under CETA. The Canada-U.K. Free Trade Agreement has not been ratified yet but is expected to occur in early 2021. In the meantime, U.K. citizens looking to work in Canada will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment if they do not qualify under another LMIA-exempt category.

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:;;;;;;;;;;

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