Updated Guidance on Entry to Canada – Sept 9, 2021

Effective September 7th, as part of Canada’s phased approach to easing border measures, the Government is now allowing for discretionary travel by foreign nationals from any country provided that they have are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.


What’s New

  • Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may now travel to Canada for any purpose (including discretionary (non-essential) purposes) if they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the Government of Canada. Currently, approved vaccines include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
  • Because fully vaccinated travellers can now travel to Canada for any purpose, foreign nationals from visa exempt countries may now be able to apply for work permits upon entering Canada and may no longer need a letter of introduction. There appears to be some ambiguity in the policy governing work permit applications. Please reach out to a CILF lawyer to find out whether this strategy is appropriate for your case.
  • As of August 28, 2021 and until at least September 29, 2021, Canada has banned all direct flights from Morocco.


What Has Not Changed

  • Travellers must continue to provide information through ArriveCan (app or web portal), including proof of vaccination prior to departure.
  • All travellers, with few exceptions, must meet re-entry testing requirements (i.e. molecular test within 72 hours of scheduled departure of flight or 72 hours prior to entering by land).
  • All travellers must be asymptomatic upon arrival.
  • All travellers must have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation English or French (or certified translation, along with the original).
  • All travellers must present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, should they not meet all conditions required to be exempt from quarantine.
  • All travellers must wear masks at airports and on board all flights to, from and within Canada.
  • All unvaccinated travellers (including unvaccinated children except those under 5 years of age) must continue to undergo Day 1 and Day 8 COVID-19 molecular tests and complete a 14 day quarantine, subject to limited exceptions.
  • The ban on direct flights from India remains in place.
  • Travellers with a right to entry (e.g. Canadian citizens and permanent residents), or travellers who qualify for entry under another exemption (e.g. immediate or extended family member) or who are coming to Canada for essential reasons (such as temporary foreign workers, or international students) will not be denied boarding, but will be required to submit information relating to their vaccination status via the ArriveCAN app or website.
  • All travellers must follow public health measures in place, such as monitoring for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, wearing a mask when in public and keeping a copy of their vaccination documentation and test results-as well as a list of close contacts and locations visited for 14 days after entry to Canada.
  • Entry to Canada will continue to be prohibited for travellers who are not fully vaccinated, unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act.


What Else You Need to Know

  • Ensure that you are using the updated version of ArriveCAN. The Government of Canada advises that the app was updated today.
  • While unvaccinated children under 12 without symptoms and travelling with fully vaccinated parents/guardians are not required to quarantine, they are prohibited from attending a setting where they may have contact with vulnerable people (e.g., long-term care facility), school/camp/daycare, travel on crowded public transit that does not ensure physical distancing and masking (e.g., crowded subway), or large crowded settings, such as an amusement park or sporting event.
  • Expect long delays boarding planes, entering Canada as agents decipher and administer all of these rules.

If you have further questions about this program, please contact one of our lawyers. Our professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; guberman@cilf.ca; appleby@cilf.ca; mukherjee@cilf.ca; fagan@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; green@cilf.ca