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How the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration - Part I: Visitor - March 30th, 2020

If you hold a valid visitor Visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), you won’t be able to travel to Canada until further notice from the Government of Canada. Some exemptions are in place to some visitors to travel to Canada by air.

List of exemptions from the Government of Canada:

person registered under Canada’s Indian Act

- protected person

- foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Canadian government for a purpose related to the containment of COVID-19

- immediate family member* of a Canadian citizen

You must show that you’re coming to Canada for essential reasons and not reasons that are optional or discretionary, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.

- immediate family member of a Canadian permanent resident

You must show that you’re coming to Canada for essential reasons and not reasons that are optional or discretionary, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.

- a person who is authorized, in writing, by a designated immigration officer or consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family member.

- a person who is authorized, in writing, by an officer designated under subsection 6(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the purpose of reuniting immediate family member.

- transiting passenger, as long as you stay in a Canadian airport to complete your connection

- member of the Canadian military, visiting forces or their family member

- accredited diplomat or family member (includes North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO], those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)

- air or marine crew member

- French citizen who lives in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon who has only been in Canada, the US or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon in the 14 days before the day you seek to enter Canada

- foreign national travelling from the US to Canada who has only been in the US or Canada in the past 14 days and coming for essential purposes”.


*Immediate family member includes: your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent child, your parent or step-parent, your guardian or tutor, your spouse’s dependent child, your spouse’s parent or step-parent, a dependent child of your dependent child.



As per the new regulations from the Government of Canada, if you are travelling to Canada by air, you will have to pass a health check conducted by your airlines before getting on your plane. If you show any symptoms of COVID-19, you will be refused to board your plane to come to Canada.

Upon your arrival to Canada, government officials will re-assess your health before you will be allowed to enter Canada and leave the port-of-entry (the airport). Even if you have no symptom, you MUST isolate for 14 days. This is MANDATORY. (If you provide essential services, you are exempt from the isolation requirements).




What if you are already in Canada under a visitor visa?


If you are already in Canada and HOLD A VALID VISITOR VISA (not yet expired):


You can apply online to extend your stay. You will need to apply for a visitor record to extend your stay in Canada. (Please follow this link to see what are the requirements to extend your stay: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/extend-stay.html)


IMPORTANT: Mention the reason you need to extend your stay. In these unforeseeable circumstances, travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak should be the reason why you are not comfortable travelling at this moment.


If you are already in Canada and your visitor visa has expired - you have two options:


If it has been less than 90 days since your visa expired

Apply to restore your status as soon as possible. You can follow the Guide 5551 “Applying to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada – online application” (Please find the guide following this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5551-applying-change-conditions-extend-your-stay-canada.html)

IMPORTANT: Mention the reason you need to extend your stay. In these unforeseeable circumstances, travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak should be the reason why you are not comfortable travelling at this moment.


If it has been longer than 90 days since your visa expired

You must apply for a Temporary Resident Permit as soon as possible to overcome your inadmissibility as you do not have a valid status in Canada anymore. Once again, it is really important for you to include a note explaining the reason you need to extend your stay.

Fidus Immigration is specialized in temporary resident visa. If you are encountering any issue while doing your online application, please feel free to contact us at pierre@fidusimmigration.com or at +1(403)471-8035.

We are aware that it is a complicated moment financially for a lot of people around the world and in Canada. We are also aware that visitor visa holders are not eligible to work while in Canada. For all of these reasons, we will be giving a 50% discount on our professional fees to help you get the help you deserve. We believe that immigration counsel should not be a privilege but a right.