Details have been released on Canada’s definition of extended family members, requirements for compassionate travellers to get exempt, and how to get limited release from quarantine.
As of today, October 8, extended family members can now cross the border to Canada, provided they are staying for at least 15 days and meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements. If you are extended family, you do not need a non-optional, non-discretionary reason to travel to Canada.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) defines extended family as:
- couples who have been in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least one year, and who have spent time in the physical presence of their Canadian partner during the relationship;
- the children of eligible dating couples;
- the children of Canadians who are over the age 22, and are not considered dependent children;
- siblings including half and step-siblings; as well as
- grandparents, and parents in-law.
You will also need a signed declaration by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that confirms your relationship. You will also need written authorization by IRCC.
Apply for travel exemption as extended family
There is a six-step process to apply for the travel exemption.
Step 1: Your family member fills out the application for authorization and statutory declaration form
Your family member who is the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must fill out the application for authorization and statutory declaration.
Step 2: You sign the declaration
Your family member in Canada sends you the filled out application for authorization and statutory declaration for you to sign. After you sign the form, you send it back to your family member in Canada.
Step 3: Your family member signs the form by solemn declaration
Once you’ve sent the form back to your family member in Canada, they must sign the form by solemn declaration. This is done in front of any official who is legally authorized to receive a solemn declaration, such as a commissioner for oaths, justice of the peace, lawyer or notary public.
Step 4: Get a copy of the completed and signed form
Your family member in Canada must send you a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration.
Step 5: Request written authorization to travel
Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration use it as evidence of your relationship with your family member and request a written authorization from us.
You need written authorization from IRCC no matter where you’re travelling from.
You should not book a flight to Canada until you get your written authorization from IRCC.
Step 6: Bring the copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when you travel.
You must have a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when you travel. This is mandatory. If not, you won’t be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.
Once the form is signed by solemn declaration, you have six months to travel to Canada. If it’s longer than six months before you’ll be travelling, you’ll need a new statutory declaration.
Come to Canada for compassionate reasons
Friends and family can come visit Canadians, First Nations, permanent residents, temporary residents, and protected persons for compassionate reasons.
You can apply to be exempt from travel restrictions and limited release from quarantine if you are coming to Canada for one of the following reasons:
- to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one, or provide support or care to someone who is critically ill;
- to provide medical support to a person who needs it; and
- to attend a funeral, or end of life ceremony.
Before coming to Canada, you need advance approval for both the exemption to the border restrictions, and the limited release from quarantine. Otherwise, you won’t be able to board a plane or enter Canada and you’ll be subject to the mandatory quarantine requirements.
Each person making the trip to Canada must fill out their own application form. You need a Letter of Required Support or proof of death, as well as any necessary Site Visit Authorizations in order to submit an application.
Depending on your situation, you may not need all items in the following list:
- a Letter of Required Support, completed and signed by a licensed health care professional that certifies that you need to be in Canada to:
- be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to support someone who is critically ill; or
- provide care or support for someone who has a medical reason.
- If you need to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony, Canada will accept the following documents:
- a statement of death;
- a medical certificate of death;
- a burial permit; or
- a death certificate.
- You may also need permission from the site you will be visiting, if you are going to a hospital or other location where you may come in contact with vulnerable people.
Canada aims to process applications within seven business days, but notes that some cases will fall outside of the service standard.
Each province and territory may have additional requirements and processes for the limited release.
International travellers will also have to carry acceptable identification and a valid visa, such as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), when coming to Canada. IRCC has more information on what travel documents you will need to cross the border.
Border services officers have the final say on which individuals are allowed to enter the country. Along with your exemption, you will need a 14-day quarantine plan. If you will quarantine with a vulnerable person, you may be asked to provide proof that they consent to let you quarantine with them.
Grandparents exempt before opening of PGP
Last week, minister of immigration, Marco Mendicino, announced that students and families would be allowed to come to Canada. Shortly after, IRCC announced that the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) would open to expressions of interest from October 13 to November 3.
Once all the Interest to Sponsor forms are in, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to submit an application. Once applicants receive this invitation, they have 60 days to formally apply to sponsor their parent or grandparent.
IRCC will accept up to 10,000 PGP applications for 2020. There will also be another intake period in 2021, when IRCC will accept up to 30,000 applications.
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