I’m not a permanent resident. Can I come to Canada for a funeral or to care for a loved one?Updated July 26

In June, 2020, the government announced changes to the rules about who can travel to Canada during the COVID -19 pandemic. Close family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents were allowed to enter Canada to see their family.

The restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada-US border has been extended to August 21, 2021.

On October 8, 2020, the government announced a new compassionate entry program that allows travellers to come to Canada to attend a funeral or to care for a loved one. Travellers can now ask for an exemption from border restrictions and relief from the 14-day quarantine rule in these situations.

You can make an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if you need to come to Canada or leave your place of quarantine to:

  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one
  • provide support or care to someone who is critically ill
  • provide care to someone who needs it for a medical reason
  • attend a funeral or an end of life ceremony

To apply, you must complete one of 3 application forms:

Your application must also include:

  • a Letter of Support signed by a health care professional that explains why you're needed in Canada, or
  • proof of death of your loved one, including a statement of death, burial permit or death certificate

If you plan to stay with anyone who is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, you may be asked to provide proof that they consent to have you quarantine with them.

If you need to leave your place of quarantine for a compassionate reason, you must complete a Site Visit Authorization form for each place you need to visit, for example:

  • funeral home
  • place of worship
  • retirement home
  • long-term care facility
  • palliative care facility or hospice
  • private residence where a death or end of life ceremony is taking place

You may not need to complete this form if you are attending an outdoor event.

Check with the provincial or territorial health authority for your destination to verify any additional restrictions or exemptions.

Fully vaccinated travellers

Since July 5, 2021, travellers who are eligible to travel to Canada do not have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test when they arrive if they have had a full series of federal government-approved vaccines. These fully vaccinated travellers also do not have to stay at a government-approved hotel.

As of August 9, 2021, citizens and permanent residents of the United States who are fully vaccinated will also be able to travel to Canada from the United States.

All eligible travellers can receive their vaccine in any country.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must:

  • have your vaccines at least 14 days before coming to Canada
  • provide paper or digital copy of a document that proves your vaccination. It must be in English, French or include a certified translation

These travellers must still meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre-arrival and on-arrival testing. They must also present a suitable quarantine plan.

Children who are not eligible to be vaccinated will still have to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine and testing. But they won't have to stay at a government-approved hotel.

Restrictions on arrivals for all other travellers to Canada

For other travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to Canada's border measures at this time.

For now, if you're arriving by land or by plane, you must take a COVID-19 test when you arrive. You must stay in a government-approved hotel for three nights while you wait for your test results. You are responsible for the cost of your stay, unless you are a privately-sponsored refugee.

All travellers must use ArriveCAN to provide their contact and quarantine information before crossing the border or boarding a flight to Canada.

After February 22, 2021, travellers who are not fully vaccinated must also take another COVID-19 test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period.

If you don't follow these rules, you could face serious penalty, including fines or imprisonment.

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