Families separated on opposite sides of the Canada-US border since mid-March due to the border closure to stop the spread of the COVID-19, are being reunited again.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents would be allowed to enter Canada starting 9 June.

“This is an incredibly difficult time to be apart from a spouse, a child, or mom or dad,” he acknowledged at a press conference.

“That’s why we’re bringing in a limited exemption to allow immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents to come to Canada.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers the following guidelines about who can travel to Canada while travel restrictions remain in place:

Foreign nationals who qualify as immediate family of Canadians and permanent residents include:

  • Spouses or common-law partners
  • Dependent children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents or stepparents
  • Guardians or tutors

Immediate family can enter Canada from the US if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are travelling with, or will reunite with, their Canadian family member
  • Their trip to Canada is at least 15 days long (although IRCC will be flexible about shorter visits)
  • Immediate family must self-quarantine for 14 days when entering Canada
  • Immediate family members do not have COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus
  • The trip is non-optional and non-discretionary. Foreign nationals must show evidence that their trip is necessary.

IRCC recommends that immediate family members provide the following documents (paper and electronic copies are acceptable):

  • Documentation proving that their immediate family is a Canadian or permanent resident (e.g., Canadian passport, proof of Canadian citizenship, Canadian permanent resident card, etc).
  • Documentation showing their relationship to the Canadian family member (e.g., marriage certificate or proof of common law status, birth certificate, confirmation of permanent residence for the family class, etc.)

Individuals wishing to enter Canada to be with immediate family who are temporary residents are advised to show copies of their relative’s work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit or visitor’s record, as well as proof of their relationship to the family member.

They should also provide written authorisation from IRCC.

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

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