Are Canada’s travel restrictions still in effect?
Let’s go back two years to the height of the pandemic; most of the world was on lockdown, and travel restrictions limited all kinds of travel worldwide. In Canada, the government acting on the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), introduced some emergency border measures to stop the spread of the pandemic. These measures directly led to a 54.2% drop in international arrivals between February and March- the largest since 1972.
Fast forward to 2022, the world is opening up to international travel again. Canada joined many other countries in removing Covid-19 entry restrictions, including mandatory tests, quarantines and isolation of potentially infected persons- starting October 1, 2022.
Why are the Canada’s travel restrictions no longer necessary?
The relaxation is a direct response to the improving situation. According to a report by the Public Health Agency of Canada, several factors, including the increased immunity of the Canadian population, lower hospitalization and death rates, high vaccination and availability of vaccines, tests and treatments, have helped with the decision to lift travel restrictions.
Do I still need proof of vaccination to enter Canada?
No, you are no longer required to carry a proof of vaccination. However, people displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are advised against travelling to Canada.
What are the new, relaxed travel regulations?
As of October 1, 2022, travellers are not required to:
- Carry proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Have pre-entry and arrival tests.
- Enter quarantine on entering Canada.
- Use the ArriveCAN app
- Have pre-boarding tests for cruise passengers.
- Have health checks when boarding planes and trains.
- Wear masks on planes and public transit.
What are the latest Canada travel guidelines?
As with all international travel, there are some rules, regulations and guidelines to be wary of when travelling to Canada. These will depend on your status as a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a visitor. The required documents, rules and your length of stay all vary accordingly.
We’ll look at different scenarios and the latest updates on the Canada-India Air transport agreement 2022.
Travelling to Canada as a visitor.
According to the IRCC’s definition, you are a visitor if you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but are legally authorized to enter Canada to:
- Visit on holiday
- Visit family or
- Conduct business
Your first step as a visitor is figuring out if your country falls under Canada’s list of visa-exempted countries. You’ll only require an eTA (electronic travel authorization) if this is the case. At the same time, citizens of non-exempted countries will have to apply for a Temporary/ Visitor visa.
Am I eligible for a Canadian visitor visa?
Certain conditions must be met before you can apply for a Canadian visa. You must:
- Have a valid travel document (a passport in most cases)
- Be in good health
- Have no prior immigration-related convictions
- Leave the country at the end of your visit
- Be able to support yourself for the duration of your visit
How to apply for a Canadian visa
You can apply for a Canadian visa at the official Canadian government website.
The visa allows you to stay for up to 6 months for most purposes.
Updates on backlogs for Temporary visas?
Per the latest updates on September 30, 2022, 1.49 out of a total of 2.6 million applications in the IRCC’s inventories are in backlog.
Backlogs are responsible for delays in your applications and erratic service standards.
Entering Canada on a study permit
As an international student, you need the following documents to be granted entry into Canada. These documents are:
- A valid passport
- A port of entry letter of introduction
- A valid letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution
- A valid eTA, visitor visa or valid green card, depending on your country
- A valid immigration medical exam, if required
Apart from these documents, you also need to:
- Have enough money to support yourself in Canada
- Be in good health
- Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
The final step is convincing the immigration officials that you:
- Have ties that will take you back to your home country
- Will leave Canada on the expiration of your study permit
Do I need to renew my study permit?
Study permits have expiration dates and must be renewed if you want to continue studying in Canada. If this date passes without you actively renewing it, you will be legally required to stop your studies and leave Canada.
Are airplane tickets to Canada expensive?
The answer heavily depends on where you’re travelling from, the time of year and global events. Travelling to Canada is not cheap, especially if you live halfway across the world. It’s important to plan ahead and have adequate finances to cover your stay and a return trip to your country.
Update on Canada-India Air transport agreement 2022.
The Canadian Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced an expanded air transport agreement between Canada and India on November 14, 2022. This agreement will allow designated airlines to operate unlimited flights between the two countries- exceeding the previous agreement’s limit of 35 flights per week.
The agreement addresses the needs of Canada’s 4th largest international air transport market and its leading source of new immigrants, given that nearly 18.6% of all recent immigrants to Canada between 2016 and 2021 were born in India. The agreement will help facilitate better connectivity, flight options and convenience for passengers travelling between the two countries.