Finally, good news for international travelers looking forward to explore the widely lauded multi-cultural haven of North America, known as Canada to the entire world. Yes, you heard it right. Canada is finally opening its borders to fully vaccinated foreigners, however, only from the United States of America. As per recent updates, from August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the USA are being allowed to enter Canada. People from the rest of the countries need to wait till September 7th. In fact, flights from India have been suspended till September 21.
So, does that mean you cannot travel to Canada from India? Well, no, that is not the case. If you have fulfilled all Canada PR requirements, applied for PR visa, and got PR, there is good news for you. You can always travel to Canada via a third country provided you have obtained a pre-departure negative Covid-19 molecular test from that country. Now, even if Canada is finally reopening its borders (at least for Americans), do not expect an immediate return to normalcy at the border. In fact, one has to follow certain Covid-19 protocols before planning a trip to Canada.
Canada’s Covid Rules:
According to sources, Canada has received 60 million doses of vaccine and administered more than 50 million doses. About 78% of the younger population have received at least one dose of vaccine and half of the population have been fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States of America who are eligible to enter Canada will now be exempted from the 14-day quarantine period. However, they must be submitting their proof of vaccination and COVID-19 test, 72 hours before the arrival, on the Arrive CAN web portal.
Given below are some the COVID rules imposed by the Canadian government on international travellers:
- Pre-arrival COVID-19 test: As mentioned above, all eligible fully vaccinated travelers must submit pre-arrival COVID-19 test results, taken 72 hours before arriving at the Canadian border or 72 hours before the flight departure.
- On-arrival COVID-19 test (Day 1 test): With effect from August 9th, some fully vaccinated travelers are being required to undergo the complete on-arrival COVID-19 test. While fully vaccinated travelers will be randomly selected for the test, all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers need to take the test on priority.
Apart from the above-mentioned rules, the good news is travelers from all countries are now exempt from the mandatory stay at a government authorized hotel while awaiting their COVID-19 results. While partially or unvaccinated travelers can move directly to their quarantine location, fully vaccination individuals do not require quarantine at all.
What are Canada’s travel guidelines and restrictions for people from India?
While Canada has opened the borders for the United States of America, countries like India are still in the rejected list, extending the ban on direct flights till September 21st. In fact, this has been the 5th extension since the past four months. While Indian students can enter Canada through a third country, they are required to take a COVID-19 test in that third country which has been approved by the Canadian government. This not only incurs a huge amount of exorbitant expense on the students, but also the painful endeavour of going through all the travel requirements cannot be ignored.
Now, the question is: will this ban be lifted, at least for the Indian students who make up about 30 percent of Canada’s international students. While the answer remains uncertain, attempts are being made to request the Canadian government to lift the ban on direct flights. In fact, Ajay Bisaria, the High Commissioner of India to Canada, has recently met Air India’s Toronto representative to discuss the resumption of flights between India and Canada.
Even though flights are banned and there are stringent rules affecting the arrival of Indians into Canada, there are few conditions which make people from India eligible to travel to India:
You can travel to Canada from India if you are any of the following:
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident with valid visa, who has been stranded in India.
- An Indian national having valid visa, eligible to enter Canada without any travel restriction.
- Mariners of foreign nationalities, working in Indian waters. Those having Indian passports would be allowed only upon clearance from the Ministry of Shipping.
Canada’s Travel Restrictions for Passengers:
Given below are some of the obligations required to be fulfilled by passengers travelling to Canada:
- People should not travel for optional or discretionary reasons like tourism, recreation, or entertainment.
- Incoming passengers must wear masks while travelling and while being among the public in Canada.
- International flights can arrive and depart at any of the following four Canadian airports: Calgary International Airport, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
- Each passenger must download the ArriveCAN mobile application and populate the available form with required details.
Also, given below are the some of the mandatory quarantine and testing rules:
- You should have received a series of any of the following accepted COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, COVI-Shield, AstraZeneca, and Jansen.
- You must take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test 72 hours before boarding the flight and also a second COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at Canada.
- A home specimen collection kit will be provided to each passenger on arrival, using which it is mandatory to take the third COVID-19 molecular test on 10th day of quarantine.
- Passengers with a history of COVID-19 must have a positive test result at least 14 days before the scheduled departure to Canada.
- Travelers must stay in a government authorized hotel for 3 days and then proceed to 14-day quarantine as per their quarantine plan.
Note: You can skip the 14-day quarantine period in case you have a ‘vaccine passport’ showing proof of vaccination.
Despite the ever-expanding ban on direct flights from India hindering Canada’s dream of aspirants from India, there is still positivity prevalent in the form of Canada immigration consultants and Gateway Visas is your most trusted one. Our services are not just limited in helping you migrate to Canada, but also guide you through the entire process of pre-departure, post-landing, and quarantine norms before you ultimately settle in Canada. Click here to contact us for more details