The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a handful of trials in different aspects of our lives. Financially, most of us have experienced fewer income-generating opportunities. If you’re living abroad, loneliness found its way as it has stricken our social relationships with families and friends. Although the digital means are there, still we long to have the physical presence of our loved ones. Many have gone canceling their trips for reunions and it is heartbreaking to see families separated for too long. Nobody knows until when this health crisis will continue. Thankfully, the Government of Canada has acknowledged this as a growing concern and placed a program for its people to take advantage of. Now, citizens and PRs may apply for unification with family members by allowing them to enter Canada as exempted foreign nationals.
Immediate and extended family members are welcome to enter Canada under a visitor’s visa. Travel restrictions in place will not be applicable as long as they meet the requirements. The application will depend on the category your family member belongs to. As for immediate, it’s relatively easy. You only need to secure the documents showing your relationship, eligibility to travel, and the applicant’s proof of status in Canada. To be eligible to travel, you need to stay in Canada for 15 days or more. No additional documentation (e.g. authorization) is needed from the IRCC.
There are different relationships considered under the extended family member (refer to the image below.) If one falls under this category, several documents need to be secured. Applicants in Canada will have to comply with the authorization and statutory declaration forms. The process includes securing each other’s signatures through solemn declaration (lawyer/notary public). The accomplished documents will be used for the foreign family member to request for a written authorization from the IRCC. During the date of travel, 3 important documents must be prepared: completed and signed application of authorization, statutory declaration, and written authorization. The foreign family member must be able to travel within 6 months from the time the documents were signed by a lawyer. Otherwise, they will have to secure another statutory declaration.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the government has implemented strict health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the disease. All travelers coming from outside Canada are required to undergo a quarantine procedure. Everything will have to be planned by the traveler itself, including the location and transport. The authorities responsible for monitoring your health status during your quarantine period will be in constant communication to verify compliance. Any breach of policy would involve jail time, a hefty fine, and removal from the country.
The program is designed to assist families to come to Canada despite the travel ban. It is not intended to replace the standard visa requirements for travelers. Those who have already secured a visitor’s visa may proceed with the steps above. But for those who are still about to obtain one, the application may be done altogether with the intent to unify with family members.
I guess the real challenge here is getting approved with the application for a visitor’s visa especially for those who haven’t had any history of travel. But since the program is actuated by the government, getting a visa under this intent could make things easier for the applicant as compared to pre-covid times.
Dreading about the process involved? Let us help you get things done! Fil-Global assists members and new applicants with various types of visas. We can find ways even with the most complex situations and will get you through with success. Our highly-trained agents and program managers are ready to take on clients who are interested in these government-initiated programs. By becoming one of our valued members, we assure you a quality service unparalleled by other international school placement agencies and immigration firms in the Philippines.