If you are an avid reader of Canada immigration news and updates, you must have heard that Canada now eases border measures for fully vaccinated travelers. Nothing has changed in terms of eligibility, however, the time and financial impact for qualified travelers are significant.
Let’s take a look at how these factors can affect you whether you’re an international student, a citizen, or a permanent resident of Canada.
Canada’s travel restrictions
Up to this date, the country is still restricting non-essential travels. Only international students, Canadian citizens, and permanent residents are allowed to go through the borders.
Students must be enrolled in a college that belonged to the list of approved DLIs. Upon arrival in Canada, they must follow the school’s COVID-19 readiness plan, a 14-day period quarantine, and a day-8 test.
Because of these policies, many students became hesitant in pursuing their studies in Canada due to the added burden when it comes to expenses. Unfortunately, the costs during the quarantine process are shouldered by the students.
What has changed?
Quarantine & day-8 testing exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers
Since the worldwide COVID-19 vaccinations are currently taking place, I suppose this made the country decide to become more welcoming to its travelers. Finally, the government has made a critical order to allow some entitlement on those people who have completed a full vaccination.
Canada eases border measures for fully vaccinated travelers by exempting the following individuals:
Fully vaccinated with either of these recognized vaccines:
Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)
Have met the 14-day condition before entering the borders of Canada
Uploaded their proof of vaccination digitally via the ArriveCAN, either in French or English
Entry requirements for fully vaccinated travelers
If you have completed the full series of vaccines, note that there are still a couple of things you need to prepare as part of Canada’s entry requirements. Let’s discuss these in each section below:
Proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test (e.g. PCR and RT-PCR) is required for travelers 5 years and above. This must be taken within 72 hours of the departure time of your last direct flight to Canada. You won’t be allowed to go onboard without this, so plan your schedules accordingly.
If you have a history of contracting the virus, your results are expected to remain positive even if you are already fully healed. You only have to provide previous proof of a positive COVID-19 test between 14 and 90 days before your flight.
Another thing you need to consider is the qualified testing centers in your area. Take a look at the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories here in the Philippines in here.
Once you arrive, keep your test results within the 14-day period. The government officials will require this document if you tested positive, if you have developed symptoms within 14 days from the date of arrival, or if you were known to be exposed to a symptomatic person.
Avoid tampering or providing fraudulent test results. The government imposes hefty fines of up to 1 million CAD. There’s also a possibility of imprisonment and you will be denied entry or can be banned from entering the country again.
Canada eases border measures for fully vaccinated travelers through the exemptions which were already laid out, however, the only determinative body is the Canadian government personnel at the border. Though precautions and pretesting are implemented, untoward circumstances might still happen, there is still a possibility of contracting the disease. This is why travelers should prepare to quarantine for 14 days especially if they become symptomatic upon arrival, or if in case they don’t meet the requirements per an officer’s verdict.
In planning for your quarantine, you need to:
Comply with the mandatory 3-night pre-paid booking at a government-authorized hotel before you arrive in Canada. The booking charges are refundable once your results show that you are negative from COVID-19.
Secure a place for your 14-day quarantine where you’ll have access to all the necessities without any contact with other people.
Your quarantine plan must be submitted using the ArriveCAN. After downloading this application, you’ll be asked questions about your quarantine plan, receive automatic notifications or emails for any instructions you need to follow.
All travelers must submit themselves for testing upon arrival. It is highly advisable to register in advance with the testing provider so you could save time. Note that you need to use the same email address you used on your ArriveCAN. Here are the following testing providers, depending on which airport you’re expected to arrive at:
You will either take the test at the border or receive a home test kit for free. If the test was taken on-site, you may proceed immediately to your place of destination. There is no need to wait for the results, the testing provider will give you further instructions on where you’ll receive your results. For home test kits, the test should be taken on the day and the results should be sent according to the instruction provided.
The checklist below should guide you, as a traveler, when entering the borders of Canada:
Using the ArriveCAN app
Make sure your ArriveCAN app is installed, updated, and working perfectly on your mobile phone. This will come in very handy since this is where you will be receiving instructions during your travel. You also need to input your details regarding your proof of vaccination, quarantine, and travel information in the ArriveCAN. Even if you’re valid for the exemption, without this app, your entry won’t be considered.
Providing your proof of vaccination using ArriveCAN
ArriveCAN has been a very important tool in ensuring swift procedures upon arrival at the border, it limits point of contact and helps automate processes. Through this app, important information can be collected from travelers. Wondering what these are? Below are some of the details you need to enter in your ArriveCAN:
The details of your first and second dose
Photo or PDF file on each dose you have received.
The proof must be in English or French language.
An important note: remember to bring your original records when you travel.
With Canada making major changes to its current border restrictions, soon enough, we will be seeing more relaxed measures that will make things easier for inbound travelers, especially for international students.
Are you traveling unvaccinated? Don’t fret! You could still travel as a student and opt to get your vaccine in Canada. You just need to follow the usual entry and quarantine requirements if you do not qualify for the exemption. If you’re worried about the arrival process, our agents will assist you in everything you need to know and prepare you before departure.