The Canadian government has issued guidance for foreign nationals who want to reunite with a Canadian family member or partner.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals trying to reunite with an immediate family member in Canada do not need written authorization from the government. They must meet all traveling requirements, including a 14-day quarantine requirement once they arrive in Canada. Immediate family members are defined as spouse or common-law partner, dependent children of the person or the person’s spouse or common-law partner, any dependent children of a dependent child, parents or step-parents, parents or step-parents of the spouse or common-law partner, guardians or tutors.
  • Foreign nationals must present one document showing their immediate family member’s status as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. They must show a second document proving their relationship to that family member, such as a marriage certificate, proof of common-law status, a birth certificate, or Confirmation of Permanent Residence.
  • Foreign nationals who are in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must have dated them for at least one year and have spent time in their physical presence in order to be eligible for travel to Canada with their dependent children.
  • Siblings and half-siblings of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are also eligible to reunite with their family members under the extended family member category.
  • The following requirements apply to foreign nationals seeking to reunite with a dating partner or extended family member:
    • The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must fill out the application for authorization and statutory declaration form. The form needs to be signed by the foreign national and returned to the Canadian citizen/resident.
    • The signed form must be authorized as a solemn declaration by a commissioner for oaths, justice of the peace, lawyer or notary public.
    • A copy of the completed form must be submitted by the foreign national to the Canadian government in order to receive written authorization before travel.
    • The foreign national must carry a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration and the written authorization when they travel. Travel to Canada must take place within six months of the form being signed by solemn declaration.

Background: Non-essential travel to Canada has been banned since March. Additional guidance for foreign nationals wishing to travel to Canada to be reunited with a Canadian citizen or resident is available here.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.