Canada relaxes travel restrictions for extended family - Canada Visa & Immigration
extended family travel exemption

Canada relaxes travel restrictions for extended family

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced extended family travel exemption to its coronavirus travel ban. Effective October 8, 2020 extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents can now cross the border to Canada, provided they are staying for at least 15 days and meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements.

Extended family members include people in a long-term exclusive dating relationship and their dependent children, adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents. Examples of extended family members in exclusive dating relationships include fiancés, romantic partners, boyfriends, girlfriends or any other couple in an intimate, loving relationship of at least 1 year.

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The new policy aims to exempt foreigners from Canada’s coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions in order to unite them with extended family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents

IRCC’s definition of “extended family”

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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For purposes of the extended family travel exemption, whether IRCC will consider you as an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident depends on who you’re related to and how.

If your relationship is with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you must be

  • in an exclusive dating relationship, have been in the relationship for at least 1 year and have spent time in the physical presence of that person at some point during the relationship
  • a non-dependent child (adult child)
  • a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child)
  • a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling
  • a grandparent

If you’re related to the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you must be a

  • non-dependent child (adult child)
  • grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child)
  • sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling
  • grandparent

If you’re related to someone in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you must be a

  • dependent child
  • non-dependent child (adult child)
  • grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child)

Steps to apply for the extended family travel exemption

IRCC has set out the following six-step process to apply for the extended family travel exemption.

Step 1: Your family member fills out the application for authorization and statutory declaration form

Your family member who is the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must fill out the application for authorization and statutory declaration (IMM 0006) (PDF, 2.2 MB).

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Step 2: You sign the declaration

Your family member in Canada sends you the filled out application for authorization and statutory declaration (IMM 0006) (PDF, 2.2 MB) for you to sign. After you sign the form, you send it back to your family member in Canada.

Step 3: Your family member signs the form by solemn declaration

Once you’ve sent the form back to your family member in Canada, they must sign the form by solemn declaration. This is done in front of any official who is legally authorized to receive a solemn declaration, such as a commissioner for oaths, justice of the peace, lawyer or notary public.

Step 4: Get a copy of the completed and signed form

Your family member in Canada must send you a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration (IMM 0006) (PDF, 2.2 MB).

Step 5: Request written authorization to travel

Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration (IMM 0006) (PDF, 2.2 MB), use it as evidence of your relationship with your family member and request a written authorization from IRCC. 

You need written authorization from IRCC whether you’re travelling from the United States (US) or any other country.

How you request a written authorization depends on whether or not you already have a valid travel document (visitor visa or eTA).

Find out how to request authorization.

You should not book a flight to Canada until you get your written authorization from IRCC.

Step 6: Bring the copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when you travel.

You must have a copy of the application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization with you when you travel. This is mandatory. If not, you won’t be allowed to board your flight or enter Canada.

Once the form is signed by solemn declaration, you have 6 months to travel to Canada. If it’s longer than 6 months before you’ll be travelling, you’ll need a new statutory declaration.

To board your flight to Canada

You must

  • follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airline officials to confirm that you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing
    • Anyone showing symptoms will not be allowed to board a flight to Canada.
  • make sure you have a valid travel document (visitor visa or eTA, if required) and a passport that is valid to come to Canada
  • tell the airline that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and present a copy of the completed application for authorization and statutory declaration as well as the written authorization
  • be prepared to provide additional proof to show that you’re an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident if asked
    • for example, a birth certificate or other documents that show a family connection, such as documents that show a shared address
  • be able to provide evidence of one of the following:
    • You’ll stay in Canada for 15 days or more.
    • You’re travelling for an essential(non-discretionary) purpose.

See also Canada relaxes income requirements for family sponsorship


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.