Canada to exempt compassionate travellers from travel ban - CanImmNewsletter.com - Canada Immigration Newsletter
canada compassionate travellers

Canada to exempt compassionate travellers from travel ban


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released new requirements for Canada compassionate travellers to get exemption from Canada’s coronavirus travel restrictions, and how to get limited release from quarantine. Friends and family can come visit Canadians, permanent residents, temporary residents, and protected persons for compassionate reasons.

Applications for Canada compassionate travellers travel exemption will be considered for those needing to:

  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to provide support or care to someone who is critically ill
  • provide care for a person who has a medical reason as to why they require support
  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony

Canada compassionate travellers -entry and limited release from quarantine

Every person entering Canada, with limited exceptions, must quarantine for 14 days, starting on the day of arrival. Travellers entering Canada may seek approval for an exemption from border restrictions and a limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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Before your trip to Canada, you must receive advance approval for both the exemption to the border restrictions and a limited release from quarantine.

  • Without advance written approval for an exemption of a border restriction, you may be denied aircraft boarding or entry into Canada.
  • Without an approved release from quarantine, you’ll be subject to all mandatory quarantine requirements.

Each traveller must complete their own application form. Individuals must submit the Letter of Required Support or proof of death as well as any necessary Site Visit Authorizations to:

  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to provide support or care to a person
  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony

Follow the steps below to apply for an exemption to current border restrictions and a limited release from quarantine for compassionate reasons.

Step 1: Exemption from border restrictions and limited release from quarantine

Applications will be considered for those needing to:

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  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to provide support or care to someone who is critically ill
  • provide care for a person who has a medical reason as to why they require support
  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony

Provincial and territorial quarantine requirements may not allow for limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons. Check with the provincial or territorial health authority for your destination to verify any additional restrictions or exemptions.

To apply, you must complete an application, and provide the following supporting documents. Depending on your situation, you may not need both items in the list below: 

  1. Letter of Required Supportcompleted and signed by a licensed health care professional that certifies that your presence is required to:
    • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to support someone who is critically ill
    • provide care or support for someone who has a medical reason  
  2. If you need to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony, the following documents are examples that can be used as part of the death notification:
    • statement of death
    • medical certificate of death
    • burial permit
    • death certificate

The Letter of Required Support or other necessary documents confirm your eligibility for limited release from quarantine. You may also need the permission of the site you’ll be visiting, such as:

Instructions for the Letter of Required Support

You’ll need a Letter of Required Support if you’re providing support or care, or requesting to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one. A Letter of Required Support isn’t required to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

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  1. Download the Letter of Required Support (PDF).
  2. Send the Letter of Required Support to the licensed health care professional who can certify that your presence is required.
  3. You’ll need the completed and signed Letter of Required Support to submit your completed application to IRCC for processing.
  4. Continue to Step 2 when you’re also applying for a limited release from quarantine.

Step 2: Site visit authorization during limited release from quarantine

If you need to temporarily leave your place of quarantine for a compassionate reason, you may need additional permission from the site you’re visiting. A Site Visit Authorization may not be required if you’re visiting a public setting or site, for example, a funeral in a public park. 

Instructions for applying for authorization to visit a site
  1. Download the Site Visit Authorization (PDF).
  2. Send the Site Visit Authorization form to the administrator, proprietor or homeowner of each site or location you need to visit during your limited release from quarantine, such as:
    • funeral home
    • place of worship
    • retirement home
    • long-term care facility
    • palliative care facility, such as a hospice
    • private residence where the death or end of life ceremony is occurring or where you’re supporting a critically ill person or caring for a person with a medical condition
  3. You’ll need the completed and signed Site Visit Authorization form(s) to include with your application.
  4. Continue to Step 3 to submit your completed application.

Step 3: Traveller Application

Complete the Traveller Application form using the IRCC secure web portal. The Traveller Application form requires your contact information and details on the reason you’re requesting an assessment.

You won’t be able to submit your application until you have all supporting documents:

  • Letter of Required Support or documentation used to support a death
  • Site Visit Authorization(s)

It’s an offence under the Quarantine Act to provide a false or misleading statement, which could lead to up to:

  • 6 months in prison and/or
  • $750,000 in fines
Instructions for filling out your application

Make sure you have everything you need before starting. You won’t be able to save the form for completion later.

  1. Choose one of the 3 forms below:
    1. Application for Entry
      • for foreign nationals only
    2. Application for Limited Release from Quarantine
      • for foreign nationals already in Canada, as well as Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons registered under the Indian Act
    3. Application for Entry and Limited Release from Quarantine
      • for foreign nationals
  2. Fill out all required fields on page 1 of the application.
    • There are 2 pages in total. Clicking ‘Next’ to get to page 2 doesn’t submit information or your application.
  3. Attach the required supporting authorizations on page 2 of the application.
  4. Submit your application through the IRCC secure portal.
    • You’ll receive an immediate message indicating, ‘Submission completed successfully.’

You’ll also receive a receipt email with an application number. 

Your application will be assessed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. IRCC will confirm that your request meets the requirements for entry and/or limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons. Applications with missing requirements won’t be assessed.

Service standard

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s goal is to respond to applications within 7 business days. Some cases will fall outside this service standard.

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Other travel requirements

All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website to learn more about what travel documents are required.

If you plan to quarantine with a person at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19, you may be asked to provide proof at the border of their consent for you to quarantine with them. Learn more about exemptions, quarantine and advice.

You must follow Canada’s public health guidelines for COVID-19 as well as any conditions set by provincial, territorial and local public health authorities. This must be done for the duration of your stay in Canada. In cases where provincial and federal requirements differ, follow the most stringent requirements.

Use the ArriveCAN app (iOSAndroid) or website to speed up your arrival process in Canada and spend less time with border and public health officers. Submit your information easily and securely using the app or website before arriving in Canada.

See also Canada relaxes travel restrictions for extended family

See also ★ Canadian new immigrants – preparing for life in Canada


You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.