Prepared by Veronica Laurent; Shreeya A Pal; Edited by Peter Seeder on December 11, 2021

The government of Canada has announced new travel & border measures which will be effective from this month, December. Hereon, all passengers aged 12 and above will be required to have a full COVID-19 vaccination in Canada prior to their travel.

According to a government press release held on later last month, Canada increased the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can take to be deemed fully vaccinated. Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin, Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are now approved by the government of Canada.

The new regulations are applicable to the federally regulated transportation industry. This covers all travels via rail, rocky mountaineer trains, all Canadian airports, and passenger boats on 24-hours or longer journeys, such as cruise ships. This restriction does not apply to road vehicles, such as buses. Only a tiny proportion of travellers currently qualify for one of the few allowed exemptions, such as those who cannot be vaccinated due to a specific medical reasons/condition. Previously, a grace period was provided, allowing travellers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test instead of proof of vaccination. However, this measure is no longer valid according to the latest COIVD-19 measures announced by the government of Canada.

A temporary measure has also been implemented, allowing foreign nationals to depart Canada by air without being vaccinated until February 28. Before boarding a plane, those who want to exercise this exemption must provide a negative molecular test for COVID-19. This measure is only available to those who entered Canada before October 30.



Fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to leave Canada and return within 72 hours of departure, are no longer required to present a COVID-19 molecular test result in order to return. Any traveller who stays overseas for longer than 72 hours will still be required to take the necessary COVID-19 molecular test before entering Canada since Canada does not recognize antigen tests [also referred to as rapid tests]. This exemption only applies to fully immunised Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or anyone registered under the Indian Act who travel to and from Canada by air or land. This new policy also applies to children under the age of 12 and anyone who are unable to get vaccinated due to a specific medical reason/condition.

To be recognized as fully vaccinated, the travellers are required to complete the required vaccination dosage of any vaccines approved by the government of Canada, at least 14 days prior to the day of departure. Thereafter, travellers are required to submit the vaccination details through the online application called ArriveCan, including the vaccination certificate and quarantine plan prior to arrival in Canada. You may go through this previous article of ours to get the download link to ArriveCan. Travellers are also required to submit the certified translation of their vaccination details if the proof of vaccination is in any language other than English or French.

Check out Owlspriority Immigration’s Canada Settlement Resources to learn more about ways to find a new job in Canada, making your initial days in Canada stress-free and confident, etc.

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