Canada reveals how extended family, compassionate travellers can apply for travel exemptions

By | October 20, 2020

The federal government has released entry requirements for extended family members and people travelling to Canada for compassionate reasons. Details have been released on Canada’s definition of extended family members, requirements for compassionate travellers to get exempt, and how to get limited release from quarantine.

As of today, October 8, extended family members can now cross the border to Canada, provided they are staying for at least 15 days and meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements. If you are extended family, you do not need a non-optional, non-discretionary reason to travel to Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s definition of extended family shifts depending on how the foreign traveller is related to the Canadian, or their spouse, common-law partner, or dating partner:

If you are directly connected to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can be exempt if you:

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

If you are related to the Canadian’s spouse or common-law partner you are considered extended family if you are:

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

And if you are related to the Canadian’s eligible dating partner, you are extended family if you are:

  • a dependent child;
  • an adult child; or
  • a grandchild (dependent child of a non-dependent adult child).

Exempt extended family members will also need a signed declaration by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that confirms your relationship. You will also need written authorization by IRCC.

Apply for travel exemption as extended family

There is a six-step process to apply for the travel exemption.

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

Your family member who is the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must fill out the application for authorization and statutory declaration form.

Step 2: You sign the declaration

Your family member in Canada sends you the application for authorization and statutory declaration that they filled out. You sign the form and 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 in front of any authorized official, such as a commissioner for oaths, justice of the peace, lawyer, or notary.

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.

Step 5: Request written authorization to travel

Once you have a copy of the completed and signed application for authorization and statutory declaration use it as evidence of your relationship with your family member and request a written authorization from us.

You need written authorization from IRCC no matter where you’re travelling from.

How you request a written authorization depends on whether or not you already have a valid travel document, such as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

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

Step 6: Bring your 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 six months to travel to Canada. If you don’t travel within six months, you’ll need a new statutory declaration.

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