Family Reunification During COVID-19
The pandemic has caused uncertainty when determining whether a relative who is a foreign national can visit you in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has launched programs to facilitate family reunification. Since October 2020, extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been allowed to enter Canada as long as they obtain a travel authorization letter from the IRCC and follow quarantine rules. As of January 2021, any travellers to Canada must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their departure time.
IRCC has outlined definitions of an extended family member who may be allowed to travel to Canada during COVID-19. According to the IRCC, the following relatives are classified as extended family members: a non-dependent child (adult child who is over 22 years of age), a sibling, half-sibling or step sibling, a grandparent, and a grandchild. This list also includes individuals who are in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The couple must prove that they have been in a relationship for at least one year and that they have spent time in the physical presence of each other at some point during their relationship.
As mentioned, extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents have to submit a travel authorization request to IRCC. The request must be supported by documentary evidence.
Applying for a travel authorization request can be very stressful, and reuniting with a relative or a significant other is a priority for many people during these difficult times. Our Immigration Law Group will prepare and submit travel authorization requests on your relative’s behalf. We will also determine whether your extended family member has to apply for a Visitor Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization before submitting a travel authorization request.
At Siskinds, we are proud to assist families in reuniting in Canada. We go a step further for our clients by making ourselves available by phone during your relative’s arrival to Canada. Do not hesitate to reach out to our Immigration Group. We are here to help!
Immigration Law Lawyer, Siskinds