Like most countries, Canada felt the impact of the global pandemic, which has heavily affected the immigration department. The implementation of travel restrictions and closure of borders on March 18 were some of the special measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus. However, Canadian immigration remained active in providing essential immigration updates to all foreign nationals and Canadians in the diaspora.
On June 12, 2020, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced new guidelines for people traveling into the country. Notably, the new updates focused on the immediate family members who have been wishing to come into Canada and join their loved ones, as stated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. With new travel restrictions, the PM announced the following.
Non-Optional Travel Purposes to Canada
In the statement, IRCC recommends immigrants to enter Canada for either non-optional or non-discretionary purposes. Besides, it remains the duty of the immigrant to state the reason for their visit to the country. For immediate family members—to both Canadian citizens and permanent residents— they can only enter the country for non-discretionary or non-option purposes. This exception favors those who are coming to the country to reunite with immediate families, and they are planning to stay for more than 15 days.
IRCC also emphasized on the need for flexibility when processing immediate family member applications, including those traveling for less than 15 days, provided that their trip is non-optional. Additionally, immediate family members of temporary residents must provide evidence that proves that their travel is for the said purposes. All foreigners visiting Canada from different countries other than the United States must again receive an authorization letter from IRCC.
Who Does IRCC Consider to be Immediate Family Member
The Canadian immigration department defines immediate family members as the nuclear family members among other immediate members, which include;
- Spouses or common-law partners
- Dependent children
- Parents and step-parents
- Guardians or tutors