Frequently asked questions - COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad
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- What is the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians abroad?
- Who is eligible to apply for the loan?
- What types of expenses can be covered?
- Do I need to go to an embassy or consulate to apply?
- How can I apply?
- What are the loan conditions?
- How soon can I access the funds if my loan is approved?
- How do I repay the loan?
- What is the due date of my loan repayment?
- Can I request an extension on the due date?
- Can I pay in installments?
- Can I repay using an E-transfer?
- How can I make a wire transfer or direct deposit?
- Do I need to send the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form every time I do a wire transfer?
- A friend/family member wants to use their credit card to reimburse my loan. Is it possible?
- I have declared bankruptcy, what do I do?
- The loan recipient has died. What do I do?
Q1: What is the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad?
The Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad as a temporary financial assistance program to help Canadians outside Canada return home or to help them shelter in place while they are working toward returning to Canada. If you are:
- outside Canada
- have no available source of funds
- had plans in place to return to Canada before COVID-19
you can apply for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to cover your short-term needs while you work toward returning home.
Q2: Who is eligible to apply for the loan?
You are eligible to apply for the loan if you are a Canadian citizen whose plans to return to Canada have been disrupted by COVID-19 and who has no other source of funds to return home. These sources of funds can include:
- credit card
- banks, insurance providers
- money transfers from friends and family
We will consider that you had clear plans to return to Canada before COVID-19 if you can provide a copy of:
- a confirmed travel itinerary
- a temporary visa for a foreign country (tourism, business, student, work) with a clear end date
A one-way ticket abroad or recent loss of employment are not considered proof that you intend to return to Canada.
If you are a Canadian citizen travelling with an immediate family member who is a permanent resident of Canada, you may include that person’s eligible expenses in your application.
- "Immediate family" is defined as spouse, parents and children.
If you are a Canadian permanent resident, your life is threatened or you are in danger of serious harm, you may be eligible, even if you are not travelling with a Canadian citizen family member.
Q3: What types of expenses can be covered?
Each situation is unique and consular officials will determine and approve the amount of the loan on a case-by-case basis. Expenses covered by the loan include, but are not limited to:
- the most economical transport costs including:
- air travel to return to Canada
- local transport related to your return to Canada
- reasonable costs for essential needs, including food and shelter while you are unable to return to Canada.
- medical costs not covered by local public health services or private insurance such as:
- hospitalization or other treatment if you are infected with COVID-19
- prescription drugs required for the treatment of COVID-19 or of pre-existing conditions if your planned return to Canada has been delayed because of factors related to COVID-19
- costs related to the translation of COVID-19 related medical information, including prescriptions, medical notes, diagnoses and medical files provided by your health care practitioner and required by a local health authority
- costs related to other critical needs if you are hospitalized or quarantined for COVID-19:
- professional services to address the psycho-social impacts
- helping you communicate with family and support networks in Canada
Your insurance policy may provide for emergency support in a crisis like this one. Check with your insurance provider for details.
The COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad does not cover the costs for transportation of pets or personal belongings or for storage, and it cannot be used to cover costs related to mandatory quarantine or self-isolation upon your return to Canada.
Q4: Do I need to go to an embassy or consulate to apply?
- You do not need to make an application in person at the embassy or consulate.
- After you have exhausted all other funding options (contacting friends, family and insurance providers, bank, etc.), you will be asked to complete the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Request Form (C-19 Loan Form).
- Call the nearest Canadian government office abroad, which may be able to provide advice on issuing a COVID-19 loan.
Q5: How can I apply?
If you are an eligible Canadian, are outside Canada and need financial assistance, contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca.
For all other consular emergencies, contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q6: What are the loan conditions?
This loan must be repaid to the Government of Canada. We will provide you with further details when you apply.
Q7: How soon can I access the funds if my loan is approved?
We are currently processing a large number of COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad applications.
It may take several days to review your application once you submit it. We will contact you as soon as we have finished. Each application is unique and takes a different amount of time to process. If your application is incomplete, it will take longer.
Q8: How do I repay the loan?
Global Affairs Canada will send you an invoice using the email address you indicated on your Emergency Loan Application Web Form. It will include details on how to pay back your loan and the date on which the 180-day repayment period begins. The COVID-19 Emergency Loan must be paid back to Global Affairs Canada. If you have not paid it in full within 180 days of receiving the invoice, we will notify the Canada Revenue Agency of your remaining debt to the Government of Canada. Once notified, the Canada Revenue Agency can use money owed to you by any Government of Canada department or agency to reduce or repay your remaining debt.
If your contact information has changed since you applied for the emergency loan, it is your responsibility to inform us accordingly.
Q9: What is the due date of my loan repayment?
You have 180 days to repay the full amount of the loan to the Receiver General for Canada. The date on which the 180-day period begins is indicated in the email you will receive regarding your loan repayment.
Q10: Can I request an extension on the due date?
No extension will be granted. However, payments will continue to be accepted after 180 days.
Q11: Can I pay in installments?
Yes, it is possible to make a number of smaller payments to repay the debt. Instructions on how to repay are included in the information package sent with the loan invoice. Note that the time period to repay the total debt remains 180 days when paying in installments.
Q12: Can I repay using an E-transfer?
E-transfers sent through online banking are not accepted. Only wire transfers or direct deposit are accepted.
Q13: How can I make a wire transfer or direct deposit?
Contact your financial institution to enquire. Wire transfers and direct deposits normally require the client to visit their financial institution.
Q14: Do I need to send the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form every time I do a wire transfer?
Yes, the information indicated on the EFT form is required to reconcile the wire transfer with the invoice.
Q15: A friend/family member wants to use their credit card to reimburse my loan. Is it possible?
Yes. If you do not have a credit card but a friend or relative agrees to use theirs on your behalf, it is possible to do so but the cardholder’s name must be clearly printed (block letters) and they must sign and date the form. Global Affairs Canada reserves the right to contact the cardholder for confirmation.
Q16: I have declared bankruptcy, what do I do?
Inform your trustee of your debt to the Government of Canada and provide the trustee with our email address and a copy of your invoice or most recent statement of account. If you have not yet received your invoice or need an updated statement of account, please contact us.
Q17: The loan recipient has died. What do I do?
Please contact us to formally inform the COVID-19 Emergency Loan program that a loan recipient has died.
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