Find out if you can travel to Canada - Foreign national - Non-U.S. - Family - Temporary resident

You indicated that you are:

  • a foreign national
  • not coming from the United States
  • reuniting with a temporary resident
  • the immediate family member of a temporary resident

To be able to enter Canada, you will need to prove you are an immediate family member and have written authorization before you travel to Canada.

You will likely be allowed to enter Canada if you meet these requirements; however, the final determination will be made by a government official at the port of entry.

What you need to do next

Accompanying a family member to Canada

Accompanying a temporary resident of Canada

If you’re travelling to Canada together, you need to meet the same requirements as someone who is reuniting with family already in Canada. The specific documents you need depends on your relationship with the person you are travelling with.

When you travel, bring documents to prove your family member’s status in Canada and your relationship with them.

If you’re an immediate family member of an international student

You may be able to travel to Canada with the student. However, you must show that your reasons for travel are non-discretionary (non-optional). For example, you’ll help a minor child get established and support them in Canada.

Immediate family members of international students

If you’re an immediate family member of a foreign worker

Immediate family can come to Canada if they’ll live with you for most of the time your work permit is valid.

Depending on their situation, they may need to request written authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to reunite with you before they travel.

Immediate family members of foreign workers

Documents to prove immediate family status and your relationship

You must have 2 types of documents:

Proof of your immediate family member’s status in Canada

The following are examples of documents you can provide. Paper and electronic copies of these documents are accepted. Please note that these are examples only. An officer may request or accept other documents as needed.

  • a copy of the immediate family member’s work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit, or visitor record (please note that a visitor record may not be suitable to meet an exemption in all circumstances
Proof of your relationship to that family member

The following are examples of documents you can provide. Paper and electronic copies of these documents are accepted. Please note that these are examples only. An officer may request or accept other documents as needed.

  • a marriage certificate or proof of common-law status (documents showing a shared address)
  • a birth certificate
  • other documents that show an immediate family connection, for example:
    • correspondence from us showing a spousal sponsorship application in progress
    • documents that show a shared home address
Request written authorization for family reunification from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

There are different ways to request an authorization based on what travel document you need. Before you apply, find out if you need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

If you need a visitor visa but haven’t applied for one yet

Follow the instructions for How to apply for a visitor visa. We’ll assess your reasons for travel and make a decision on your visitor visa and your written authorization at the same time.

Remember to submit evidence that you’re eligible to travel at this time. You must have:

  • proof of relationship with an immediate family member in Canada
  • proof of immigration status of your immediate family member in Canada (copy of their study permit or work permit)

If you don’t need a visitor visa, already have one, or if you travel with an eTA

Follow the instructions below to request written authorization if you:

  • already have a valid visitor visa or an application in progress
  • have a valid eTA or need to apply for one
  • don’t need a visitor visa or eTA

How to send your request for a written authorization

Follow the instructions below to make sure your request is complete.

We’ll contact you within 14 business days of receiving your complete request.

Do not book travel before you get written authorization that you can travel.

How to fill out the web form

  • Choose “Submit a travel exemption enquiry” from the dropdown menu, then click “Continue to form”.
  • Fill in the personal information for the person who wants to travel to Canada. See below for more information on what to enter in each field.
  • Agree to the consent and disclaimer and review your request before you submit it.
Travelling with family

If you’re travelling with family, each family member that needs written authorization should submit a separate web form request. In the “Tell us about your situation” field, include the names and date of birth of the family members you’re travelling with.

Submit only 1 web form request, per person, with all the required information and supporting documents.

If you send us multiple requests for the same person with different or missing information, your request will be delayed and may be refused.

If we approve your request for a written authorization, we’ll send it to the email address you gave us.

What to enter in each field

Email address

We’ll use the email address you give us to contact you.

We can only respond to your email address. If you want us to respond to an email addresses other than your own, you must provide a Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form to authorize another person to act on your behalf.

If you’re a representative, and you applied on behalf of someone, we’ll use the email address you provided in that application.

Unique client identifier (UCI) number

Provide your UCI to help us find you in our system. If you don’t have a UCI, you can leave this field empty.

Application number

Provide your application number. If you don’t have your application number, click the checkbox below the field to tell us you don’t have one.

What did you apply for?

Select “Temporary Residence” then select the travel document you applied for.

Tell us about your situation

Include information such as

  • a detailed reason of how you meet a travel exemption to come to Canada
  • your relationship to the family member in Canada
  • the status of the person in Canada
  • your passport number
  • the dates you plan to travel
  • where you live now (current country of residence)
  • the names and date of birth of any family members you are travelling with

If you’ve already booked your travel, provide your travel itinerary including your

  • flight number
  • departure time and location
  • arrival time and location

Upload files that support your situation

Upload documents to support your request. You must include proof of

  • relationship with an immediate family member in Canada
  • immigration status of your immediate family member in Canada (copy of their study permit or work permit)

Do not include personal photos.

This answer does not guarantee entry into Canada

If you need assistance with a special circumstance

Get additional assistance

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