Foreign workers and students
COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective December 15, 2021: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada, regardless of your vaccination status. Omicron travel health notice
This page explains how travel restrictions, effective as of 12:01 a.m. ET on January 15, 2022, will affect foreign workers and international students. To find out if you can enter Canada before then, answer a few questions.
On this page
- Travel documents for visitors to Canada
- Foreign workers: Travel restrictions and exemptions
- International students: Travel restrictions and exemptions
Travel documents for visitors to Canada
First, you should determine whether or not you can enter Canada.Find out if you can travel to Canada
If you’re eligible to travel to Canada at this time, you need to tell us, so we can prioritize your application. What you need to do depends on if you’ve already applied for a visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) or not.
If you haven’t applied for a visa or eTA yet
If you’ve already applied for a visa or eTA
Follow the steps for:
If you’re already in Canada, and your visitor status is still valid
When you apply, make sure you include a note explaining why you need to extend your stay in Canada.
You can apply online for a visitor record to extend your stay in Canada.
If you’re in Canada, and your visitor status has expired
You may be able to restore your status.
If you’re not eligible to travel right now
You can apply for a visitor visa or an eTA, even if you’re not eligible to travel at this time. If your application is approved, you must wait for the travel restrictions to end to travel to Canada.
You must apply online.
Find out if you need a visitor visa or an eTA before you apply.
Foreign workers: Travel restrictions and exemptions
As a foreign worker, you must qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to enter Canada, unless you have a job in 1 of the following categories:
Agricultural or food processing worker
Your work must fall under 1 of the following National Occupational Classifications (NOCs):
- Managers in agriculture (NOC 0821)
- Managers in horticulture (NOC 0822)
- Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers—retail and wholesale (NOC 6331)
- Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC 8252)
- Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services (NOC 8255)
- General farm workers (NOC 8431)
- Nursery and greenhouse workers (NOC 8432)
- Harvesting labourers (NOC 8611)
- Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing (NOC 9461)
- Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 9462)
- Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463)
- Labourers in food and beverage processing (NOC 9617)
- Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 9618)
Marine crew member
You must be entering Canada to work, and your work must be essential for transporting goods by vessel.
Make medical deliveries
You’ll deliver cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs or other body parts that are needed for patient care in Canada.
Work with medical equipment or devices
You may be delivering, maintaining, installing or repairing medical devices or equipment.
If your immediate family members need to come to Canada
If your family members are 18 years of age or older, they must qualify as fully vaccinated travellers to join or visit you in Canada.
If they’re under the age of 18, answer a few questions to find out if they can visit or join you in Canada.
Before you travel to Canada
All travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. Under certain conditions, you may be exempt from some of these requirements.
Find out if you’re exempt from any testing and quarantine requirements
If you haven’t applied for a work permit yet
Due to COVID-19, we can’t provide accurate processing times. There are also special instructions for priority processing for some workers.
How COVID-19 has affected the application process
Temporary workers already in Canada
COVID-19 has changed how to apply for a work permit and how we’ll process your application.
Find out how COVID-19 changes affect foreign workers in Canada
Agricultural, agri-food and seafood employers
There are specific requirements for the employers of this group of temporary foreign workers.
Agricultural, agri-food and seafood quarantine and testing requirements
International students: Travel restrictions and exemptions
To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 3 requirements:
- You must qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller unless you’re a minor student (under the age of 18 years).
- You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, unless you don’t need one.
- You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI).
Even if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must have a 14-day quarantine plan in place before arriving in Canada. The border services officer will make the final decision about whether or not you qualify.
Applying for a study permit
If you’re applying for a study permit, you should apply online.
What you need to travel to Canada as a student 18 years of age or older
You must bring:
- a valid study permit, or a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit
- a valid letter of acceptance from the DLI you’re enrolled in
- proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- proof of vaccination
The border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.
What you need to travel to Canada as a minor student (under 18 years of age)
If you’re a minor student (under 18 years of age), you don’t have to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.
Minor children need a valid passport or travel document to come to Canada, but they may not need a study permit.
A border services officer will make the final decision at the border about whether the minor student can enter Canada and be issued a study permit.
Learn more about what you need to study in Canada as a minor (18 years or under).
Cross-border students (daily or regular crossing)
To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must
- qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, unless you’re under 18 years of age
- have a study permit and
- be enrolled at a DLI in British Columbia, Canada
As a cross-border student, you’ll likely be exempt from quarantine upon arrival in Canada if you’re enrolled at a DLI in British Columbia.
While in Canada you must:
- wear a mask in any public setting where you can’t maintain physical distancing
- follow all public health guidelines for the municipality and province or territory in which you study
If someone will be driving you to and from your DLI, they also don’t need to quarantine for 14 days, as long as
- they only leave their vehicle to escort you to and from your school and
- they wear a mask at all times while outside their vehicle
If your child is accompanying you to Canada
If your child (under the age of 18 years) will be coming with you to Canada, they don’t need to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller. However, they do need to come to Canada at the same time as you.
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