As part of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and its worldwide effects. Canada is witnessing its impacts on immigration and travel into the Canadian land. Travelling is taking place but the Govt. is active. Their activities are in finding out ways to travel with safety and concern for the passengers. It has truly affected international mobility in almost all countries and that includes travel for business as well. Passengers and travellers need to be aware of the immigration and travel implications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TRAVELLING INTO CANADA
All the airlines of the world including the Canadian Airline holds vital responsibilities. These are mainly to prevent people with COVID-19 outbreak from boarding a flight to the Canadian land. According to an update in procedures due to the pandemic. All the travellers arriving from the international locations must be into self-isolation for a period of two weeks. The purpose can be anything including immigration to Canada for a permanent basis, a job- seeker visa or as a student.
Another key procedure introduced apart from immigration policies. It is by the Canadian travelling authorities and is effective from 18th of March 2020. The procedures say that most international flights coming to Canada shall be landing on 4 airports i.e. 4 major cities of Canada. These cities are Montreal, Toronto (Ontario), Calgary and Vancouver i.e. British Columbia. If people have to travel further they would have to take another flight. Alternatively, any other mode of transport for travel in the rest of Canadian regions.
Somebody who wants to go to Ottawa. Therefore, he shall have to take a flight to the nearest destination airports of the 4, i.e. Montreal and then they can travel to Ottawa. Although Ottawa is the Capital city and a very busy one as well. However, the procedures i.e. for health and safety are for the people allowing only 4 airports. To make sure that passengers are free from virus symptoms.
Hence, health monitoring procedures and enhanced screening are carried out on 4 Canadian airports. These screening procedures are just health checks instead of immigration screening. Flights from USA, Mexico and the Caribbean as well as domestic flights i.e. within Canada. Health & Safety measures shall not be affecting these flights as according to the Canadian authorities.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL FOR CANADA-BASED EMPLOYEES
Because of the pandemic COVID-19, and its impacts. Many countries of the world have imposed immigration & travel bans on their nationals, foreign nationals and people working in their country. This is a necessity as the pandemic has been a cause of many deaths already worldwide. Hence, Canada and USA are the two North-American nations that share their borders. The Canadian Govt.’s initial advice to the people was not to engage themselves into unwanted travelling. Therefore, only if it’s essential with a highly justified reason.
On the 14th of March, the Govt. recommended that any Canadians outside their country must return. Most importantly, as commercial flights are still available for the sake of people’s emergency travelling. Further to this, the travellers arriving in Canada from international destinations were asked for a self-isolation of 2 weeks. Hence, this is to counter COVID-19 symptoms if found in them. Another announcement came from the Govt. on 16th March. It said that from March 18th the Canadian borders shall be closing with a few exceptions. Immigration Canada has been busy updating their information and bringing rapid changes in travel policies.
GOVT’S TRAVEL TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS
With regards to corporate mobility and corporate immigration matters as well as employment matters and other similar issues. The Govt’s tips for the employers are all in the considerations of COVID-19 and its harmful effects.
- Avoiding business travelling outside of Canada, and the borders have been effectively closed for non-Canadians. All business travels outside Canada must be postponed until the situation gets out of danger.
- The work permit applications outside Canada for foreign hires and for immigration. Hence, they shall be taking more processing time, but can still be filed. This applies to people who are facing internal disruptions in their country.
- After the 16th March travel restrictions announcement taking effect from March 18. Foreign nationals with visa office work permit approvals. Furthermore, those people who were planning their travel to Canada won’t be allowed anymore. This is with exception to United States National who don’t need any immigration checks.
- The employers must also consider the transitioning of eligible work permit holders to permanent resident status. This will help the foreign nationals in sustaining in Canada and hold firm grounds. Hence, automatically ending the employer IRPA i.e. compliance requirements. These are faced by the employers while the foreign workers are in Canada on a work permit.
- Keep yourself updated and informed through websites and other sources as processing rules and guidelines can change.
- Apart from the normal conditions that the employer has to follow. If because of COVID-19 there is a requirement in changes in wages or work conditions. Hence, the employer should immediately consult guidance from immigration and employment law before the changes are implemented.