2021-11-29T17:59:16-05:00July 9th, 2021|

How changes to Canada’s border restrictions affect new arrivals

Last updated: November 30, 2021


With an increasing number of people being vaccinated against COVID-19, the Canadian government has been easing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantining requirements for travellers entering the country. 

Note Icon  Note
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

In this article:

Here’s how upcoming changes to quarantining regulations will affect Permanent Residents, temporary foreign workers, international students, and other newcomers to Canada:

What are the current quarantine requirements for entering Canada?

Currently, all travellers, including Permanent Residents, Temporary Foreign Workers,  and International Students (and their accompanying family members) are required by law to take the following steps when entering or re-entering Canada:

  • Travellers must take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.
  • Travellers must take a second test on Day-1 of their arrival in Canada.
  • Travellers must adhere to a 14-day quarantine, unless they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is approved in Canada. Fully vaccinated travellers can exit their quarantine after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result for their Day-1 test.
  • Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are also required to take a third COVID-19 test on Day-8 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Essential service workers with a federal or provincial travel exemption are not required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Canada. 

Note Icon  Note
Starting 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9, the 3-night hotel stopover requirement has been eliminated for all travellers arriving in Canada by air.

What quarantine changes is the Canadian government proposing?

What changes?

Fully vaccinated (with a Canadian-approved vaccine) international travellers will be exempt from the full 14-day quarantine upon arrival. However, they will still need to be asymptomatic at the time of their travel, will need to take a COVID test upon departure and arrival, and must have a suitable quarantine plan until they wait for their COVID-19 test results. 

Who do the changes concern?

As of July 5, 2021, at 11:59, the following rules will apply to the following fully-vaccinated travellers who are entering or re-entering Canada and who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to arriving in Canada:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent Residents
  • International Students with a valid  study permit from a Designated Learning Institution with a COVID-readiness plan
  • Foreign nationals who hold a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Temporary foreign workers who have a valid work permit (or a letter of introduction for a work permit) AND a job offer (unless you’ll work with a spouse/common-law partner open work permit), OR are authorized to work without a work permit
  • Immediate family members (spouses, children) of these authorized travellers who can  prove their reason for travel is not optional (such as establishing yourself in Canada to live with your family member or reuniting with your family)

Be sure to check the government’s latest updates on quarantine and border restrictions before planning your travel.

Requirements to qualify for these changes

In order to be exempt from the full 14-day quarantine, the eligible travellers must meet all of the following requirements:

  • They will need to submit proof of full vaccination with one of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada (see below) within the updated version of the ArriveCAN app (unrelated to the Arrive app for newcomers).
  • They will need to provide an official translation of vaccination documents if the documents are not in French or English.
  • They must be asymptomatic at the time of travel.
  • They will need to show proof of taking a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving in Canada.
  • They must have a suitable quarantine plan until they wait for their COVID-19 test results. 
  • They will be required to take another COVID-19 test upon arriving and must quarantine until the test result is negative.
  • They will be able to end their quarantine, without waiting for a full 14 days, if their COVID-19 test result comes back negative.

Which COVID-19 vaccinations are required for quarantine exemption?

Permanent Residents and Canadian citizens who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will be exempt from the full 14-day quarantine. The Federal government has stated that only COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada will be accepted. 

These vaccines currently include: 

  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Moderna
  • Pfizer (Comirnaty, Tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Bharat Biotech/Covaxin (BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

The following vaccines are currently not accepted in Canada and will not count towards your vaccination status:

  • Cansino
  • Gamalaya (Sputnik V)
  • Vector Institute (EpiVacCorona)
  • Others

What if I am fully vaccinated but travelling with family members who are not?

The Canadian Government has announced that fully vaccinated parents travelling with unvaccinated children under the age of 18 will be exempt from the quarantine, however, the children who are not vaccinated will need to quarantine for the full 14 days. All testing requirements must be followed for unvaccinated children (unless under the age of 5). Their fully vaccinated parents may leave their quarantine upon receiving their negative test result after arrival. Newcomers to Canada should check the Government of Canada website on up-to-date information on COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders

What if my CoPR has expired

If your Confirmation of Permanent Residence was issued on or before March 18, 2020 and you were unable to travel to Canada until now, the expiry date on some of the documents in your application may have passed. You will not be able to travel to Canada with expired documents and will need to get your CoPR extended. You will be contacted by the IRCC and may be asked to take a new medical or submit new documents. You can find more instructions on the IRCC website.

Where can I get more information on mandatory quarantining when entering Canada?

For up-to-date information on changes to quarantining in Canada, visit the Canadian Government travel website.
Information on COVID-19 is also available in 15 other languages on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.


The Arrive mobile app is your one-stop shop to prepare your move to Canada, ease your transition and help you adapt faster life to Canada. It is specially designed to provide newcomers, like yourself, with information that matters, at a time when you need it the most. The best part: you’ll always have all resources in one place – in an app on your phone – and you can access it wherever you are, without having to provide any confirmation from the Canadian government. Whether you’re a year away from your move or recently landed, if you’re a PR, international student or temporary foreign worker, the Arrive app will provide timely and relevant content, tools and guidance to ensure you’re fully prepared for your move and your life in Canada. 

Arrive App Download Banner

About Arrive

Arrive is powered by RBC Ventures Inc, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. In collaboration with RBC, Arrive is dedicated to helping newcomers achieve their life, career, and financial goals in Canada. An important part of establishing your financial life in Canada is finding the right partner to invest in your financial success. RBC is the largest bank in Canada* and here to be your partner in all of your financial needs. RBC supports Arrive, and with a 150-year commitment to newcomer success in Canada, RBC goes the extra mile in support and funding to ensure that the Arrive newcomer platform is FREE to all. Working with RBC, Arrive can help you get your financial life in Canada started – right now. Learn about your banking options in Canada and be prepared. Click here to book an appointment with an advisor.

* Based on market capitalization


This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.