Last updated: March 28, 2022
Ongoing travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and flight suspensions from India to Canada forced many newcomers to put their plans of moving to Canada or visiting family on hold. With the India-Canada flight ban finally being lifted, here’s all the information you need to plan your travel from India to Canada.
In this article:
When is the Canada-India direct flight suspension being lifted?
After a five-month suspension, Transport Canada allowed direct flights between India and Canada to resume on September 27, 2021.
Who can travel from India to Canada at this time?
You can travel from India to Canada if you meet any of the following criteria:
- If you’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident (PR) of Canada, a person registered under the Indian Act of Canada, or a protected person (refugee status)
- If you possess a valid Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), or valid work permit (and proof of approval) and job offer
- If you have a valid study permit, and have been accepted into an approved Designated Learning Institution (DLI),
- If you’re a foreign national and are travelling for essential or discretionary purposes. The requirement of being fully-vaccinated has now been eased.
- If you are reuniting with immediate family members who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or temporary foreign workers.
Passengers travelling on a direct flight from India to Canada will need to meet the following requirements if they are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine that’s approved in Canada:
- Obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test, also known as an RT-PCR test, from Genestrings Laboratory at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. This COVID-19 test must be performed within 72 hours before your scheduled departure. Effective February 28, 2022, results from rapid antigen tests performed within 24 hours before your scheduled departure will also be accepted, provided they are performed by a healthcare practitioner or at a healthcare facility.
- You’ll need to present the negative COVID-19 test report to the airline staff before boarding your flight.
- Travellers will need to update their information, including vaccination details, quarantine plan, etc. on the ArriveCAN app.
- All passengers will be required to wear face masks throughout their flight and at airports.
Airlines will refuse to allow travellers who don’t meet these requirements to board the aircraft. Exceptions exist for travellers who’ve previously tested positive and have recovered from COVID-19.
How do I book a COVID-19 molecular test at Delhi airport?
You can book a COVID-19 molecular test at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, online. You will be required to provide some basic personal information, proof of identity, and details about your flight. You will need to select “RT-PCR” test and book a suitable slot. A fee of INR 500 (approximately $8.50 CAD) will be applicable for each test. You will receive the COVID-19 test result within 8 to 10 hours, and the result delivery will be prioritized based on your departure time.
You can also opt for a faster COVID-19 molecular test, which costs INR 4,900 (approximately $82 CAD) and gives you a result within 60 to 90 minutes.
Do I need a pre-arrival COVID-19 test if I have previously recovered from COVID-19?
Effective October 2022, travellers entering Canada no longer need to take a pre-arrival test, regardless of vaccination status or prior recovery from COVID-19.
Do I need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Canada?
As of October 2022, travellers who are not fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved in Canada can enter the country. Previously, foreign nationals who weren’t fully vaccinated were only allowed to enter Canada under specific circumstances, such as if they were:
- A Canadian citizen
- A permanent resident, or have received a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
- An authorized temporary foreign worker with a valid work permit and job offer (unless you’re in a profession where a work permit is not required).
At present, travellers who are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved in Canada can even enter Canada for discretionary or optional purposes.
What to do if the vaccine I’ve received is not approved in Canada?
As of October 2022, even if you’ve received a vaccine that is not approved in Canada, you will be allowed to enter Canada.
Will I have to quarantine after arriving in Canada from India?
Travellers coming into Canada are no longer required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. In addition, both the pre-arrival and on-arrival testing requirements have been removed, so you will not be tested for COVID-19 when you reach Canada. However, in the interest of public health, you should still avoid travelling to Canada if you’re infected with, or suspect that you have, COVID-19.
Can I travel from India to Canada indirectly via a third country?
You can choose to fly from India to Canada directly or via an indirect route. However, if you’re entering Canada via a third country, be sure to check the COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements that apply to your layover destination.
What are the requirements for passengers travelling from India to Canada via a third country?
While planning an itinerary that involves an indirect route of travel to Canada, keep the following in mind:
- Some countries may have restrictions on the entry or transit of passengers arriving from India.
- You may require a COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to enter or transit through your layover destination, even if these requirements no longer apply to entering Canada.
- You may require a transit or travel visa for the third country. Be sure to check the visa requirements of your stop-over destination before making any flight bookings.
- In case you test positive during transit, you may have to abide by quarantine regulations imposed by the third country.
Can I travel to Canada if my CoPR has expired?
Due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, many people have been unable to travel. If your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) has expired while waiting for the travel restrictions and flight ban to be lifted, you will not be permitted to enter Canada on expired travel documents.
The IRCC is no longer reissuing CoPRs to individuals who were unable to travel during the quarantine. If your CoPR has expired, you will need to reapply for permanent residence and meet the current eligibility criteria.
Whether you’re an Indian newcomer looking forward to starting a new life in Canada as a permanent resident or an international student or foreign worker with plans of working in Canada, now that the pandemic is easing, you can plan your move to Canada. Be sure to check the Government of Canada travel website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 related travel restrictions.