Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently revised information on its COVID-19 International Students webpage to provide further clarity as to what may be considered non-discretionary travel for immediate family members of students to include the following:

  • One (only) family member may accompany a minor child, or any student who can show they need the support of a family member support to travel and settle in Canada.
  • Family members may travel with the student to stay with them in Canada, but only if they qualify for a travel exemption as a student or worker in their own right.
  • All other family members whether travelling with the student or joining them later, will need written authorization from IRCC, unless they are travelling from the United States.

These new instructions may require more family members to get written authorization from IRCC before travelling.

Please note that accompanying family members may also need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization(eTA); and they will be subject to the mandatory COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements that apply to all travellers arriving in Canada (among other requirements). It is the responsibility of the student and their family members to ensure that they meet all the entry requirements to Canada, and should note that due to COVID-19 these rules and measures are subject to change without notice.