Landing in Canada during COVID-19

Disclaimer: Due to the unprecedented covid-19 situation and complexity involved with traveling, official guidelines from governments and public health agencies take precedence and should be followed over any other public forums or opinions on the internet. Please ensure all rules and regulations are followed for any country(ies) involved in your travel since they may be different and some countries could take it more seriously than others.

Recently there has been an uptick in “Should I land during current COVID-19 pandemic?” questions. Here is some information that may be helpful:

Latest news on April 18, 2020
$750,000 maximum fine if 14 day quarantine is broken for recent travelers:

Quick facts

  • This Order is mandatory and will come into force and be implemented one minute after midnight on April 15, 2020.
  • The Order applies to all people entering Canada, with few exceptions. Certain persons who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, or individuals who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians, are exempt from the requirements to quarantine themselves, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 upon entry in Canada.
  • Persons exempt from mandatory quarantine are still required to wear an appropriate mask or face covering upon entry into Canada and while in transit, and should otherwise respect the intent of the Order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
  • Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.
  • Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 or imprisonment for six months, or both, for failure to comply with this Order.
  • A person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening the Quarantine Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both.

Some additional information on website:

This is the bulletin that is most likely for the benefit of IRCC case officers on how to address COVID-19 - related delays however this may be useful to know how your application will be affected if you decide to postpone travels.

(Approved CoPR and PRV applications section)

Approved permanent residence applications (COPR and PRV)

Permanent residence applicants who are in possession of a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) and permanent resident visa (PRV) and inform us, by submitting a web form to IRCC, that they are unable to travel within the validity of their documentation should be processed as follows:

  • Valid COPR and PRV: In an effort to reduce the number of cancelled COPRs and PRVs, a note should be placed in the file explaining that the applicant is unable to travel, and the file should be brought forward to the expiration date of the COPR and PRV. If the applicant informs IRCC that they can travel prior to the COPR and PRV expiration, they are encouraged to use their existing COPR and PRV to land.

  • Expired COPR and PRV: If the applicant informs IRCC via the web form that they were unable to travel after the expiration of their COPR and PRV , or if they were unable to travel prior to expiration, officers are to re-open the application, and it should be brought forward for review in 90 days.

(Also check the re-opened applications section).

Since this is an unprecedented situation, I’m still not sure how it will pan out over the next few months, however IRCC guidelines seem to be very applicant-friendly and if you cannot travel for some reason, IRCC may show leniency in not cancelling your application or re-opening it provided you inform IRCC about your plans.

I’m still not sure what “bringing your file forward to expiry date” means, but it looks to me like they will bookmark your file to keep checking it at a later time, and possibly give you more time to land (whether they will issue new CoPR/visa is still an open question). However I may be wrong and this begs some discussion as to what it means. @vik, any thoughts?

Many of you may have seen this advisory:

If you haven’t landed yet

If we approved your permanent residence application on or before March 18, 2020, but you haven’t landed yet, you’re also exempt from the travel restrictions and allowed to come to Canada. You must isolate for 14 days when you arrive even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

You must have a plan to isolate when you arrive in Canada. If you do not have a plan, you will need to delay travel until you have one.

Find out what to do for your landing appointment or if you have a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) that’s about to expire.

There are also instructions on what to do if your CoPR and PR visa is expiring:

Approved permanent resident applicants with expired or expiring documents

If we already approved your permanent resident application but you can’t travel to Canada before your documents expire, use the Web form to tell us why you can’t travel.

Once it’s possible for you to travel, use the Web form to let us know so we can tell you what to do next.


Thanks for such an amazing and detailed post. I’ve had so many people ask me about this and been pointing them to your post.

As usual, detailed post with guidelines. Great job @avj

Thats a very detailed post , thanks for taking the time. On a similar note what is your take on the PR residency requirements? Do you believe those will be relaxed as well?

I was planning to relocate this year and since that is not going to happen it will have to wait till 2021 at the earliest. My 3 year clock started in Feb of 2019.

What are your thoughts?

I doubt the residency requirements will be affected/changed.
From the point of view of IRCC, residents are expected to move soon after landing therefore any years you reside outside after landing is your responsibility (thus my earlier argument about not cutting it too close to 3 years outside Canada).

When you want to relocate to Canada is entirely your decision. However if I were in your position I would wait till restrictions are lifted (hopefully by fall), and then relocate. Even in current restrictions period, the only requirement is strict 14 day self-quarantine (you won’t be able to move your stuff, will have to basically not go out of the place you are living, for 2 weeks for any purpose). If you are able to achieve that it should not be a problem.

Also, one thing to note in current economic situation is that most companies have a hiring freeze so if anyone is looking for a job after landing it’s going to be tough to secure interviews in most cases (exceptions are jobs that can be done remotely).

1 Like
  • Please advise if anyone has landed in Canada from the US?

  • please confirm if we need to document a quarantine plan?

  • Also, considering hotels are not open, we are planning to stay at an Air B&B. can quarantine address be different from the address we want the PR card shipped to?

I answered your first two questions elsewhere. To answer your last question, any Canadian residential address can be used as PR card address, assuming you have a plan to retrieve the card from the address later.

No one gives hotel or Airbnb address since it’s not a residential address per say and they’re not responsible for mails if the guests who stay there.
Most people give addresses of friends/relatives/acquaintances who are willing to hold onto the cards or ship it when it arrives.

Note the PR card processing times have exceeded 100 days due to reduced capacity of IRCC.

understood, Avj! the concern was around staying at a hotel and providing a different address for PR card.

Also, might be trivial, but the website outlines that we MUST avoid using taxis from the airport to the place of quarantine. considering we are flying in to Toronto, please advise if anyone has had luck using Uber/Lyft?

Taxis/Uber/Lyft same thing.

If you’re used to driving in USA you can drive a rental car in Canada. Check to see if rental locations are open.

or use UPS mailbox rental.

I used UPS mailbox rental in Brampton.

UPS will give you a Canadian residential address and all your mails including PR cards, bank statements, bank credit cards will be shipped at UPS rental mailbox and subsequently UPS will forward you to your US address.

I am still renting UPS mailbox in Canada and get all my Canadian mails forwarded to my US address. I received all our PR cards for me & my family.

how much that costs from ups to get mailbox and then getting forwarded to US?

UPS rental $25 per month , you can cancel anytime( check with store for detailed policy).
Mail forwarding costs around $30-80 per mail, depending on urgency (ground, air , next day , 2 day).

Mail forwarding costed me $35x2 ( coz my sons PR card came late).


This is my first travel with COPR to activate my PR. I am planning to fly from US to Alberta. There is no direct flight from my destination to Alberta, so I have land in Toronto and then take a connecting flight to Alberta. Will I getting my PR processing done in Toronto or in Alberta? If I am getting my processing done in Toronto will I be able to travel to Alberta in these time?

If you’re a federal PR (i.e. not PNP or Quebec immigration stream) you can land in any province (except Quebec).

Based on this information you can fly directly to final destination if you are not showing symptoms, but will have to self-isolate in Alberta.

Has anyone done a landing with rental car recently

Was wondering if it would be okay to just drop off the rental car with key dropbox after hours (no contact with anyone) near the place of quarantine (around 5 mins away).

Is it okay if I landing with alcohol swipe and isopropyl alcohol just to clean up the quarantine room and car ?
I am reading somewhere they have restrictions on the items carried for landing but not sure if covid lift some restrictions.

You’re not supposed to leave your place of stay for 2 weeks after you land. Unless you’re planning on a long-term rental car, I would stick to a cab from airport to place of stay.

Are you flying in? Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable, I doubt they will let that on the plane. Wipes should be OK.

Edit: It seems small quantities are allowed. Please check online.

Thanks, driving drone Detroit. Hope they will allowed me bring some wipes.