Immediate family members may be allowed into Canada under new exemption

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The Canadian government announced June 8 that family members separated by the U.S./Canada border will be allowed to enter Canada under certain conditions. Speaking at his daily news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We are bringing in a limited exemption to allow immediate family members of citizens of permanent residents to come to Canada.” Anyone who comes into the country will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, he added.

According to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the exemption began June 9. The exemption applies to foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents and do not have Covid-19 or exhibit symptoms of the illness.

According to the government, an immediate family member is defined as a spouse or common-law partner, dependent child, parent or step-parent or parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner or guardian or tutor.

The border is currently closed to non-essential traffic under an agreement that runs until June 21; however, it is widely expected that the border will remain closed through mid-July at a minimum and quite possibly until September or the end of the year. Staffing levels at the CBSA Peace Arch crossing are expected to be the same as June’s reduced numbers. Provincial premiers in Canada have been vocal about the need to keep the borders closed in order to protect residents from Covid-19.

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