HomeCategoryTraveling to Canada Archives - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

On Friday, November 19, 2021 the Government of Canada announced that it will soon be expanding the list of vaccines that will be recognized for demonstrating fully vaccinated status for travellers. Readers need to become familiar with the rules for proving fully vaccinated status because it will soon be required not only to enter Canada but also to travel domestically within Canada!

The eTA program is an online pre-screening requirement that was initially announced in 2015. This requirement makes it mandatory for travelers who are visa-exempt to Canada to make an online application through Canada’s eTA system before they will be allowed to board a flight bound for Canada. Affected travelers will include those from Australia, Japan, Korea, Spain, France and the UK, among others. Once issued, an eTA will be valid for a period of five years.

Immigration has been a popular subject in the news in the past several weeks since Conservative leadership candidate, Kellie Leitch, suggested that potential immigrants should be screened for “anti-Canadian values”. This suggestion has been heavily criticized and dissected in the media. Some have dismissed the idea as being anti-Canadian in itself, while others have criticized the idea as simply “unworkable”. We can likely all agree that there is such a thing as “Canadian values”, but is the idea of screening for them really unworkable or just unpopular, or both? Here are some considerations from an immigration processing standpoint.

Temporary entry to Canada - whether as a visitor, student, or worker - is a privilege and not a right. Whether you are coming to Canada from a visa exempt country or even if you have been granted a visa, your entry to Canada is not guaranteed and you must be prepared to explain the purpose of your entry to Canada to a border official. This reality may be particularly perplexing for someone who has already applied for and obtained a visa from overseas. The visa merely allows you to present yourself at Canada's door - it is not assured that you will be able to enter. And do not presume that the information that you presented at the Canadian visa office abroad, will be available to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the port of entry. You need to be prepared that you will be making this application essentially all over again to assure the border official that you are seeking entry to Canada for a valid purpose. Be sure to bring all the necessary supporting documentation for your proposed stay. The same is true for a student or worker.

One of the greyest areas of immigration law is the concept of the business visitor. The business visitor is not coming for tourism nor are they necessarily a worker performing services in Canada. A business visitor is simply a visitor who is temporarily coming to Canada for a business purpose. A business visitor is granted entry to Canada or the same basis as any other visitor other than they have a business reason for their entry. Let's examine the business visitor criteria more closely.

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