Travel Advice and Advisories

March 26, 2020

Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines along with many airlines cancelling flights. Due to the rapidly evolving global situation, we encourage Canadians to seek to return via commercial means if at all possible. Although some airlines may suspend or reduce direct flights to Canada, commercial flights may still available through other countries. We are aware that due to exceptional measures put in place by some countries, many Canadians are encountering difficulties returning home due to a reduction of travel options and a significant increase of costs. The Government takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously, some limitations may be in effect in some areas of the world.

What should I do if I am currently outside Canada waiting to return home?

Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA)

  • If you are currently overseas please ensure that you register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA): https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration The Registration of Canadians Abroad service enables government officials to contact you to provide important information for the country which you are registered.It is important that update your ROCA profile if you change your location, you personal situation changes, etc.If a repatriation flight is scheduled, you will be notified through ROCA and provided with details.

Consular Assistance

In order to access consular services while abroad you should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance in Ottawa or the nearest Government of Canada office https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates

If you are experiencing an emergency, such as a medical emergency, please contact the local embassy or the Emergency Response and Watch Centre immediately.

Please keep in mind that government offices are currently experiencing a high number of inquiries related to COVID-19 and are working to respond to Canadians abroad as quickly as possible.If you decide to visit an embassy or consulate in person it is recommended that they call first to ensure that they are open to the public.

Many Canadian embassies have social media accounts such as Twitter that can be followed to receive up-to-date, real-time information.

Financial Assistance for Canadians Abroad during COVID-19 (Click here for more details)

Canadian travellers may be able to get financial assistance to help them with the costs of returning home or temporarily covering their basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada, through the Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help. The program will provide the option of an emergency loan of up to $5,000. 

In order to apply for the loan, contact the local embassy, call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted when available) or send an e-mail to sos@international.gc.ca<mailto:sos@international.gc.ca>.

Please keep in mind that offices are doing their best to respond to Canadians as quickly as possible but given the volume of communication they are receiving it may take some time for them to respond. 
Note: You should only complete a Loan Request Form after corresponding with a representative of Global Affairs Canada and having them direct you to this loan. If you have not been directed to this form by a representative of Global Affairs Canada, your loan request will not be processed as you will not have a case number. This is necessary to ensure that these loans reach those they are targeted to help.‚Äč

Aviation measures to respond to COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada advised Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada because of the worldwide pandemic and the rapidly evolving situation globally; and to self- isolate for 14 days upon returning to Canada.

The Government has strengthened messaging and resources at Canada’s ports of entry, and is stressing the importance of self-monitoring and the need to contact local public health authorities if symptoms develop.

Click here for more details.

Cancelling/ Rescheduling Travel

If you need to reschedule, cancel or request a refund for your travel you must speak with the company that you booked with.

Many travellers are experiencing long wait times due to the sheer volume of calls, questions and requests that airlines, travel agents and online travel agencies are receiving due to the impacts of COVID-19.

If your departure is not imminent, please consider waiting to call as requests are being processed based on the date of departure. This will help to alleviate the high volume of calls and allow companies to assist their clients in a timely manner.

How is COVID-19 affecting business at IRCC? 

Find information and frequently asked questions here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html