To prevent the further transmission of COVID-19 and its new variants into Canada, the government of Canada has extended the suspension of direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India through September 21, 2021.1
While the COVID-19 situation in India is beginning to stabilize, the government of Canada is following the latest advice from Public Health Agency of Canada by extending the India flight ban for an additional month. The flight ban first took effect on April 22, 2021 and has been extended several times since.
WHY THIS MATTERS
With the continued extension of the ban, it remains difficult for individuals to travel from India to Canada. While there is the option of travelling to Canada through a third country, travellers opting to travel to Canada via indirect route should carefully consider their itinerary, transit options and entry requirements for third countries.
Suspension of Flights from India
All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the flight ban. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are excluded.2
Travellers from India may travel to Canada via an indirect route but must complete a third-country (other than India) pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test before continuing to Canada as their final destination. Additionally, travellers who have previously test positive for COVID-19 must provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to departure (instead of a negative test). This test must be obtained in a third country before taking the final flight to Canada. This means that the traveller may need to stay in a third country for a up to 14 days before they can travel to Canada.
Key Considerations for Employers and Travellers
- Travellers from India may return to Canada via an indirect route but should ensure they meet the entry and COVID testing requirements of the third country. Some countries do not allow entry or transit by passengers arriving from India or by passengers who have previously tested positive to COVID-19.
- Travellers seeking to utilize the third country route, should determine where they can complete a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival. COVID-19 testing for passengers in transit might not be available in all international airports or third countries.
- Travellers should consider the uncertainties related to travelling to Canada via a third country. For example, if a traveller tests positive during transit, they may be quarantined or sent back to their point of departure.
The government of Canada continues to monitor the epidemiological situation and will remove the suspension on direct flights from India as soon as conditions permit. The government of Canada continues to strongly advise against non-essential travel outside Canada as border measures remain fluid while the epidemiological situation evolves.
Employees and travellers who have questions or concerns about their travel from India to Canada are encouraged to contact their usual qualified immigration counsel and/or travel agent. They are also welcome to contact KPMG Law LLP for further guidance.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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