Happy family
How to Unite with Family Member Temporarily in Canada

Posted on 13/07/2021

If you have an immediate family member who is temporarily in Canada, you might be able to unite with them under the following circumstances.

  • In the first place, you must meet IRCC’s definition of an immediate family member by being one of the following persons:
    • A spouse or common-law partner of the person temporarily in Canada
    • A dependent child of the person temporarily in Canada
    • A dependent child of the dependent child of the person temporarily in Canada
    • A parent or step-parent of the person temporarily in Canada
    • The guardian or tutor of the person temporarily in Canada
  • If you are travelling from the U.S. you do not need a written authorization, but you do need to provide proof that your visit is non-discretionary which usually means you are coming to Canada to live with the person temporarily in Canada.
  • If you are travelling from somewhere outside the U.S. then you do no need to obtain a written authorization from IRCC in order to travel. To see the steps to get a written authorization, go here to our other blog on uniting with extended family members living in Canada.

Please note that as of July 5, 2021, foreign nationals eligible to travel to Canada may be exempt from certain testing and quarantine requirements if they are deemed to be fully vaccinated. First of all, as we explain below, the following types of foreign nationals are eligible to visit Canada:

  • Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian who will be visiting Canada temporarily for at least 15 days.
  • Extended family members of a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian who will be visiting Canada temporarily for at least 15 days and who have obtained written authorization from the IRCC to travel to Canada.

As of July 5, 2021, here are the details of quarantine and testing exemptions. To qualify for the exemptions, you must meet the following requirements for what is called Fully Vaccinated Status in Canada:

  • You are eligible to enter Canada (as an immediate or extended family member you normally would meet this condition)
  • You are asymptomatic (you do not show any symptoms associated with COVID-19)
  • You have received all the required doses of one or a combination of the following vaccines at least 14 days before you travel to Canada:
    • Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
    • Astra-Zeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine
    • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine – single dose
  • The following vaccines are currently NOT ACCEPTED for fully vaccinated status in Canada. If you have been given these vaccines you will still have to quarantine and undergo testing.
    • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
    • Cansino (Convidecia, Ad5-nCoV)
    • Gamalaya (Sputnik V, Gam-Covid-Vac)
    • Sinopharm (BBIP-CorV, Sinopharm Wuhan)
    • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)
    • Vector Institute (EpiVacCorona)
    • Any other vaccine that is not in the previous, approved list
  • To ensure Fully Vaccinated Status in Canada, you must upload proof of your vaccination (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, or Janssen) to the ArriveCAN application. If your proof is neither in English or French, you must include a copy of a certified translation in English or French. Here is what you must upload digitally as proof of vaccination to ArriveCAN:
    • Date, country in which taken, and type of vaccine received for your first does.
    • Date, country in which taken, and type of vaccines received for your second dose.
    • A PDF file or photo of the record of each dose in one of the following formats: PDF, PNG, JPEG, or JPG (2 Mbyte maximum file size allowed)
    • If not in English or French, provide a Certified Translation into English or French.
    • PLEASE NOTE: The ArriveCAN app will be ready to accept people who may be Fully Vaccinated starting on JULY 5 at 12:00 AM.
    • If your vaccine is not an accepted one (see above) the app will ask you to book or whether you have booked a government-approved hotel to quarantine yourself. In other words, you will not be exempt from quarantine and testing.
    • If your last dose was less than 14 days prior to the date you arrive in Canada, ArriveCAN will also ask you to book a government-approved hotel to quarantine yourself. In other words, you will not be exempt from quarantine and testing.
    • If there are several people travelling together to visit a family member in Canada and only one of them is NOT fully vaccinated, then all members of that group will have to quarantine and be tested.
  • You must have received all the doses of your vaccination – a partially vaccinated foreign national will have to comply with quarantine and testing requirements.
  • Even if you meet the requirements for Fully Vaccinated Status in Canada, you must provide a pre-travel test before boarding your flight to Canada. The test must NOT be an antigen test. The following types of tests are accepted:
    • PCR – Polymerase chain reaction
    • RT-PCR – reverse transcription real time PCR
    • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)
    • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)
    • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
    • Isothermal amplification
    • Droplet digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
    • Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)
    • RNA (Ribonucleic acid)
    • Ct (cycle threshold)
    • CRISPR
    • Sequencing
    • Next generational sequencing (NGS) or whole genome sequencing (WGS)
    • Oxford Nanopore sequencing (LamPORE)
    • Detection of the N gene
    • Detection of Orf1a/b
    • Detection of the S gene
    • Detection of the E gene
    • Detection of the RdRp gene
  • You must provide proof of your test result which includes the following:
    • Traveller name and date of birth
    • Name and address of the facility that did the test
    • The date on which the test was done
    • The type of test (from the list above)
    • The test result
  • You must provide proof of a test result even if you have been fully vaccinated and have had previous tests (more than 72 hours ago).
  • Remember to keep your test results with you for at least 14 days in case you come into contact with a symptomatic person or develop COVID symptoms.
  • As well, you should have a quarantine plan – even if you are exempt – in case you develop symptoms. You may not have to use your quarantine plan but you should have a plan.
  • You should register with an Airport Testing provider using the same email address you used to register with ArriveCAN. The following are test providers at Canada’s main airports:
    • Montreal Airport – Biron Groupe Sante. Go here to register.
    • Toronto Airport – Switch Health. Go here to register.
    • Calgary Airport – Government of Alberta. Go here to register.
    • Vancouver Airport – LifeLabs. Go here to register.
    • To leave your airport (Port of Entry) you will have to take a test.
    • If you are given a home kit test, take it on Day 1 of arriving and send it to the lab according to the instructions provided.
    • If your test result is negative (no COVID) then keep a list of all close contacts over your first 14 days in Canada and keep copies of your proof of vaccination for those first 14 days as well.
    • If your test result is positive, isolate yourself and await instructions from local public health officials who will contact you. Keep copies of your proof of vaccination for 14 days.
  • Remember, it is up to immigration and public health authorities to determine if you have Fully Vaccinated Status in Canada and they will do this when you arrive at your airport in Canada.

If you haven’t yet applied for a visitor visa, go here to apply online. Remember to do the following:

  • Click on the blue Apply online through the IRCC Portal button at the bottom of the page.
  • You will be taken here to IRCC’s new online portal where you should click on the green Get an IRCC portal account button at the bottom of the page.
  • You next create your IRCC Portal Account.
  • You then fill in a form giving information about your trip to Canada to see a family member.
  • Finally, you submit your application for exemption from quarantine and testing.
  • For the drop-down menu 1a: purpose of travel, choose other
  • For the Tell us more about what you’ll do in Canada question, include dates and write COVID-19, (using capital letters and a hyphen exactly as shown)
  • Include a copy of the completed and signed from IMM 0006 as proof of your relationship to the person in Canada.
  • Pay the fees
  • Wait for an email reply from IRCC which will be sent to your IRCC Secure Account (which you will have to get when you start the process using the link above)

If you have already applied for a visitor visa, you should:

  • Go here to IRCC’s online portal and fill out their webform. This method was introduced around April 2021, replacing the email address previously used.
  • On the webform’s drop-down menu:
    • Choose “Submit a travel exemption enquiry”
    • Next click on “Continue to form”
    • Enter the email address you wish to use for communicating with IRCC
    • If you are using a Representative and want to give your Representative’s email address, you must provide a completed form IMM 5476
    • Provide your UCI (Unique Client Identifier) if you have one. If not leave this field blank.
    • Provide your application number from your visitor visa application.
    • For the field: What did you apply for?  select “Temporary Residence” and then select “Temporary Resident Visa”
    • For the field: Tell us about your situation, provide the following information:
      • A detailed reason why you meet the travel exemption
      • Your passport number
      • The dates you plan to travel (arrival and departure dates)
      • Current Country of Residence (where you live now)
      • If you’ve already booked your flight, provide your travel itinerary including: flight number, departure time and location, arrival time and location.
  • You must include the following documentation – or a certified translation with a certified photocopy of the original document if not in English or French – to support your claim that you are exempt from travel restrictions:
    • If you are an immediate family member of Temporary Resident of Canada you must include:
      • Proof of your relationship with the immediate family member temporarily in Canada such as birth certificates or marriage certificates.
      • A copy of their study or work permit
    • If you are travelling for humanitarian and compassionate reasons include:
      •  Your authorization letter from PHAC
    • If you are travelling to an ISSE (International Single-Sport Event) in Canada:
      • Your National Minister of Sports needs to request a Letter of Authorization to Canada’s Deputy Minister of the Department of Canadian Heritage (abbreviated as PCH)
      • The Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) will respond to your Minister giving them instructions on what to submit.
  • You’ll be contacted within 14 business days with a response either:
    • Approving your application, or
    • Refusing your application, or
    • Asking for more information.
  • If you are approved you will receive information on the next steps to take.
  • It is recommended that you DON’T book your flight until you get your travel authorization from IRCC. However, if you have booked your flight, remember to include the information listed above (flight number, arrival times and dates, departure times and dates).

If you have an eTA, or you are applying for one, you should:

  • If you don’t have an eTA yet, you need to apply online for an eTA.
  • Then, contact IRCC through their Web Form. Go here and click on the grey Continue to Webform button.
    • Provide your email address for contact with IRCC.
    • Provide a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) if you have one. If not leave this field blank.
    • If you’ve applied for your visitor visa, give your application number.
    • Select Temporary Residence
    • Select Electronic Travel Authorization
    • In the Tell us about your situation field give the following information:
      • A detailed reason why you meet the requirements for a travel exemption to come to Canada
      • Your passport number
      • The dates you plan to travel
      • Your current country of residence
    • While it is not advisable to book a flight before receiving an eTA, if you have already booked your flight, you should include the flight number as well as your arrival time and date and departure time and date.
  • Submit documents to show you are eligible to travel at this time (your copy of the notarized IMM0006 form and other relevant documents listed in the previous section)

If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visitor visa or an eTA to travel to Canada. While you do not need a written authorization to visit an immediate family member, you still need a written authorization to unite with an extended family member. 

To obtain a written authorization go here to this IRCC page and click on the grey “Continue to web form” button:

  • From the drop-down menu: choose “Submit a travel exemption enquiry” and then click on the blue “Continue to form” button.
    • Provide your email address for contact with IRCC.
    • Provide a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) if you have one. If not leave this field blank.
    • For the What did you apply for field, choose Temporary Residence.
    • In the Tell us about your situation field give the following information:
  • a detailed reason of how you meet a travel exemption to come to Canada
  • your relationship to the family member in Canada
  • the status of the person in Canada
  • your passport number
  • the dates you plan to travel
  • where you live now (current country of residence)
  • If you’ve already booked your travel, provide your travel itinerary including your
    • flight number
    • departure time and location
    • arrival time and location

These are the steps you need to follow to obtain your Written Authorization to travel to Canada

Step 1:

The person in Canada must download form IMM 0006 Application for Authorization and Statutory Declaration. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it and if you still have trouble doing so right-click on the link and save it to your hard drive and then open it from there using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • The person in Canada must indicate whether they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and by clicking the appropriate button, and then fill out section 1 of form IMM 0006 and also fill out section 2 which gives the information about the extended family member abroad who is applying to come to Canada to unite with them. At this point the person in Canada should NOT sign section 4.
  • The person in Canada should then send form imm0006 to their extended family member abroad.

Step 2:

The extended family member abroad should sign the form (that is, fill out section 3 of the form) and then send it back to the person in Canada who they are applying to unite with.

Step 3:

The person in Canada should then fill out section 4 (which is a legal, sworn declaration) in the presence of one of the following officials in Canada who are authorized to take declarations/oaths including:

  • A commissioner for oaths,
  • A justice of the peace,
  • A lawyer,
  • A notary public, or
  • A Consular Officer of the Government of Canada

PLEASE NOTE: If the familial relation in Canada is a minor (less than 18 years old) then they should have their parents or guardian to sign on their behalf.

Step 4:

The person in Canada should then send you – the extended family member – a copy of the completed and signed form IMM 0006 which you must then use to apply for a written authorization as we explain in the following step:

Step 5:

You must now use your signed and completed copy of form IMM 0006 to apply to IRCC for a written authorization to travel to Canada. This process depends on whether you need a visitor visa, or an eta as follows:

Step 6:

You have to bring the following with you in order to board the flight to Canada:

  • A copy of your completed form IMM 0006 Application for Authorization and Statutory Declaration as well
  • A copy of your Written Authorization from IRCC


Stage I: Before you travel

  • Assess your quarantine plan before you travel to Canada. Go here to answer a few questions to see how solid your quarantine plan is.
  • Get your COVID Pre-Entry TEST (for all travellers 5 and older whether they are vaccinated or not).
  • Pre-book and pay for your hotel accommodation at a government-authorized hotel. Here are links to see which hotels are government-approved at each of Canada’s major airports:
    • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
      • Abercorn Inn Vancouver Airport
      • Coast Vancouver Airport Hotel
      • Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver Airport
      • Exchange Hotel Vancouver
      • Executive Hotel LeSoleil Vancouver
      • Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport
      • Executive Hotel Vintage Park Vancouver
      • Fairmont Vancouver Airport In-Terminal
      • Fairmont Waterfront
      • Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
      • Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
      • Hilton Vancouver Airport
      • Quality Hotel Airport South
      • Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport
      • Sandman Hotel Vancouver Airport
      • Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel
      • Travelodge Hotel by Wyndham Vancouver Airport
      • Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
    • Calgary International Airport (YYC):
      • Acclaim Hotel
      • Applause Hotel
      • Best Western Premier Freeport Inn Calgary Airport
      • Hampton Inn by Hilton Calgary Airport North
      • Hyatt Place Calgary Hotel
      • Wyndham Garden Calgary Airport
    • Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ)
      • Alt Hotel Pearson Airport
      • Best Western Premier Toronto Airport Carlingview Hotel
      • Courtyard Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West
      • Courtyard by Marriot Toronto Airport
      • Crowne Plaza by Toronto Airport
      • Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport
      • Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport West
      • Embassy Suites by Hilton Toronto Airport
      • Fairfield Inn and Suites Toronto Airport
      • Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport
      • Hampton Inn and Suites Toronto Airport
      • Hampton Inn by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre
      • Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West/Mississauga
      • Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport
      • Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East
      • Marriot Toronto Airport Hotel
      • Quality Inn Toronto Airport
      • Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport
      • Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre
      • TownPlace Suites by Marriot Mississauga – Airport Corporate Centre
    • Montreal – Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
      • Baymont by Wyndham Montreal Airport
      • Best Western Montreal Airport Hotel
      • Comfort Inn Dorval
      • Comfort Inn Pointe Claire
      • Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport
      • Days Inn by Wyndham Montreal Airport Conference Centre
      • Double Tree by Hilton Montreal Airport
      • Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal Airport
      • Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton
      • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Montreal Airport
      • Marriot Courtyard Montreal Airport
      • Marriot Residence Inn Montreal Airport
      • Montreal Airport Marriot In-Terminal
      • Ramada Plaza Hotel
      • Novotel Montreal Airport
      • Quality Inn & Suites P.E. Trudeau Airport
    • Register in advance for your arrival test (usually but not always taken at the airport)
    • Use ArriveCAN to submit travel and quarantine plans

Stage 2: Before you board your flight

  • Have proof of pre-entry COVID Test results
  • Go here to ensure you understand requirements for boarding a flight to Canada, including having to wear a mask if you are over 2 years old.

Stage 3: Arriving in Canada

  • Have the following ready to present to a Border Services Officer
    • ArriveCAN receipt
    • COVID Pre-Entry Test results
    • Hotel Confirmation
    • Quarantine Plan
  • Take your COVID test at the airport or a nearby facility
  • Go directly to your pre-booked hotel and await test results (up to 3 nights wait)

Stage 4: Completing your Hotel Stopover

  • Depending on the results of your COVID test taken when you arrived at the airport, you will proceed directly to your quarantine location.
  • Please note: Fully vaccinated travellers (see above) may be exempt from the quarantine requirements. An immigration official will determine this when you arrive in Canada.
    • If you are deemed exempt and you have booked a hotel for 3 nights you must contact the hotel for a refund. The hotel will confirm your exempt status with Canadian Public Health Authorities which takes up to 12 days. If confirmed, they will issue you a refund.
  • Await your Test Results. There are several possible outcomes:
    • A negative result means you may leave the hotel and travel to your quarantine location even if the result is received before your 72 hours/3 nights are up. You must still take another test (usually a home kit) 8 days into your quarantine.
    • A positive result means you must STAY IN YOUR ROOM AT THE HOTEL. A Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) official will contact you with instructions, including having to isolate yourself for the next 14 days.
    • An indeterminate or invalid test result means you must also STAY IN YOUR ROOM. Call the Government-Authorized Accommodation Information Line for instructions.
    • If you don’t receive the test results in 72 hours, STAY IN YOUR ROOM. WATCH CBC NEWS. BE POLITE OR WE WILL SHOOT YOU. Call your test provider and if they can’t give you an answer, call the Government-Authorized Information Line for instructions.
      • Vancouver Airport: contact LifeLabs by email or phone 1-877-313-4982.
      • Calgary Airport: contact Alberta Health Services by email only
      • Toronto Airport: contact SwitchHealth by email or phone 1-888-966-6531 (Toll-free) or 1-647-977-1030
      • Montreal Airport: contact Biron by phone at 1-866-382-0287

Stage 5: Completing your Quarantine

  • To travel to your place of quarantine you must:
    • Have received a negative result from your arrival COVID test
    • Wear a face mask at all times
    • Physically distance yourself at all times
  • Your place of quarantine must:
    • Be available for at least 14 days and longer if necessary
    • Have all the necessities of life like bathroom, kitchen, sleeping facilities etc.
    • Be a place where you can avoid contact with those who are not travelling with you
    • Have no visits from family or guests
  • You cannot quarantine in:
    • Small, shared apartments
    • Shared family homes
    • Any other shared living quarters
  • You cannot be living with people who:
    • Are over 65 years of age
    • Have a medical condition
    • Have compromised immune systems
  • If quarantining in a hotel
    • Stay in your room
    • Use hand sanitizer frequently
    • Use delivery services that leave the food outside your door
    • Physically distance yourself from anyone you must communicate with.
    • Do NOT talk about the Maple Leafs playoff record if in Toronto.
  • When taking your 8-day test – do NOT open your test tube until you are instructed to do so in the instructions of your home kit manual. This is to avoid contamination of the results.
  • You can only leave your place of quarantine if:
    • You receive a negative result for your 8-day test, AND
    • You have quarantined for 14 days including the days spent at the hotel.
  • If you receive a positive result for your 8-day test:
    • You now have to quarantine yourself for a further 14 days from the date you took the 8-day test. A government representative will call you with further instructions.
    • Fully vaccinated travellers as of July 5, 2021, will NOT need to take an 8-day test.


Posted in News Tips and tagged Entry to Canada, IMM 0006, IMM0006, Unite with immediate family member

Related Posts