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Essential travelers to Canada including students should be fully vaccinated

Essential travelers to Canada including students should be fully vaccinated

Canada now requires essential travelers to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country. This requirement is now applicable to the following categories of travelers:

  • Family members of Canadians and Permanent Residents
  • International students above the age of 18 years
  • Work-permit holders, except those working in agriculture and food processing
  • Essential service providers such as truckers


Canada had earlier made it mandatory for non-essential travelers to be fully vaccinated. Full vaccination was made compulsory for non-essential travelers starting from January 15. However, some exempt travelers can still enter the country without vaccination. But they need to undergo testing and quarantine as well as follow public health measures. They include agricultural and food processing workers, marine crew members, people coming to Canada on compassionate grounds, new permanent residents, resettling refugees as well as some children below the age of 18. Similarly, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will not be denied entry even if they are unvaccinated. But they will have to meet all pre-entry, arrival, day-eight testing and quarantine requirements. Unvaccinated foreign travelers, if they do not belong to exempted categories, will be denied entry to the country.

The travelers who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) official and will be asked to isolate for 10 days from the day the symptoms first appeared. It is up to the border officers to make the final decision on whether a traveler should be allowed to enter the country and whether they have to quarantine.

Vaccination requirements for travelers to Canada

Full vaccination means full recommended dose of an approved vaccine. The traveler must have received the final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before reaching Canada. They must also have submitted all the required information associated with the vaccination to ArriveCAN.

The following are the vaccines approved by Canada:

  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

At present, Canada has not made it mandatory for travelers to the country to have received a booster dose.

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