3 Situations Allowing People To Cross the Canada U.S. Border Right Now

Canada-U.S. border

1 year later, the border is still closed.

The Canada US Border first closed on March 21, 2020, and has been extended every month since. The joint decision bans nonessential travel restrictions, but allows essential trade and travel to resume. The only other types of entry permitted are for long-term work or education visas.

Some famous Americans have come to Canada using a work visa. Most known is Comedian Chelsea Handler who has shared her experiences (and more) on social media that she is in Canada for the winter for work purposes.

While Canadians are still permitted to enter the US by air, the reverse is not allowed. However, there are exemptions being made to this rule. 


3 Exemptions To Cross Canada US Border

1. Visiting immediate family

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says there is a process to unite with an immediate family member who is a nonresident and in Canada temporarily. All visitors have to follow health protocols and quarantine restrictions. Immediate family members include a spouse or a partner of at least one year, a dependent child or grandchild, a parent or stepparent, or a guardian for a minor.

2. Compassionate visits

Canada has also developed processes to allow pre approval of those entering Canada for compassionate reasons. This includes visits to hospitals and funerals, as well as long-term care facilities that are allowing visits. However there is a process and documentation required such as a signed letter, proof of death. Any fabrication can lead to 6 months of prison time and $750,000 in fines.

3. Visiting a significant other

During the fall, Canada did slightly relax the terms under family members or significant others of Canadians. Those terms allow for Canadians’ spouses, children, grandchildren and partners “in an exclusive dating relationship” who have been in the relationship for at least one year, to enter for visits as long as they test negative before arrival and quarantine for 2 weeks.


With one year of restricted travel now, it’s no secret that families, businesses and relationships on both sides have suffered due to not being able to cross the Canada US border.

Those gates that read “May these gates never be closed” may need to get updated with “except in a pandemic.”


For more updates in Metro Vancouver, check out our News section.

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