In order to control the spread of the coronavirus, many countries have closed their borders and restricted travel. Canada and India are two countries that have imposed rules of this nature.
Since there is a large population of Indians residing in Canada, this has put many people in a very tough position. This has especially affected those who need to go back and forth to visit family or to take care of personal matters.
Luckily, there are some loopholes in these travel restrictions that make it possible to travel between the two countries.
We have put together a small guide to travel restrictions in Canada and India. We’ve also included a bit of information to help you to connect with your family abroad through these trying times.
Back in March, Canada was quick to tighten up their borders. It is advised that nobody travels for leisure, but there are several groups of people who are allowed to enter Canada for non-essential reasons.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons are allowed to enter. Additionally, those who are qualified and registered under Canada’s Indian Act may also enter.
Please note that Canada’s Indian Act does not refer to people from India. This refers to indigenous people living on reserves.
Foreign nationals—which is a term that refers to people who do not live in Canada—can enter the country under very specific circumstances. A person may enter if somebody in their immediate family is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
Additionally, exemptions apply to people traveling directly from the United States, international students, and some other specific circumstances. We recommend taking a look at the official list of exemptions.
No matter where you are coming from, you must present a 14 day quarantine plan that details where you will stay, how you will get there, how you’ll get food and where you’ll seek medical care. The possible penalties of failing to follow your quarantine plan include large fines and jail time.
Please note that all of this information is directly from the Canadian government’s website.
After four months of extreme travel limitations, India has slowly started to resume as normal. Prior to July, only repatriation flights were allowed. All other international travel was halted.
Flights from France, the United States, and Germany are now permitted to resume. Other than a few exceptions, entry is mostly restricted to Indian residents and citizens.
India is calling this restricted travel with specific countries “travel bubbles.” This travel is highly regulated.
Every person who enters India must quarantine for seven days.
There is nothing that compares to spending time with friends and family that you’ve been away from for a while. This is especially true since the distance between India and Canada is so significant and the difference in time zones can make communication difficult.
Thanks to the internet and apps like Zoom, Facetime, and Whatsapp, many are able to stay in touch with their loved ones.
There are ways to connect with your family online if you’re unable to visit your family as planned. We recommend setting aside time to get on group video calls to enjoy a meal together or even play board games.
Staying connected at this time is very important since we are forced to keep a physical distance. Even setting aside a half-hour or so to “gather” can brighten everyone's day.
Many Indian-Canadians bring money back to their parents and families in India. Those who travel regularly and bring cash are forced to find an alternative method to get the money to those who need it.
Money transfer services, like Remitbee, make it easy and affordable to send money to your family.
With Remitbee specifically, you can send money abroad with the best exchange rate and minimal fees. It is extremely convenient if you want to continue to support your family in India but cannot physically bring the money to them.
Although travel plans have been affected and you likely miss your friends and family overseas, we hope that you still find the time and means to connect with them over the internet. It’s not the same, but it must do until everybody can be reunited again.
If we all work together to stay healthy and safe, we’ll surely be able to travel freely in no time.
In the meantime, please know that we are here to help you with all of your money transfer needs.