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COVID-19 Canadians Abroad: Are you a Canadian Stuck Outside Canada?

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April 1, 2020

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COVID-19 Canadians Abroad: Are you a Canadian stuck outside Canada?

As per the Global Travel Advisory Canada, you should be avoiding all the non-essential travels outside Canada until an update is made, to limit the spread of COVID-19. Most of the countries have already enforced travel and border restrictions, including quarantines and movement restrictions. Similarly, airlines have suspended flights, and new restrictions are being imposed every day, which might have severely disrupted your travel plans.

It’s always best to be updated with current changes to keep ourselves in track. Well, despite all the strict restrictions, if you must travel, make sure you note the following that you may

  • Face difficulties or be unable to return to Canada
  • Be under strict movement restrictions or quarantines
  • Have your insurance, but it may not cover all your medical expenses
  • Be penalized with fines or imprisonment in cases you do not follow restrictions imposed by the authorities
  • Have difficulty in getting the groceries, water, medication, and medical services

If you are a Canadian who is stuck outside Canada, the government of Canada has facilitated with the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad, to help Canadians return home.

National Post mentions that there are more than 414,000 Canadians registered with Registration of Canadians Abroad service, which is voluntary, and tells us that we are unknown about how many Canadians are actively trying to return to Canada. Out of 414,000, about 15,000 Canadians in India; 5,510 in Peru; 2200 in South Africa; have registered with the Canadian government.

The Government of Canada has been working with the Canadian airlines and foreign governments, to make arrangement for Canadians wanting to return home.

Financial help for Canadians outside Canada

The government has made available up to $5000 as a loan per person to help them use flights and accommodations and urges that you register with Global Affairs Canada to provide you with information as soon as possible.

At this moment, you must note that you are responsible for the travel decisions you make! If you are still outside Canada, you must find out the travel options available and return as soon as possible.

It is likely that you will experience a sudden increase in prices due to certain limitations. You should attempt to use your own means of financial support for your return, however, if you are impacted and do not have enough sources to arrange your return, the government has COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

Even though the program is there for your help, you should attempt to use your own financial means to arrange your return to Canada. But if you are a Canadian, who have no access to the source of funds to return home at this moment then the government of Canada would help you after assessing your situation through the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

This loan program is applicable to Canadians, and only in exceptional cases to the permanent residents outside the country, who are directly affected by COVID. You will be to apply for an emergency repayable loan to arrange your return to Canada and cover the essential but basic needs for the return, and each application will be assessed based on your situation and needs.

Please note that this is the emergency assistance and is a repayable loan.

How to apply for the Emergency Loan Program?

You can contact the nearest office of Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or email CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca.

If you need assistance for consular emergencies, you can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or email sos@international.gc.ca

In this uncertain time, it is also suggested that you register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad, to be informed about urgent and important updates from the government of Canada.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service, with the purpose to allow government officials to contact you to provide important information during an emergency – natural disaster or civil unrest. You will have access to instructions and important changes and travel updates and advisories for the country you registered, and more to receive!

It is encouraged that you register when you are planning to leave Canada for a vacation or work, or are living abroad, your information is confidential and is only used in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Canadian immigration process, please use the Assessment Link below and we will be back with answers to your queries.

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The struggle for all of us has been very difficult to express in words, in these times, and we are doing our best to keep everyone informed about the current situation.


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