Back to top


Immigration Update

BARTLAW LLP welcomes Sean Fraser, Canada’s new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Mr. Fraser is a 37-year-old former lawyer from Nova Scotia that was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2015. He was re-elected in 2019 and 2021. He replaces Marco Mendicino, who now becomes Canada’s public safety minister. Mendicino had held the role since November 2019. Fraser represents the riding of “Central Nova” which covers a part of Halifax. Prior to entering politics, he practiced commercial litigation and international dispute resolution. He holds a law degree from Dalhousie University, a Master’s degree in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University.

Canada Announces New Vaccination Requirements for Air and Rail Travellers

Effective October 30, 2021, travellers must show proof of vaccination when boarding a flight or train in Canada. These requirements apply to all travellers aged 12 years plus four months or older, who are:

• Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder, or international flights departing from most airports in Canada; or
• Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

To be considered fully vaccinated, the traveller must have received all required doses of a Government of Canada-authorized vaccine at least 14 full days prior to their travel.

From October 30, 2021 to November 29, 2021, transitional measures will apply to travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated. These individuals will be able to travel if they provide one of the following:

• Proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test result taken within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time; or
• Proof of a previous positive molecular test result taken between 14 and 180 days before travel.

As of November 30, 2021, a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination.

There will be transitional measures for unvaccinated foreign nationals who normally reside out of Canada and who entered Canada prior to October 30, 2021. Until February 28, 2022, these individuals will be able to board a flight for the purpose of departing Canada if they show proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test at the time of travel.

The Government of Canada has indicated that details on other limited exceptions to these new requirements will be made available in the coming weeks.

In addition to the vaccination requirement, all existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for passengers remain in place, including health check questions, and wearing masks inside airports and rail terminals, and while on board planes and trains.