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Immigration Update

COVID Testing Required for People Travelling to Canada

Starting January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. Proof of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada. All travellers who receive a negative test result and are authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

CETA Not Applicable to UK Nationals Effective January 1, 2021

The full impact of Brexit on Canadian immigration is coming to a head on January 1, 2021. Although the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on January 31, 2020, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) ceased to apply to Canada-UK trade on January 1, 2021. For immigration purposes, this means that as of January 1, citizens of the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible for to apply for work permits pursuant to the terms of CETA.

To avoid gaps in trade access to the United Kingdom’s markets, Canada and the United Kingdom have negotiated the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA), which replicates CETA on a bilateral basis. The intent of this agreement is to ensure that the status quo of trade relations between Canada and the United Kingdom is maintained. However, the agreement is not expected to be ratified until early 2021.

Following the ratification of the agreement, immigration categories similar to those available under CETA will become available to UK nationals. However, during the gap from January 1 to ratification, nationals of the United Kingdom will either be required to obtain a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or meet the requirements for another LMIA-exempt work permit category in order to obtain a work permit in Canada.