TOLL-FREE 604-684-4211

US Immigration: Travel outside Canada not encouraged

Officials in British Columbia and other provinces continue to advise Canadians to avoid nonessential travel south of the border. Most countries have restrictions on travel in place due to the ongoing pandemic. The travel advisories include trips by road and air, and even cruise ship travels. Although U.S. immigration authorities have extended the border closure, they do allow essential trips between Canada and the United States.

Before travelling to destinations in the United States, Vancouver residents should know that sudden changes to travel restrictions could occur at any time. If international travel options are suddenly reduced, any Canadians in the United States might find returning to Canada complicated. If that happens, those affected may have to remain south of the border for much longer than they anticipated.

Canadians who choose to travel regardless of the restrictions might face unexpected quarantines at their own cost. Furthermore, obtaining essential services or products may be difficult, and their insurance might not cover their travel and medical expenses. Consular services while they are in the United States might be limited.

Before venturing across the border, British Columbia residents may want to carefully consider what “essential travel” means. Although exceptions related to family and business might be deemed essential, it may be useful for travellers to take into account the downsides of travelling at this time. The reasons for the border closure and travel restrictions are in place to limit exposure to dangerous health hazards. In certain circumstances, it might be helpful to consult with legal counsel who has specific experience in U.S. immigration law and is registered to work on both sides of the border.