Traveling Canada through third country to avoid covid restrictions

Due to ongoing restrictions amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Canada has banned direct flights from India and Pakistan. As a result, Canadian citizen, Canadian Permanent Resident, Students and others visa holder from India who are eligible to enter Canada are traveling through a third country to avoid covid restrictions and following the guidelines as provided by the Canadian Government. One of the applicants who traveled through Ethiopia shared their experience in one of our Facebook groups for Canada Immigration.

I’m posting it here so people trying to travel from India for emergency reasons could have a reference.

Personal experience of a candidate from India to Canada via Ethiopia

Travel date from India to Ethiopia- 12 May

Check in at Trivandrum International Airport

  • At Airport,Indian immigration officer asked some questions.I showed my Canadian college offer letter, port of entry supporting letter from college, timetable- (the Trivandrum immigration team was not aware of anything, and that’s why they checked all this).
  • Tell them the truth. Do not lie that you are just going to visit Ethiopia. Since there are no direct flights from India to Canada now, you are traveling via a third country. If you have all the required documents and a visa, they can’t stop you.

Must read : Cost of Immigration to Canada

Questions asked at Airport (Student visa)

  • Purpose of travel
  • Why going to Ethiopia?
  • Why going to Canada
  • Does Canada allow Indians now?
  • What are you studying?
  • How long is the course?
  • What is the course name
  • What you studied in India
  • If you have any other visa stamped in your passport, they might question about that too.
  • Ethiopian e-visa charges (visiting visa) 3825 INR (52 USD)
  • Trivandrum to Ethiopia though Qatar airways (There was a 13hrs layover in Doha. No transit visa was required for Doha, but do take Ethiopian e-visa, apply online will get within a day) –Ticket fare- approximate 74k INR
  • Note: Flight charges may vary

Ethiopian immigration(arrival)

1) Fill Health declaration form (will get from flight)
2) Ethiopian e-visa
3) Passport
4) RT-PCR test result
No questions from Ethiopian immigration upon arrival

Documents required at Ethiopian arrival

1) RT-PCR test result from India print out with QR code
2) Ethiopian visa
3) Ethiopian hotel booking
4) Return ticket (Qatar airline might ask- one travel agency created a dummy ticket for us- no need to pay them), if no return ticket convince them you are going to Canada and so you don’t have any return ticket. I suggest convincing them as we have ongoing ticket and there is no need for the return ticket
5) Flight ticket copy.

Must read: Best books to prepare for IELTS

Hotel stay in Ethiopia

  • Cost was approximate 6k INR for two days in Impress hotel Ethiopia
  • RT-PCR test cost was around 8k INR took from Washington Millennium Hall lab. Results will come in 6hrs.
  • Cost was around 3k for normal test (result in 24hrs).
  • Hotel pickup and drop at the airport were free. They arranged a cab when requested to reach the lab( only 10 mins from the hotel). We Have to pay cash to the driver. The lab mentioned here is open 24/7.

Travel date from Ethiopia to Canada- 14 May

  • Ethiopian airlines- Ethiopia to Toronto direct flight (45min stop in Dublin for fuel refilling)- approximately 70k.
  • Do take only this direct flight to Canada as it is required to take the RT-PCR test from your last direct flight to Canada.

Ethiopian immigration (Departure)

  • One person took a photo of study permit approval(correspondence letter), front passport page, Canadian visa, college enrolment letter. There were eight others with me, including my husband. They took a photo of my husband’s visa, passport, and travel authorization letter. For work permit holders, they took a photo of their visa, passport, and employment letter.
  • This person sends the photos to some other person on WhatsApp.
  • After 7 hours of waiting, we got approval to check-in.
  • At Check-in, they asked to arrive can, Ethiopian visa, three-day quarantine.
  • After that, we moved to Ethiopian immigration. At Ethiopian immigration, they just asked passport and boarding pass. Not a single question was asked.

Check-out-Canadian Airport

  • We collected the required documents for the study permit(for me) and worked permit (for my husband).
  • College support letter, college fee receipt, RT PCR test result, GIC receipt for a student visa, ArriveCAN receipt
  • Travel authorization letter, RT-PCR test result for SOWP.
  • Different officers will ask additional questions and document. So do keep the documents in handy. To me, the officer didn’t ask any questions. But for some, they asked why coming to Canada in this situation, so be prepared to answer all those.
  • Then they asked how we came. We said we went via a third country, and we have negative RT-PCR test results. They said okay and gave the permit.
  • After that, I went to collect baggage and gave an arrival covid test. Register in to avoid waiting.

Must Read : How to apply Canada Express Entry

List of Documents to carry

  • Letter of acceptance
  • College supporting letter
  • Birth certificate
  • IELTS test result
  • College Timetable
  • College fee receipt
  • Port of Entry letter
  • Enrolment letter
  • GIC Receipt
  • GIC welcome email
  • Passport request
  • College orientation complete request (for Lambton college)
  • Medical result
  • Biometric Instruction letter and validation letter
  • All certificates (10, 12, degree)
  • 3-day quarantine booking
  • 17) Arrive CAN receipt
  • 18) College quarantine details
  • 19) RT PCR result from a country other than India (taken not less than 72hrs) and it should be original with QR code (not the one sending in email like India- Ethiopian lab will not provide it via email- must go to the lab and collect the original test result and there will be QR code in the test result)

Update on travel restrictions

As per inforamtion avaialble on offical Website of CIC , to protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

The Government of Canada is extending the temporary travel measures restricting entry into Canada by foreign nationals until June 21, 2021. To continue managing the elevated risk of imported COVID-19 cases into Canada, the Government of Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India and Pakistan until June 21, 2021 at 23:59 EDT. The government is also extending the requirement for air passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada, via an indirect route, to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

The Government of Canada has suspended flights from India until June 21, 2021.

During that period, passengers who travel to Canada from India via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 must provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test conducted between 14 and 90 days prior to departure, instead of a negative COVID-19 molecular test. This proof must be obtained in a third country before the continuation of the journey to Canada. You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days.

Keep in mind:

  • certain countries do not allow entry or transit from passengers arriving from India or from passengers who have previously tested positive to COVID-19
  • COVID-19 testing for passengers in transit might not be available in all international airports or third countries
  • if you test positive during transit, you may be quarantined or sent back to your point of departure

Carefully consider your itinerary, transit options and entry requirements for third countries.

These restrictions stop most non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.

Ask queries related to Canada Immigration in our discussion forum.

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