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Update: What is Considered Essential Business Travel Across the US / Canada Border?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Coronavirus - COVID

Update: What is Considered Essential Business Travel Across the US / Canada Border?
Update: What is Considered Essential Business Travel Across the US / Canada Border?

The United States / Canada border was closed to non-essential travel late Friday, March 22, in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Here is updated information on what is considered essential business travel across the US /Canada border at this time.

Crossborder business being considered essential at this time

  • If you have a work permit or are applying for a work permit and you're going for business, you may be able to travel to the United States.
  • We have seen people coming into Canada and applying for work permits over the weekend.
  • We have seen people who already have work permits traveling across the border into Canada.

Essential Travel at the Northern Border

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, travel through land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the United States / Canada border shall be limited to “essential travel,” which includes, but is not limited to—

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
  • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work);
  • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
  • Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada);
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and
  • Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.

Immigration and the Coronavirus Crossborder Travel FAQs

  • Will travelers seeking to visit or care for family members in the U.S. be allowed to enter? Yes
  • Would a visitor for business travelers still be allowed to cross?
    • E-1/E-2? yes
    • TN? yes
    • L-1? yes
    • H-1B? yes
    • Other work authorization? Need specific situation details

We will keep you updated as new information about the coronavirus, immigration and cross border business is available. We offer our best wishes for your continued health and that of your loved ones and your communities. If you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

If you have questions about your immigration application, your eligibility for your or your team to cross the U.S. / Canada border on business, or other immigration issues during the coronavirus restrictions or for post-restriction business, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email [email protected].

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Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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Evelyn and her team are amazing resources. Evelyn has been fantastic to work with and has supported me on various projects I’ve worked on and has been a great support to the people I work with. Ackah Business Immigration Law is my number 1 choice when it comes to immigration support.

– Sean Alley, Human Resources Generalist

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