Family reunions are back on. After well over a year of being separated from our loved ones around the world, Canada’s borders and airports are now welcoming fully vaccinated international visitors for non-essential travel.
This return-to-travel means many British Columbians will host international guests again and reunite with loved ones! We’re tidying up, preparing the spare bedroom and stocking the fridge with their favourite food.
To help you and your guests prepare for your happy reunion, here are six smart tips on how to host visitors from around the world:
Tip 1: Check Canada’s entry requirements
Get your visitors to review Canada’s entry requirements and eligibility. They’ll find great checklists at travel.gc.ca, including info on:
- COVID-19 travel, testing, quarantine and vaccination requirements.
- Whether they need a visa to visit or transit through Canada, and how to extend their stay as a visitor.
- Border wait times, customs and immigration information.
Tip 2: Plan these adventures on our Canadian Bucket List
Your visitors have waited so long to visit, you probably want to show off Canada’s best destinations and adventures. So with big help from globe-trotting travel author Robin Esrock, we’ve compiled a wish list of amazing Canadian destinations and experiences. This must-visit travel bucket list contains:
Be sure to book your adventures and accommodations well in advance. You can plan your road trip with our TripTik planner.
Tip 3: Answer questions in the ArriveCAN app
Other than a few exceptions, all visitors to Canada, whether entering by air, land or sea, must use the ArriveCAN app to enter proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information prior to arriving in Canada. Get your visitors to download the ArriveCAN app, create a personal account and submit this information within three days before their arrival in Canada:
- Full legal name, email address and contact info.
- Where they’re travelling from and where they’re entering Canada.
- Purpose of their travel.
- Proof of full vaccination with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or combination of accepted vaccines. We also recommend they bring their original vaccination documents, in case they’re asked to present them on arrival.
Tip 4: Ensure they’re protected from emergency medical expenses, including COVID-19*
Make sure your visitors have protection for the unexpected. Even though Canada has relatively affordable medical care, this isn’t the case for non-residents. We recommend they get travel insurance for their visit to Canada, such as BCAA’s Visitors to Canada Travel Emergency Medical Insurance. It takes just a few minutes to buy this insurance online – it’s fast, easy and provides peace of mind to fully enjoy their time in Canada.
What’s covered: BCAA’s Visitors to Canada Travel Emergency Medical Insurance plan offers up to $300,000 in coverage for unexpected medical expenses, including COVID-19 medical emergencies (if fully vaccinated)*, prescription drugs and dental services etc. Options may also be available to cover stable and unstable pre-existing medical conditions and trip cancellation & interruption costs.
Plus, BCAA Visitors to Canada Travel Emergency Medical Insurance provides worldwide insurance coverage, as long as the majority of the time is spent in Canada. For example, after arriving in Canada, your visitor could go visit the US and still be covered.
Your visitors can also purchase optional extra coverage such as BCAA’s Trip Protection Package, Baggage Coverage and Travel Delay Coverage.
Who travel insurance is for: BCAA’s Visitors to Canada Travel Emergency Medical Insurance is ideal for:
- Out-of-country visitors
- Temporary workers
- People returning or new to BC who are awaiting provincial healthcare coverage through MSP
Tip 5: Prepare for the flight
It’s probably been a long while since they’ve been on a plane. Here’s everything your guests need to prepare for a worry-free flight, including:
- Pre-boarding identification requirements.
- What they can bring on the plane.
- Information for flying with small children or individuals with special needs.
- Carry-on baggage policies.
- Details for if they plan to bring a pet. There are special considerations for bringing animals into Canada. For example, dogs and cats older than three months need special documentation to verify their rabies vaccinations.
- They should also produce a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case it’s determined at the border that they don’t meet the necessary entry requirements.
- Here are the best masks to wear on lengthy flights. They may also want to get a mask strap extender that relaxes the pressure on their ears.
- We highly recommend your guests register in advance for their arrival test for COVID-19. Here’s where they can register for their COVID-19 arrival test.
Tip 6: Keep to up to date on Canadian health info
Have a great reunion!
With a bit of planning (and protection from emergency medical expenses), you’ll enjoy your loved ones’ visit to the fullest. To learn more or get a quote for BCAA Visitors to Canada, visit bcaa.com/visitors.
* Coverage limit for COVID-19 related emergency medical expenses applies and is based on the coverage amount selected at time of purchase. You must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and vaccine dose(s) must have been administered at least 14 days prior to the effective date, arrival date or COVID-19 diagnosis date, whichever occurs later. Children under the age of 18 are covered regardless of their vaccine status. Full eligibility criteria for COVID-19 coverage and all policy terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations can be found in the policy wording at bcaa.com/wordings.