I’m an Indian National holding a Post-graduate Open Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada which expires on 11th September 2020.

I primarily live in Canada, have a valid job offer and have been invited to apply for my Permanent residence (PR). I have applied for a Bridging Work Permit till my PR gets approved to legally work in a Canada.

I am currently stuck in India due to Covid-19 and looking to fly back to Canada via a repatriation flight. I also do not have medical/travel insurance.

I’m worried that I could be denied entry due to travel restrictions and having no insurance with covid around. What are my chances of having entry denied at the border?


1 Answer 1


For temporary foreign workers (not to be confused with TFW program), you may be able to enter Canada if you meet specific requirements for your travel to be essential.

If you are normally a resident of Canada (e.g. you were just on vacation in India for a few weeks until the crisis), you can almost definitely return.

Otherwise, you will need your port of entry letter/letter of introduction and a confirmed job offer. You can ask CIC if you qualify (if you can get through to an agent, they are usually helpful.)

Travel restrictions and exemptions for temporary workers

As a temporary worker, you’re exempt from travel restrictions if you’re coming for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose.

Certain people who can work without a permit may also be exempt from travel restrictions. Essential (non-discretionary) travel for a temporary worker

Essential refers to travel for reasons that are non-discretionary and non-optional. The emergency orders under the Quarantine Act do not allow people to travel to Canada for optional or discretionary reasons, such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment.

As a worker, your travel is essential (non-discretionary) if you’re in either of these situations:

  1. You have a valid work permit and normally live in Canada.
  • This applies even if you’ve been laid off.
  1. You’re a worker who meets all of the following:
  • has a letter of introduction for a work permit (open or employer-specific)
  • has a valid job offer
  • can work once you enter Canada and complete your 14-day quarantine (unless you’re exempt)


  • Thanks! Since I do not have OHIP/medical insurance, do you think it could be an issue at the border?
    – anusha sitaraman
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 12:44
  • you can buy some temporary coverage. I did it for a returning Canadian who had been away long enough to lose OHIP. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 15:35

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