Dear Canadians in Australia,
We wanted to send a personal note to all of you. I am Mark Glauser, High Commissioner of Canada to Australia, and I am writing to you along with my colleague Angela Bogdan, Consul General of Canada in Sydney.
We are living through an unprecedented time. The effect of COVID-19 pandemic brings uncertainty and disruption throughout the world, including here in Australia. In this rapidly evolving situation, we ask that you please follow local authority advice in your state or community as regards to all travel, health and “social distancing” measures https://tinyurl.com/vy7gtuc.
This is a critical moment to flatten the curve of virus transmission and protect the most vulnerable in the community. Australian States and Territories are rapidly introducing further restrictions on movement to enforce “social distancing” – to stop the virus.
We continue to prioritise the provision of consular services to help Canadians in Australia. As you would be aware, the Government of Canada has advised that Canadians travelling abroad consider returning to Canada earlier than planned as these options are becoming more limited. If you plan to depart Australia, it is advisable to book the earliest possible departure on the remaining available commercial flights. We understand it is becoming increasingly difficult, but communicating directly with your commercial airline to secure flights home and confirm your current flights is your best option. For Air Canada, see https://tinyurl.com/sfev5hg.
We are frequently asked whether non-Canadian immediate family members of Canadian citizens are allowed into Canada at this time. The rules now in place do allow for that, if the person in question fits the definition of an “immediate family member”, defined as:
• the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
• a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
• a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in the line above
• the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
• the guardian or tutor of the person
Travellers should have on hand documentary evidence to demonstrate to the airline their immediate family relationship to the Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.
In the following link, you will find a list of documents that may be used as proof of a common-law relationship: https://tinyurl.com/wodlhlu.
For Canadians who have no available source of funds to return home, Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. See: https://tinyurl.com/ud7l5lt. You should exhaust all other alternatives for private funding before applying for a loan. If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply, please contact us at the coordinates below.
Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance in Australia should call or email the:
• The High Commission of Canada in Canberra at (61) 2 6270-4000 or CNBRACS@international.gc.ca,
• The Consulate General of Canada in Sydney at (61) 2 9364-3000, or SYDNYCS@international.gc.ca,
• The Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously. It provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel or stay abroad. We encourage you to stay up to date on the latest travel advice and advisories for any country to which you plan to travel at https://tinyurl.com/v9aadsp, via the mobile TravelSmart application at https://tinyurl.com/ww8geny, and via RSS feeds at https://tinyurl.com/s8hjtru. If you are travelling, you are encouraged to update your ROCA file with your travel dates, destination, and contact information.
Please follow https://tinyurl.com/t5g43bq and https://tinyurl.com/r93oad8 for information relevant to Canadians in Australia.
Please share this important information with other Canadian citizens in your area. Encourage them to register with ROCA (https://tinyurl.com/scxz26s) to enable them to receive important safety updates from the Government of Canada.
Thank you for your cooperation at this time. Stay safe, stay calm, stay connected and above all stay healthy!
Canadian High Commission, Canberra
Consulate General of Canada, Sydney
Global Affairs Canada