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Is there really a loophole allowing Canadians to cross the U.S. border?

Last Updated Jun 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm PDT

Justin Trudeau says it's still too early for Canada to confront the challenges that will come with reopening the shared border with the United States. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Summary

Ban on non-essential travel to the U.S. applies only to land border

'It would be like having the front door of your house locked, but the back door wide open,' lawyer says

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When you have questions, NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question:

The U.S.-Canada border is closed, but I heard there’s a loophole that will let me fly to the U.S. Is that true?

Answer:

Yes.

You can circumvent the ban on non-essential travel to the U.S. if you fly.

“Even though the border seems to be shut for all practical purposes, it actually only applies to the land border,” said Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based in Blaine, Washington.

Saunders said “dozens” of his clients have used this loophole to enter his country, including one man who flew from Vancouver to Seattle Friday to pick up his RV in Whatcom County and drive it back to B.C.

“I would equate it to, it would be like having the front door of your house locked, but the back door wide open,” he said.

Canadians flying to Washington state will have no restrictions on their mobility, Saunders said, but they will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to Canada – even if they were only stateside for a couple hours.

The airport loophole only applies one way; Americans hoping to fly into Canada can only do so if they meet the criteria for essential travel.

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