British High Commission, Ottawa: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Updated: 26 March 2020
In this document you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions from British Nationals who are travelling, working, studying or temporarily living in Canada and abroad.
Frequently Asked Questions – British Nationals Abroad
I’m a British National currently based in Canada, should I return to the UK?
We strongly recommend if you live in the UK and are travelling abroad, whether working or on holiday, you should return where and while there are still commercial routes available?as you may?experience?greater difficulties getting back in the coming weeks.
I’m in Canada on a work or study visa. Does this apply to me?
We strongly recommend that all British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad should return to the UK now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. International travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of land borders and further restrictions, such as on freedom of movement, are being introduced daily. If you decide to stay, there may not be options in the future to return, given the unprecedented conditions that we face.
If airlines cancel flights home, will?I?be?repatriated?
We?are?working with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home and welcome the efforts they are making.? We only organise government repatriations in exceptional circumstances.
I require financial assistance to get back to the UK, can you help?
The FCO provides information on what to do and who to contact if you require?financial assistance abroad.
I’m looking to head back to the UK. Can you confirm if my flight will go ahead?
Be prepared that your plans may need to change at short notice.?We encourage you to work directly with your travel operator to find the best flight?options?back to the UK.?Please refer to our Travel Advice for the latest updates.
I’m presenting?symptoms?of COVID-19, will I be allowed to return to the UK?
If you develop coronavirus symptoms overseas, you should seek medical assistance and follow the advice of the local authorities.
Can I transit to the UK via Canada?
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. For this reason, travellers who are seeking to transit through Canada should check?Transport Canada advice for the most up-to-date information. While it is currently possible to transit through Canada, restrictions do apply. We are urgently seeking clarity from the Canadian authorities on these restrictions and will update?our?Travel Advice?when we receive this information.
Frequently Asked Questions – British Nationals in Canada
What airlines are available for my return to the UK?
If you are travelling in Canada you should contact your travel operator now.
Currently, Air Canada and British Airways are still operating international flights to the UK with some routes suspended. Other airlines have suspended flights to the UK, with exemptions. Porter Airlines have suspended all flights.
To note, only the following airports are operating international flights: Toronto Pearson (YYZ); Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL); Calgary International Airport (YYC); and Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
You can find contact details for these airlines on our Website and Twitter and Facebook pages.
For information on transiting through Canada, please see Transport Canada advice.
I can’t get?in touch with my?airline, please help.
Due to the high volume of calls, airlines are?experiencing?longer than normal wait times.?For complaints in general to any airline, please contact the?Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).
I’m a British National in Canada, should I follow the health advice of the NHS or the Canadian?government?
If you are abroad, you must follow the advice of local authorities. You must be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and will need to rely on the local health system. If you’re in Canada, please refer to:
Follow guidance of local authorities – this may differ in cities and provinces, but see federal guidance for overview.
Frequently Asked Questions – Visas & Immigration
I’m currently a British National studying in Canada on a student visa. If I return to the UK, will I be able to come back to Canada?
For questions related to Canadian visas and immigration, please contact?Transport Canada?and?Immigration Canada.?Please note that practical options for return to Canada will be limited.
I’m the spouse of a Canadian and need to know if I’ll be able to enter Canada’s borders?
For questions related to Canadian immigration, please contact?Transport Canada and/or?Immigration Canada?and your nearest Canadian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate.
As Canada has closed their borders, am I on the exemption list?to enter?Canada?
To?see if you meet the criteria for travel exemptions of entry into Canada, please see?Immigration Canada.
Is it still possible to apply for a UK visa during COVID-19?
Visa customers outside of the UK who are affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus should visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents GOV.UK page for the latest information and guidance.