People across the world have been affected by COVID-19. Those stuck sheltering in place at home are lucky, in many cases, compared to those who found themselves abroad and out of luck to return home. Canada has put in place Emergency Loan Programs to get home, for those impacted.
If you are somewhere with substandard healthcare, especially, you are going to want to get home. As commercial options for travel dwindle, and not knowing when or if the borders will be closed to citizens, travel abroad is not advised for Canadians.
You can find information related specifically to any destination you must travel to, if you find yourself travelling abroad for essential reasons, here.
Information About COVID-19 from Trustworthy Sources
Canada’s Emergency Loan Program for Citizens Stranded Abroad FAQ
Below, you will find a Q&A on the Emergency Loan Program. You will find how to apply for the Canadian emergency loan for citizens abroad here, also. For more information, you can check out the Canadian Government travel page.
Emergency Loan Program Basics
For Canadians abroad, the government has established a temporary assistance program which offers financial assistance. This program is called the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.
There are eligibility criteria, but if you are directly impacted by COVID-19 and meet them you may receive help to get home. You may be eligible to get up to $5,000 to cover expenses while working towards returning, and your travel back to Canada.
Who is Eligible?
There are, of course, requirements to receive the financial aid available to return to Canada. If you are directly by COVID-19 you may be considered providing:
- You are a Citizen (or a Permanent Resident travelling with an immediate family member — child, parent, or spouse — who is one)
- You do not have any other source of funds to return
- Your return flight was cancelled or delayed
- Tried to book a return flight, but extreme pricing and travel restrictions prevented it
Must I Appear In A Consulate or Embassy?
No, you do not need to appear in person at a consulate or embassy. After all of your funding alternatives (from family, banks, insurance providers, and friends) are exhausted then it is time to apply.
The loan form is the C-19 COVID-19 Emergency Loan Request form. Contact your nearest Government of Canada office, to get more information. You can also contact the local consulates or embassies as they may have helpful information.
How Do I Find Out Conditions?
This loan is repayable to the Government of Canada. You must apply to get more information on terms, conditions, and repayment of these funds.
What Expenses Does It Cover
Consular officials determine the amount of each approved loan, based on each individual applicant’s circumstances. These are some of the kinds of expenses that the COVID-19 loans, but this is not an exhaustive list, each case is unique and other types of expenses may be considered:
- Transportation costs for the most economical method of travel, including air and local transport (pertaining to your return)
- Shelter and food among other essential needs while unable to return (must be reasonable costs)
- Fees for professional psychological or social services related to impacts from quarantine or infections prescription drugs required to treat your conditions while you are unable to travel due to the pandemic
- Critical needs due to quarantine or hospitalization for COVID-19
- Fees for professional psycho-social services related to impacts from quarantine or infections
- Perscriptions for other health issues needed while quarantined or stuck.
- Communication expenses with family and support network in Canada during a quarantine.
- Uncovered costs directly relating infection or treatment of COVID-19: medical treatment including hospitalization; prescription drugs; translation of medical information required by a local authority to return home; other critical needs.
Please, check with your insurance provider to see if your policy covers any costs during a crisis, like those above. Some policies may offer coverage for things like these.
How To Apply For Help Getting Home To Canada?
If you are eligible, you may use the following methods of contact to apply:
- Email: [email protected]
- Contact: Nearest Government of Canada Office
- Phone: (collect calls accepted) Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre (Ottawa) +1 613-996-8885
- Contact your nearest consulate or embassy
- Access the Application form HERE
For other emergencies, you may also contact [email protected] by email.
Getting Home, Safely
Safety first. We want you to be able to get home, and the government has made it possible even if you are unable to come up with the money needed for emergency travel.
However, if you are showing symptoms, know you have been exposed, or have not been medically cleared to travel back, it is best not to travel. Also, do not travel on cruise ships, as per the travel advise given by the Canadian government.