31 March 2020 – Message sent to Canadians registered on the Registry of Canadians Abroad (ROCA)
The Government of Canada strongly advises that Canadians planning to leave Australia should make arrangements to return to Canada as soon as possible. As the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate around the world, suspensions of commercial flights are limiting opportunities for Canadians to travel home.
Direct flights from Australia to Canada on Air Canada will be suspended as of 7 April, 2020. The remaining direct flights are now departing from Sydney, Australia only. Currently, the last Air Canada flights are scheduled to depart on 4, 5 and 6 April, 2020. Any changes are at the discretion of Air Canada.
After 6 April, the only option to return to Canada will be via indirect flights (subject to availability). Complications should be expected if travelling on commercial flights that require transit through another country on route to Canada. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that travellers immediately secure a direct flight via Air Canada.
Flights to Canada – whether direct or through third countries – are likely to remain limited or unavailable for several months. Airlines operating international flights from Australia may further extend route suspensions.
Canadians who are visiting Australia should urgently make arrangements to depart. If you are a Canadian who is living in Australia, and you intend to visit or move back to Canada in the near future, please be aware of new travel restrictions for Australians. (See: dual nationals below)
*Please note: at this stage, no government-sponsored repatriation flights are scheduled to depart Australia for Canadians.
Have you booked a flight home?
We urge you to book the next commercial flight possible.
Please visit: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home.html#/
If you have already booked a flight, you are likely to experience interruptions to travel or flight cancellations as further restrictions and changes to advice are now coming into effect. Monitor your flights closely (both internal and international). Please contact your airline directly if there are any changes to your itinerary.
Are you a dual national?
The Australian Government has recently announced restrictions to international travel for Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents. If you hold both Canadian and Australian citizenship or permanent residency, this could impact your ability to depart Australia. You will need to apply for an exemption to leave from the Department of Home Affairs.
*Note: Applications may take several days to process, so it is recommended that you apply for an exemption as soon as possible. Please refer to: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions#a
Do you need financial assistance?
The Government of Canada has created a temporary financial assistance program: the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. If you are eligible, are outside Canada and are directly impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help you return to Canada and to cover your short-term needs while you work toward returning.
Do you need consular assistance?
Global Affairs Canada is committed to providing consular services and is accessible to Canadians 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For EMERGENCY consular assistance, call +1 613 996 8885 (call collect where applicable), or email: email@example.com
Should you require any consular services and assistance during your travels within Australia, please contact:
The Consulate General of Canada in Sydney
- firstname.lastname@example.org (if you are located in NSW, QLD, and NT)
- +61 (0)2 9364 3000
The High Commission of Canada in Canberra
- email@example.com (if you are located in ACT, WA, VIC, SA, TAS)
- +61 (0)2 6270 4000
Canada Down Under Team
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Further information and resources to support you:
- Travel advice specific to COVID-19:
- Your safety and security outside of Canada: