I am a Canadian living in San Diego since 1973 as a legally registered alien, a green carder. I have a Canadian passport and an American Visa.

I want to go home to visit my mother, who is living with one of my sisters in Alberta, and is now 102 years old, will be 103 June 12th, and very frail though she has no other health conditions. Still, at that age, anything could happen. Covid has kept me from visiting sooner.

I am very healthy with no issues at all. I have not had covid, nor have I been vaccinated and don't want to be. My mother and sister plan on being vaccinated asap.

I am told that I should obtain a "Permit to visit Canada". Is that so? If so, what is the website address?

I plan to drive home in my own car, registered in California, and get tested for covid in Great Falls, MT, just before I approach the border.

I plan to stay for a month to six weeks, and then return to California where my American children live.

Is there any problem with these?

  • 2
    While you may be "very healthy", a covid test may also return a false negative (IE say you don't have covid when in fact you do), but also the test only shows your status up to the point of testing. Post-Test there is a possibility of you contracting covid and being asymptomatic (IE not showing any symptoms). With all of these possibilities many people would consider that you are acting irresponsibly by visiting an at risk person while you are un-vaccinated.
    – Peter M
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 12:23
  • @PeterM technically California now has a much lower COVID rate than Alberta so OP traveling there is a much lower risk than a local traveling between two city neighborhoods. However the return trip would be problematic as Alberta has the highest COVID rate per capita in the region right now.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 22:30
  • 1
    @JonathanReez Unfortunately Covid doesn't respect state or national boundaries, so someone could get infected anywhere on a long duration trip.
    – Peter M
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 23:07
  • @PeterM correct but the point is that there's nothing magical about crossing a border that makes you more likely to spread COVID, as long as you move from a jurisdiction with less cases per capita than your destination. But I'd be super careful on the way back.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 0:31

2 Answers 2


As a Canadian citizen, you are entitled to enter Canada and do not need to obtain any permit. However, there are at least three problems with your plan:

  • Your refusal to get vaccinated puts you, your family, and the communities you will travel through and stay in on both sides of the border at unnecessary risk. Many people, not least including many in Canada, would love the opportunity (that you are wasting) to reduce this risk. You don't give your own age, but given your mother's age, I would not be surprised to learn that you yourself are at high risk for bad complications were you to come down with covid-19.
  • All people entering Canada (with some exceptions that do not apply here) must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Note that you may not quarantine (in addition to other restrictions) in a place where you will have contact with people who are 65 or older, so this would rule out, for example, staying at you mother's house, and possibly your sister's, depending on her age.
  • Depending on the type of tests available in Great Falls, it may be unlikely that the results are available quickly enough for you to be tested for covid-19 on your way north without an extended stopover. The testing requirements for travelers driving to Canada specify only that a test must be obtained 72 hours or less before arrival, so depending on how long you will take to drive and how long the results from the test you can get will take to be processed, you may wish to obtain a test at home or earlier on your journey.

More generally, review the requirements for driving to Canada from the Canadian government and make sure that you comply with them, including any that I didn't mention here. The situation is dynamic and could change on short notice, so make sure to review any updated requirements close to your planned trip.


As a Canadian citizen, you are allowed to enter Canada for any reason, no matter if you are entering by land or air. However, like everyone else entering Canada, you are subject to quarantine and COVID-19 test requirements. As I understand it, you have to provide a COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of your entry to Canada, and be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine after entry (even if your test is negative).

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