The Canadian government has created a fund to help Canadians stuck in other countries during this coronavirus pandemic to return to Canada.
The fund is called ‘COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad’.
“Canadians, and, in exceptional circumstances, Canadian permanent residents, outside the country who are directly impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for an emergency repayable loan to facilitate their return to Canada and to cover basic essential needs while they work towards their return,” according to a government announcement.
The government noted that applications will be “assessed according to their specific situation and needs”.
Here’s the official guide for the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.
What is the Emergency Loan Program?
To help Canadians outside Canada return home, the Government of Canada is creating 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 will be able to 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.
Who is eligible to apply for the loan?
You are eligible if you are a Canadian citizen impacted by COVID-19 who plans to return to Canada and who has no other source of funds. We will consider that you plan to return to Canada if you:
- Had a return flight booked and your flight was cancelled or delayed
- Attempted to book a flight, but cannot due to the travel restrictions or exorbitant pricing
If you are a Canadian citizen travelling with an immediate family member who is a permanent resident of Canada (PR), you may include eligible expenses for the PR family member in your application.
- Immediate family is defined as spouse, parents and children
Exceptionally, if you are a Canadian permanent resident facing a threat to life or other grievous harm, you may be eligible, even if not travelling with a Canadian citizen who is a family member.
What types of expenses can be covered?
Each situation is unique and the amount of the loan will be determined and approved on a case-by-case basis by consular officials. Expenses covered by the loan include, but are not limited to:
- The most economical transport costs including:
Air travel to return to Canada
Local transport related to your return to Canada
- Reasonable costs for essential needs, including food and shelter abroad while you are unable to return to Canada.
- Medical costs not covered by either local public health services or private insurance such as:
Hospitalization or other treatment if you are infected with COVID-19
Prescription drugs required for the treatment of COVID-19 or for pre-existing conditions if your planned return to Canada has been delayed because of factors related to COVID-19
Costs related to the translation of medical information, including prescriptions, medical notes, diagnoses and medical files provided by your health care practitioner and required by a local health authority in relation to COVID-19
- Costs related to other critical needs if you are hospitalized or in quarantine for COVID-19:
Professional services to address the psycho-social impacts of quarantine if you are impacted
Costs for supporting your communication with family and support networks in Canada if you are quarantined
Your insurance policy may provide for emergency support in a crisis like this one. Check with them for details on your specific policy.
Do I need to come in to an embassy or consulate to apply?
- After you have exhausted all other funding options (contacting friends, family and insurance providers, bank, etc.), you will be asked to complete the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Request Form (C-19 Loan Form).
- You do not need to make an application in person at the embassy or consulate.
- The embassy or consulate office in the region where you are may provide guidance on C-19 loan issuance by phone.
What are the loan conditions?
This is a repayable loan to the Government of Canada. Further details will be provided, upon application.
How can I apply?