How To Leave Canada If You Are Not Vaccinated

Koen Swinkels
20 min readFeb 26, 2022

This article will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Latest update: Per June 20 unvaccinated Canadians are no longer banned from planes, trains and ships. What remains are the onerous, nonsensical and spiteful 14 day quarantine and day-1 and day-8 testing requirements for travelers who don’t show proof of vaccination using ArriveCAN.


As long as the vaccination requirement for domestic and Canadian air/train/boat travel in place, and the US maintains a vaccination requirement for entry for non-Americans and non-Green Card holders, leaving Canada is difficult for those who have declined the Covid vaccines. Nonetheless, there are at least three viable options for unvaccinated Canadians to leave Canada legally:

  • Get a religious exemption from an airline: Aeromexico in particular has a high success rate but people have reported success with other airlines as well. Canadian airlines are less promising. More info on how to do this below.
  • Try your luck at the land border: Typically US border officials will ask if you are vaccinated but sometimes they don’t. If they don’t, then you’re on your way (but you will still be breaking the law as vaccination is a requirement for entry into the US as a foreigner). If they do ask, you can answer No and you will be sent back, or you can decline to answer and tell the officer that you are withdrawing your application to enter the US, and then turn around yourself. It is not clear whether the border official makes a note of these kinds of failed attempt in your file, and whether this reduces your chances of a successful attempt in the future. You can of course also lie to the official and say that you are in fact vaccinated. They may or may not then ask you for proof of vaccination. If they ask and you can’t show proof then you have a problem as you’ve just been caught lying to a US border official. This can get you banned from the US for a long time. Don’t lie to US border officials.
  • Rent a private plane: This is expensive but costs can be reduced by sharing a plane with others. Also, you can try to get an empty leg flight which will further reduce the price.

If you’re an unvaccinated foreigner with no Canadian passport or PR, you won’t have a problem flying out of Canada, at least not until August 31 when the exemption for foreigners expires.

If you have dual citizenship, you are most likely OK to leave using your non-Canadian passport. Don’t use Canadian airlines. Preferably don’t use Star Alliance airlines. Also, don’t buy a return ticket. And consider buying the flight back to Canada from a different airline than your ticket out of Canada. Upon return, use your Canadian passport to enter.

If you have a foreign passport but a Canadian PR, things can be more difficult, especially if you use a Canadian airline or some Star Alliance airlines. Some people with a Canadian PR have been turned away by airlines but others have been able to board. Ask in the Signal group which airlines have high success rates. Don’t buy return tickets, buy two one-tickets, preferably from different airlines.

For much more detailed information, read the article below, and join the Signal group to ask for and exchange information. Three rules for the Signal groups:

  • Be nice.
  • Stay on-topic: The groups work well because the discussion is strictly limited to the various aspects of how to leave Canada unvaccinated. For general political discussion, use other groups.
  • Don’t spam other users with unsolicited DMs.

When you join the Signal group you won’t see any of the old messages, so the group will initially look empty. But soon you will start to see all the new messages coming in. Messages are automatically deleted after one week so be sure to save any information that you want to keep.

If other group members are sending you unsolicited DMs (with eg spam messages), please report them to the admin, ie me. If somebody habitually goes off-topic or is being a jerk, and they don’t change their behavior when asked by others, please also report them to me and I will remove them.

As Canada’s travel ban for the unvaccinated seems based in spite rather than science, it is hard to say when the ban will be lifted. Until it is, I hope the information in this article will be helpful.

General Information

Even though US entry requirements and Canadian vaccination requirements for travel by plane, train and boat have made international travel difficult for unvaccinated Canadians without a dual passport, there are still viable options, as explained in this article.

Associated with this article are four more resources that unvaccinated people who want to leave Canada can use:

  • The Signal group ‘#4 -Leaving Canada Unvaccinated’: for sharing info on all things related to leaving Canada. But please stay on-topic. No discussions about other issues, such as general political discussions. Stick to sharing experiences, and asking and answering practical questions about border crossings, destinations, renting a plane etc. When asking a question please first check whether the answers to your questions are already in this Medium article. The reason the group name starts with ‘#4’ is that the first three groups hit Signal’s maximum 1,000 members and can’t accept any new members. So here’s Group #4.
  • The ‘Renting a plane’ Signal group where people planning to travel in the same period and from the same general area can coordinate their plans with each other. This group is only to be used to coordinate plans on renting a private plane. No general discussions about leaving Canada, definitely no political discussions. Only for making concrete plans to rent a plane. If I don’t limit it this way, it will quickly become too cumbersome to navigate.
  • A Doodle poll where people can indicate on what days they are available to travel, what their departure city is, their destination, and how many people are traveling. You can use the results of this poll to contact people in the ‘Renting a Plane’ Signal group to coordinate plans. Here is how to use the Doodle poll. Update: the Doodle poll is not really being actively used to coordinate plane rental and no real alternatives have emerged.

Key Information

Directly below are links to detailed background information about four important issues, all via Andrew D’Amours’ excellent articles on

From the FlyTrippers article


The US requires non-US individuals to be fully vaccinated to enter the US. This also applies to the land border. You will likely (but not always) be asked if you are vaccinated and you may (less likely but still very possible) be asked to show proof of vaccination. If you answer yes to the question whether you are vaccinated but then, if asked, are unable to show proof of vaccination, this may (or may not) qualify as lying to an border officer which may (or may not) get you banned from entry into the US for a long time.

Once the land border restriction is gone, unvaccinated Canadians can simply cross the land border and take a flight from the US (unless new restrictions are introduced for flights leaving from US airports). But it is unclear when the land border will be open again.


Every airline departing from Canada is required to check for proof of vaccination for anybody older than 12 years and four months. This includes foreign airlines and airlines that fly to countries that do not have a vaccination requirement (e.g. Mexico).

So to be sure, at the airport it is the responsibility of the airline — not Canadian border officials — to check if you have proof of vaccination. Occasionally there may also be airport security agents who will ask people for proof of vaccination but primarily it will be the airlines that do that.

Note that it is also not your responsibility to show proof of vaccination if you are not asked. The burden is on the airline.

The fact that airlines are required to ask for proof doesn’t mean that every airline will always check everybody for proof of vaccination. But it seems that typically they do, including foreign airlines travelling to destinations that do not require such proof.

Technically, you could buy a cheap ticket to e.g. Mexico with e.g. Aeromexico and just try your luck. If you are asked for proof of vaccination you could just decline the flight and try again a few days later. But this is clearly inconvenient and possibly nerve-racking, and the costs of unused tickets can add up pretty quickly.

Moreover, you would still be breaking the rules even if you don’t get caught.

Same goes for another method some people have suggested: People travelling without a bag and checking in online at home would bypass both the check-in counter and the bag-check counter which typically are the places where the airline asks to see your proof of vaccination. So bypassing those counters might reduce your chances of being asked to show proof. But it is not clear how effective this method is. And you would still be breaking the rules.

Unvaccinated foreigners who normally reside outside Canada and who entered Canada before October 30 are still allowed to leave Canada up until August 31 (this used to be February 28).

It looks like dual passport holders can simply use their non-Canadian passport to leave. Supposedly this hinges on whether or not you usually reside outside of Canada but based on a lot of discussions and experiences reported in the Signal group it seems that as long as you use your non-Canadian passport to exit the country (which you are allowed to do), you will be allowed to leave without showing proof of vaccination, and without being asked to demonstrate that you normally reside outside of Canada.

Update: There have been several reported failed attempts to leave on a foreign passport. In each case it was somebody with Permanent Residence in Canada trying to leave to a EU country using their passport of that country. In one case Air Canada entered the person’s information into their system, found out she has PR in Canada and denied her boarding. Lufthansa denied the other person. It has been suggested by several people to not use any Star Alliance airline for your outbound flight. Moreover, if you plan on returning to Canada, it seems better to not use a return ticket but to buy two separate one-way tickets instead, preferably from different airlines. There is no real evidence to back this advice but it seems sensible.

But there are no guarantees. Consider calling the airline to check if they allow you to travel on your non-Canadian passport without proof of vaccination on the basis of the exemption for foreigners.

Upon return to Canada you can use your Canadian passport. The Canadian government has to admit anybody with a Canadian passport, regardless of vaccination status, and regardless of which passport they used to exit the country. This creates an obvious loophole where dual citizens can travel freely in and out of Canada as frequently as they like. Hence, when you return to Canada the border officials may give you a hard time, but it seems that legally this is simply allowed. It would be good to have an actual expert comment on this, though. Definitely do not simply assume that this loophole does in fact exist and will continue to exist. Check with an expert (and report back here, please).

Update June 2: Recently, several people have said that their airline did not check for proof of vaccination, or that simply showing a pdf without a QR code, or with an intentionally or unintentionally unreadable QR code sufficed. So the suggestion is made that somebody could get a fake proof of vaccination pdf with an intentionally unreadable QR code, change the name etc in the pdf, print the pdf, take it to the airport, show it to the airline rep, who may or may not try yo scan the QR code. If they scan it, the machine won’t be able to read it. And apparently, some airlines will then just give up and let you through at that point.

But the fact that this apparently is a possible solution does not mean it is an advisable one. Using a forged proof of vaccination is obviously very much against the law. As explained throughout this article, there are viable legal ways to leave the country, especially the religious exemption option with Aeromexico, as described below.

The only reason that I even mention the forgery option here is because I know that people are discussing and suggesting it in groups, and I want to advise against trying it.

Religious Exemptions

Somebody in the FlyTrippers thread says they successfully used a religious exemption to leave Canada on a regular flight. He provides detailed information about this option (1 & 2).

Update April 4: There have now been many reports of people successfully using the religious exemption with Aeroméxico. It seems like a pretty straightforward process and to have a high success rate. This is the religious exemption form you need to fill out. WestJet, Turkish Airlines and Delta seem promising as well but have a lower success rate. This is the religious exemption form for WestJet. Other Canadian airlines seem very unwilling to grant religious exemptions.

Text from the FlyTrippers comment below:

Here are some Important Tips on using this document successfully:
1) Do Not attempt to book your travels with a Canadian or US Airlines as I believe they are more inclined to enforce the Gov’t vax requirements so consequently will not accept most exemptions. Air Canada does post a Religious Belief exemption doc however I’ve not heard from anyone who has had it accepted by them. If anyone here has please do share!
I’ve traveled with Aeromexico, and soon Turkish Airlines who have both accepted this exemption document.

2) The document is confusing, naturally, however it’s not impossible to navigate. It has two sections-Employee (YOU) and Employer (Also YOU in most cases). I traveled for Spiritual Retreats and the retreat organizer kindly completed this section and assigned me ‘Spiritual Facilitator’ number (which is actually what I do as a Retired person). If You are retired or self-employed then you complete this section.

3) Have you Exemption document signed and sealed by a lawyer who is also registered as a Commissionaires of Oaths (most are but double check!).

4) No Government Agency will EVER see this document OR have Anything to do with the approval process. This responsibility lays solely with the Airlines you are choosing to travel with. I recommend to inquire to the airline 2–4 weeks in advance of your departure, via email, if they will accept and honor your exemption for travel aboard their aircraft. Get Everything in writing then print off these communications and keep them with you. Do not rely upon screenshots for these important documents always keep paper copies on your person when transiting.

5) Email the airport admin local to you or where you intend to ravel through and ask for clarification of their ‘Rules’. Keep copies of these communications.
For example- Although many airports have posted clear rules around vax requirements to enter their premises this is actually not as strict as you might believe. I’ve personally emailed the airport Admin to ask if anyone in their location would be able to understand what my exemption documents meant if I was required to show them. Their response was very interesting…”We do not enforce health measures”. Same response from the border security Admin. There are no Health Canada persons or contractors of HC enforcing health measures in many airports. This is why, if possible, it’s so important to get the information directly from the source.

6) BE PATIENT. Your travels will take longer and this document will create delays in you transits. The system is still getting used to seeing this or any exemption. Give them space and your patience. Whenever I’m asked about what exactly the document is, my answer ‘It is a Legal document Signed and Sealed by a Lawyer”. This always gets their attention. It is a legal & legitimate Statement of Fact which, if necessary, will hold up in a court of law.
You are already Free:)
Happy Travels!

Transport Canada Doc (Use this doc for ALL Airlines):

Aeromexico or Air Canada and other local Canadian airlines (I only use the above doc as it looks more official):

The legislation connected to this doc is there, yes that’s correct it’s Marine/Vessel legislation, however do not trouble yourself with what I’d label purposeful distractions. I read all of the same information but continued to plunge ahead with this exemption document as there was and continues to be no other means for a reasonable route out of Canada.

To Clarify,
The exemption was created around the governments statement that Canadians who are unvaxxed could travel out of the country, using this exemption, for work purposes only and not tourism. In my opinion this is why there seems to be so many confusing and unnecessary elements to the document.

YOU are the person making the request as Employee and possibly Employer (if you are self employed-which as a kind of Religious Order you are a non-profit, Self Employed person). Remember, the gov’t maintains that if you’re not vaxxed you can only travel for work purposes, that is why this document is structured as Employee/Employer.

This request is being made to the Airlines ONLY. The government does not have anything to do with this request or with the approval process. Do Not provide your SIN.
For page 3, Only provide a number, #1 will do, in the section titled “Confirmation of Exemption by Employer*”. Other# could be 101. If you are the Employer (self employed) then You are the person creating these ‘unique IDs’ for Your own records.

On page 4 — Your Title could be Outreach Coordinator. Your organization must be aligned to the specific exemption document, in this case Sincere Religious Belief, so develop a religious or spiritually sounding name. Now I’m guessing here… but I believe this info is required so that if the Airlines ever decides to contact your organization to confirm that this person, You, is in fact an employee of yours.

You didn’t mention anything about the statement of Religious Belief but I felt to add this;
Craft a personal statement that you can stand in, i.e. Your Truth!
For example mine referred to my body being in the image of the creator which means it was already of Perfection. And, that no vaxx or Injection products could improve upon what is already a perfect creation of God. This is my Truth and I have no problem using this document to maneuver through the matrix.

You should apply at least three weeks before your departure date but many people report that they receive confirmation in less than a week after applying.

Update June 11: On the basis of people’s experiences in the Signal groups and elsewhere somebody has estimated for each airline the probability that a religious exemption application will be approved. These are necessarily guesstimates and I don’t necessarily agree with each estimate but it’s a useful overview nonetheless. See here. The page also has other useful information.

Private Planes

The surest way to be able to leave Canada unvaccinated is to rent a private plane. Private flights are exempt from the vaccine mandates (which is convenient for politicians, CEOs, artists and other important people) as long as they do not use the secure zone of a commercial airport. For a map of airports where vaccine requirements don’t apply, go here (source).

Unfortunately, even though they are not legally required to ask for proof of vaccination, some companies nonetheless do. There is no publicly available list of companies that do or don’t, but people in the Signal group share the results of their inquiries so that is where you can find the most up-to-date information on the best companies to use.

Here are some examples of private plane companies in Canada. No guarantee they won’t require proof of vaccination, though:

Always check directly with the company that they in fact do not require proof of vaccination.

Note that if you rent a plane you can ask the company to make stops at other airports to pick up other people.


To rent a private plane and get estimates of the costs involved, you can use broker sites such as:


Renting a private plane will of course be prohibitively expensive for most, unless you can get enough people together to share the flight with. For example, a group of nine could rent a plane from Windsor, ON to Cancun, Mexico for $28,800 max. Divided by nine that would be $3,200 per person. These prices are USD, not CAD.

For a general impression of per hour prices, see for example here:

For more quick estimates for flights to e.g. the United States, Mexico or Costa Rica, check e.g.

But note that the United States does have a vaccination requirement for entry. Especially if you arrive at small airports in the US they may not always ask if you are vaccinated or check for proof, but be aware that even if they don’t check it is still illegal to enter the US as an unvaccinated non-US-citizen, and the risk of getting caught is always present. If you get caught, it could get you banned from the US for a long time.

Empty Leg Flights

Besides sharing the plane with others there is another way to greatly reduce the costs of using private planes. If a plane has no passengers when it has to return to its home base or go to a different airport to pick up people there, the company may offer seats on these ‘empty leg flights’ at greatly reduced prices. The downside is that planning can be more difficult and that flights may be canceled if the plane can be used in a more profitable way.

Sites to find empty leg flights:


In the Signal group there are several people associated with the Freedom Travel Alliance, a membership based group that supposedly helps unvaccinated people leave Canada. The Signal group has no formal connection with the Freedom Travel Alliance and I don’t know how reliable they are or whether a membership is worth it. It strikes me as weird that it’s a membership-based service, in the sense that you have to pay them $100 (?) upfront, with no guarantees or information upfront. They may be a scam or they may not be. I don’t know for sure. Interested in hearing feedback from people who have experiences with them.

Update April 16: Several people in the Signal group have said they have experiences with the Freedom Travel Alliance and say they are legit. A representative of the Freedom Travel Alliance has also responded:

There are members here and we have posted video testimonials in the chat here like this one. We had a flight just yesterday from a member.

We keep information within our membership for the safety of our members and integrity of service.

Here’s a link our CEO Susan Sweetin did with Dr Tenpenny
for more info on what we do :

Update June 9: So far I have not heard anybody say they have had negative experiences with the Freedom Travel Alliance, so it seems safe to say they are legit and doing good work.

Another membership-based group, Freedom Flights, does look like a clear scam, however. They charge $125 for a membership and their stated goal is to leave with 130–160 people on a charter flight, one from Vancouver and one from Toronto. They claim they will leave from Vancouver International airport but that airport has a vaccination requirement, so that seems impossible. The website also looks amateurish. It’s not 100% clear it’s a scam but it sure looks like it.


Of course if you want to go to a European country that does not require proof of vaccination you don’t need to rent a plane all the way from Canada to Europe. You could fly to Mexico on a private plane and take an airliner to Europe from there.

For all the destinations that do not require proof of vaccination, go here. is a very useful site to get a quick overview of features and conditions of a city that are relevant to expats, particularly digital nomads.

Numbeo is a useful worldwide cost of living calculator.


You could travel on a private boat, bypass the United States (where the vaccination requirement applies) and go to e.g. Mexico (where there is no vaccination requirement for entry). For cruises, ferries and other regular passenger ships vaccination is required. Only private boats are exempted.

It looks like most cargo ship travel services — where cargo ships also take passengers — have been suspended since Covid started.

PCR Tests

Note that if you do qualify for an exemption (if you’re a foreigner or have dual citizenship) you will have to show a negative PCR test test result to cross the border. That doesn’t mean you have to have something stuck up your nose, though. You can use saliva PCR tests instead. Available in drugstores such as Rexall. Just be sure to time your test right (e.g. courier services may not be available in weekends) so that you get the results back in time.


In the Signal group you can share information, meet, discuss and plan with others. Useful information shared in the group (such as names of charter companies that do not require proof of vaccination) will be added to this page.

Renting a plane together obviously involves a large financial investment so if you are planning to rent a plane with others (especially if those others are strangers) make sure everybody meets their financial commitments in time so that nobody ends up disappointed or worse, holding the bag. If you have any tips on how to facilitate such planning, leave a comment in the group.

Although the group is private and Signal is a relatively secure app, it is still best to assume that anyone can read what you are writing. So don’t share any information that you would not want to be public. For some this may also include information that can identify you. A phone number can obviously identify you but while you need a phone number to join Signal, you don’t actually need that number to use Signal.

Messages in the group auto-delete after one week. Also, new group members can’t see the messages posted before they became members. So for newcomers the group will initially look empty. But you will quickly start to see new messages.


  • Practical Information

(thanks Signal user Robert for compiling these)

Very Popular Informative Video:

USA DHS (Department of Homeland Security) FAQ:

DHS/CBP Joint Policy Announcements & Timelines:

Northern Border Reopening Act (Provides Some Hope As Many Northern States Are Lobbying DC To Reopen For Everyone, Introduced Feb 25, 2022 and No Updates Since):

USA Entry By Air Requirements (Last Amended April 7, Proof Of C-19 Vaccination Expires May 31, 2022 Unless Renewed)

See the section:

Required Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Non-U.S. Citizen, Nonimmigrant Air Passengers

As directed by the TSA, including through a security directive or emergency amendment, all airlines and other aircraft operators must additionally confirm one of the following for each noncitizen who is a nonimmigrant passenger prior to their boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country:

1. Proof of being
Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
2. Proof of being excepted from the requirement to be
Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

OMB Control No.: 0920–1318
Expiration Date: 05/31/2022

USA Entry By Air, CDC Quarantine Order:

RE: Religious Exemptions On Airlines, See Helpful Comments By User ‘Cedar’:

Mexico Visa Entry and FMM Requirements For Canadians:

Information On Mexico’s Special Residency Procedure (for those currently in Mexico with an expired 180 visitor permit and having visited Mexico at least twice before Jan 1, 2020 can apply for residency while remaining in Mexico):

Leaving Canada By Boat/Vessel

Article: A History of the Persecution of the Unvaccinated in Covid Era Canada