Emergency Loan for Canadians Stranded Abroad During COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Canadian Government is offering up to $5,000 loan for Canadians who are stranded abroad and need to return to Canada. This lecture explains the purpose of the loan, the eligibility criteria and how to apply.

For additional information, please visit: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help-faqs

This lecture is taught by Amer Mushtaq, LL.B., M. Engineering , B.Sc. (Hons.), who is the Principal and Founder of Formative LLP.   Through his YouTube channel, YouCounsel, Amer shares practical advice from his years of legal experience to help anyone access justice and achieve their goals.  Subscribe today to learn more.


Show Notes:


Lecture Slides:

Welcome to YouCounsel.

If you are a Canadian who is stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is in need of an emergency loan, this lecture is for you. The Canadian government has arranged for an emergency loan for such Canadians and we will explain the eligibility criteria for such loans in this lecture.

This lecture is not legal advice.  If you have any specific questions, you should contact a lawyer or a paralegal or the Law Society of your province.

We’ll cover four topics. 

  • The amount of loan that is available under this program.
  • What is the purpose of the loan?
  • How do you become eligible? And,
  • How do you go about applying for such a loan?


  • The total amount of loan is up to $5,000 per person. Usually it is returnable within six months after you have returned to Canada. But it may differ depending upon your circumstances.  Keep in mind that this is a loan and you will have to pay this loan back to the Canadian government.
  • The purpose of the loan is that while you are making efforts to return to Canada, you may have some essential needs that you need money for.  These would include food, shelter, medical costs, hospital cost—those medical costs that are not covered by the local health agencies; transportation and airline tickets to return to Canada. In some countries, I know that the Canadian government has arranged for charter flights for people to return to Canada.  Obviously, there’s a cost for those flights.  If you’re unable to afford those costs, then you can apply for this loan to return to Canada. If you have expenses for your immediate family members—which is a spouse, parents, children—then that can be included in the same application for this loan.

It is important that you provide as much details of your expenses as possible and attach all documentary evidence associated with those expenses. If you are paying for hotels, make sure to provide invoices for hotels, if it’s medical costs for hospital and stuff—make sure that you provide the documents for that kind of information. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for you to get the loan and the faster it will be for you to get the  loan.  If there is information that is incomplete, then the Canadian government representative, who will be dealing with your application, will have additional questions and then you will be responding to those before your loan is approved.

  • What about the eligibility criteria? Obviously, you have to be a Canadian citizen. For permanent residents, it is possible to get the loan—but in exceptional circumstances.  The exceptional circumstances are if you are a permanent resident and your life is threatened or you are in danger of experiencing some serious harm, then you may be eligible for the loan. But, essentially, it is for Canadian citizens.  Those are Canadian citizens who are actually planning to return to Canada and their existing plans have been disrupted.

There must be this component that you were intending to return to Canada.  For that you will have to provide a copy of a confirmed travel itinerary, showing your intention to return or if you were traveling as a tourist, then you must show your temporary foreign visa with a clear end date—so that it is confirmed that you were originally intending to return to Canada.

If you were working abroad and you’ve lost your employment and you intend to return to Canada that will not be considered a valid ground for this loan. If you had travelled abroad on a one-way ticket, then, that will not be sufficient to establish intention to return to Canada. It is important for you to establish that you were all along planning to return to Canada and you were unable to do so because of the travel restrictions relating to Covid-19 or because of your circumstances relating to Covid-19. 

You also need to show that you have no other source of funding to return home. For example, you do not have sufficient credit available to you through your credit cards or line of credits. You do not have any insurance that can cover your return cost or the cost while you’re trying to return.  You have no sources or friends and family. You have to state that in your application and in your email that you have tried all these sources and you’re not able to get any funding from any of these sources.

  • If you’re eligible how do you go about applying? You can send an email, to this email address: can.finances.cv19@international.gc.ca.  You can contact Global Affairs Canada on +1-613-996-8885—there are collect calls available—if you are able to make calls from there.  You can contact 24/7.  Or, you can reach out to the nearest Government of Canada office and then ask for assistance. I’ve provided the link for different embassies and consulates, around the world that you can find out if you are unfamiliar with their contact information.

Once you apply, please note, that it may take several days. It is not like CERB that the money will immediately come to you. It may take several days and the representative who may be dealing with your loan application may have additional questions that you should be able to answer.  Once all of those things are addressed, then you should be able to get your loan.

Hopefully, this gives you some information if you are in need of such money, then you are able to get some emergency loan.  Once you have returned to Canada and if you qualify for Canada Emergency Response Benefit, then you may apply for those and get those benefits.

Thank-you for watching.

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