Due to the pandemic, travel restrictions have trapped the children of temporary residents overseas.

Pandemic travel restrictions
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Laurence Lacroix had no intention of returning from France without her daughter. The Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean restaurateur is one of the dozens of temporary residents in Quebec whose children are not being permitted to re-enter Canada after traveling outside the country with their parents.

Families claim they are being separated because of COVID-19 travel limitations. Children of temporary residents who were not born in Canada are considered “visitors,” even if they were educated in the nation, and their return requires approval from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“How can you explain to a 14-year-old kid that her mother needs to leave Saturday… and I can’t offer her a date when she can return?” Lacroix said.

On June 21, Lacroix and her 14-year-old daughter Louhann departed Montreal for France to meet Lacroix’s father, who is dying of cancer. They hadn’t seen him since moving to Canada four years ago.

They were on their way home after their meeting with him, arriving in Germany for a connecting flight to Montreal.

According to Lacroix, Air Canada personnel prevented Louhann from boarding the plane “because to her visa.” She demanded an explanation from the airline but received none.