List of countries that are not allowed to immigrate to Canada and reasons for restriction

According to Canadian immigration rules, some people and countries were restricted from immigrating to Canada.

Canadian immigration officers are responsible for selecting qualified immigrants. They investigated important requirements such as security, criminal acts, or medical issues.

Access will be granted if you are eligible and will be denied if the requirements are not met. You might also be granted a temporary residence visa if your trip to Canada is justified by a legitimate purpose and the situation.

Canadian laws and regulations have penalties and applicable measures on certain countries, individuals and corporations that have been guilty of:

  • Murder acts, health issues or serious violations of international human rights.
  • Engage in any form of corruption, and terrorist activities, such as Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIL (Da’esh).

Canadian sanctions can be found under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (JVCFOA), the United Nations Act (UNA), and the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA).

Countries that are not allowed to immigrate to Canada and reasons for restriction:

The following countries that are listed below are restricted from entering Canada:

  • Belarus
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Myanmar
  • Nicaragua
  • North Korea
  • China
  • Russia
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine


Belarus restrictions were executed under the Special Economic Measures Act, due to their terrible and persistent violations of human rights and support for the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Which represents a serious breach of international peace and security and has contributed to a pressing international crisis.


The designated individuals are subject to a transactions restriction, which effectively results in an asset freeze, under the Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Regulations.

Some international companies also discontinued their business operations in the country. While certain basic services are being disrupted by this situation:

Banking services


Delivery services

Various flight alternatives to leaving Belarus are very limited. The state of affairs in Belarus might get worse.

The Canadian Embassy in Poland has very little capacity to offer consular services in Belarus. You should depart Belarus using a commercial method if you are there.

You shouldn’t rely on the Canadian government to assist you in leaving the country. If you choose to stay in Belarus despite this information, you should:


Listen to reliable news sources to stay updated on the situation as it develops, and ensure that all travel documents, including passports, are fully secured.

Ensure to have enough money, necessary things, and medications. Expect interruptions to important services like transportation

Tell your loved ones about your vacation and motivate other Canadians in Belarus to do the same by registering and updating your contact information through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic was subject to economic penalties on June 19, 2014, by the Canadian government (CAR).

This was done to support continuing humanitarian and political efforts since the riot in March 2013 and in light of a conflict in the CAR to ensure an improvement of constitutional order and security in the country.

Following its duties under the United Nations Act, Canada will carry out the resolutions’ enforcement through the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Central African Republic (CAR Regulations).

The main purpose of the Regulations is to stop the export, supply or shipping of arms and related material to the CAR by anyone in Canada.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The United Nations Act was used to levy sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in order to implement Security Council resolutions.


The sanctions placed on the DRC include:

A ban on the export of weapons and other associated materials to anybody within DRC territory. Restriction on the distribution of technical and financial support for military activities to anybody in the DRC.

A travel restriction and an asset freeze are imposed on anyone named by the UN committee which was created by Resolution to regulate the sanctions against the DRC.

The Security Council’s judgments are inverted into Canadian law through the United Nations Democratic Republic of the Congo Regulations, as amended. The current provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada guarantee the implementation of the travel ban mandated by Resolution 1596 (2005).


The actions of criminal gangs and those who assist them in spreading riot and violence, sanctions pertaining to Haiti have been implemented under the Special Economic Measures Act and the United Nations Act.

There has been a serious international crisis as well as acts of significant corruption as a result of this ongoing grave violation of international peace and security.

The Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations was effective on November 3, 2022. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolution on Haiti was also effective on November 10, 2022.

The people that fail to abide by the Regulations are inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


It is highly necessary for Haitians to have a visa that fulfills the requirement to enter Canada.


Sanctions against Iran were implemented under the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act in reaction to Iran’s nuclear and WMD programs, women prosecution, and persistent human rights violations that were committed in Iran.

The persistent violation of world peace and security by the Iranian regime is another reason for these actions.

Canada imposes travel restrictions against people on the Security Council’s list in accordance with Resolution 2231. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is used to carry out these restrictions in Canada.

In accordance with the Export and Import Permits Act, Canada continues to impose export restrictions on various sensitive goods that are included on the Export Control List (ECL) (EIPA).

It is required to have valid passport and passport size photos, each with the applicant’s full name and birthdate written on the back. Bank statements or other financial documents as evidence of sufficient finances to sustain your stay in Canada.


The United Nations Act was used to authorize sanctions against Iraq in order to implement Security Council resolutions. The following sanctions have been placed against Iraq, subject to some exceptions:

An asset freeze on the former government of Iraq, that existed before May 22, 2003 and any person designated by the UN sanctions committee created in accordance with Resolution 661; a ban on the export of weapons and related materials to anybody in Iraq.



The United Nations which were acting under Chapter VII of the Security Council had to adopt Resolution 1701 to impose sanctions against Lebanon. This was done in response to the hostilities which ensued between Lebanon and Israel due to the attacks against Hezbollah on the 12th of July, 2006. As a result, no Lebanese may be allowed into the shores of Canada for whatever reason.

There are several sanctions imposed on Lebanon by other countries, especially Canada. The ban on the export of arms embargoes and any kind of technical assistance Canada has to offer Lebanon has also been prohibited. However, an exception was made to the prohibitions previously mentioned in advance in writing by the Lebanon Government or even the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.


The United Nations enacted a law under the United Nations Act for the purpose of giving effect to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The reason for this is the relationship between Mali and some countries and also the case of immigration.  It should be noted that as subject to some exceptions, the sanctions imposed against Mali by most countries, and especially Canada includes; assets freeze, and travel ban.

This law was enacted on the 5th of September, 2017 which acted under Chapter VII of the Security Council Adopted Resolution 2374, for imposing a travel ban on specific persons and asset freeze on persons or organizations designated by the 2374 committee. Up till today no persons or organizations have been designated by the 2374 Committee.


Around 2007, the gravity of the human rights and humanitarian situation in Myanmar went to the extent that it threatened peace and security in the entire region. As a result of this, Canada banned the export of arms, froze the assets of individuals, and entities, and also prohibited technical assistance to the country. However, the crisis was resolved by witnessing positive developments in Myanmar around 2010, and this also includes the country’s progress towards democracy and improvements in the area of human rights.

Therefore, Canada lifted some of its economic sanctions two years later. However, most of the sanctions ceased under the Special Economic Measures Act, which also includes other bans relating to imports, exports, financial services, and investment. On the other hand, Canada still maintained certain sanctions against Myanmar and other entities.


Several sanctions have been imposed on Nicaragua which has been enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act. This was done to respond to the gross violations related to human rights that have been committed in Nicaragua. Subsequently, Canada frowns against this violence which was sponsored by the state itself whose sole aim was to crack down on protests against the government.

As a result, Canada moved to freeze the assets of several entities and individuals from Nicaragua. This also includes placing a ban on any sort of financial transactions between them and Canada. Hence, it will be tough for Nicaraguans to immigrate to Canada due to the gravity of the sanctions imposed.


North Korea

The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1718 in 2006 which was to impose certain limitations against the Democratic People of Korea. This sanction was imposed as a result of a nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on the 9th of October, 2006.

Although there were several nuclear tests throughout the years, the United Nations continued to impose additional sanctions and laws on North Korea relating to violent actions. As for Canada, sanctions were imposed against North Korea under the Special Economic Measures Act, and it should be observed that these sanctions will work for hand in hand with other existing sanctions passed under the United Nations Act.

Types of sanctions imposed by Canada towards North Korea includes an arms embargo, asset freeze, restrictions on export and imports, prohibition on financial transactions, and technical assistance prohibition. This is one of the reasons why lots of airports in Canada do not consider North Korea as part of their routes when it comes to traveling or tourism.


There were credible evidences on various human right violations by Chinese authorities against Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities which was based on religion and ethnicity. The likes of leaked governmental information firsthand testimonials and other relevant data illustrating a systematic repression against Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities by the Chinese government. As a result of this cruelty, Canada froze the assets designated individuals and on placed financial prohibitions on any transactions between both countries.


Russia is also another country where its citizens are not allowed to immigrate to Canada based on some restrictions. The reason for this was based on the sanctions which were imposed under the Special Economic Measures Act that was enacted to respond to the gravity of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine. This even extends to the violation of human rights against Ukrainians living in Russia.

Responding to this repulsive treatment, Canada placed a ban against allowing Russians to immigrate to her shores. The sanctions imposed by Canada against Russia include an Asset freeze of Russian individuals and entities, a ban on export and imports, and restrictions on any sort of financial transaction between the two countries.


This African country is also part of Canada’s blacklist. Somalia experienced several internal crises a few years back. Back then, the situation in this country was rapidly deteriorating which led to the loss of human life and widespread property damage which resulted from the conflicts that ensued in the country.

Subsequently, several countries placed several sanctions against Somalia, and this also includes Canada. The latter country placed a ban on the export of arms to the African country, freeze the assets of designated individuals and various entities, restricted import and export activities, and also prohibited technical assistance. Going to Canada from Somalia won’t be easy as a result of this.


South Sudan

South Sudan, an African country has been in conflict since 2013 which was based on tribal differences and ethnicity. The conflict started as a result of those who were loyal to the president and others who were also loyal to the vice president clashing.

However, during a peace talk with the IGAD, an agreement to resolve the issues that they were facing was resolved in 2014. As if that is not enough, this agreement was violated shortly thereafter and the United Nations observed that both sides had been deliberating stalling specific negotiations to their military advantage, and this in turn led to estimated casualties of over 10,000 to 40,000. Over 1.5 million people sought refuge in other countries, while others were internally disposed of.

As a result of this, Canada imposed several sanctions on Somalia, all of which include; Asset freeze, technical assistance restriction, an arms embargo, and export and import restrictions. Therefore, Canada is a no-go area for Somalis presently.


Around 2004, the United Nations imposed sanctions against Sudan in response to the humanitarian crises, and widespread human rights violations which resulted from the conflict in the Darfur region. This sanction was subject to modifications throughout the years and some of the regulations came into force, implementing decisions of the United Nations Security Council into Canadian domestic law.

Some of the Canadian sanctions related to Sudan include; an arms embargo, an asset freeze of individuals and entities, a ban on financial transactions, and also a ban on technical assistance. The shores of Canada are not welcoming to the Sudanese.


This country would be left out of the list since sanctions were imposed against them under the Special Economic Measures Act in response to the Humanitarian crises, which resulted in a breach of international peace and security in the region.

Additionally, the United Nations Security Council adopted a Resolution (2118) that prohibited the procurement of chemical weapons from Syria concerning an Australian Group.

However, Canada imposed further sanctions against Syria under the Special Economic Measures Act. The likes of arms embargo, asset freeze, export and import, financial prohibitions, and also technical assistance to Syria were banned or restricted.



In the past years, Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed close relationships since the former became the first Western country to acknowledge Ukraine’s independence on the 2nd of December, 1991. On the 1st of August, 2017 Canada and Ukraine entered into a Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) this service aims to offer support and advice to Canadian companies seeking to do business in Ukraine.

However, Canada has imposed sanctions relating to Russia’s unlawful occupation, attempted annexation of Crimea, and continued Russian occupation in areas of eastern Ukraine on the Russian-occupied Crimea region of Ukraine as well as on Ukrainian people and organizations. Some of these sanctions include; Asset freezes, a ban on imports and export, financial prohibitions, and technical assistance prohibitions respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can stop you from immigrating to Canada?

There are several factors that can hinder your immigration, or even denied a visa for entry into Canada and this includes; security, criminality, financial reasons, misrepresentation, human or international rights violation and other reasons.

What are the reasons why someone can be prevented from becoming Canadian citizen?

Some of the concrete reasons to this question includes, serving a sentence outside Canada; charged with an offence or on trial for one; involvement in an appeal for an offence; and placing one under a removal order.

What are the reasons for visa rejection in Canada?

When it comes to considering Canada as a place to study, your visa might be rejected for the following purposes; financial insufficiency, choice of program, letter of acceptance, English language proficiency, incomplete travel or identity documents, and lack of job prospects in home country.



Sanctions and restrictions imposed from any country is very essential even if they fail more than they succeed. The likes of deterring bad behaviors, enforcing economic punishment on another country, to force rehabilitation or change the behavior by that country serves as one of the best reasons countries impose restrictions. Believe it or not, restrictions and sanctions had played a crucial role to the response of terrorism, foreign policy crisis, and others.