Changes to Travel Restrictions for International Students
Amendments to the Quarantine Act came into force on October 21, 2020, which now allows eligible international students from the US and overseas to enter Canada, regardless of the date they were approved for a study permit.
International students may travel to Canada only if they have a valid study permit or letter of introduction and will be attending a DLI with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the DLI is located and listed on IRCC’s website.
If the student’s DLI is not included in the approved DLI list, they may not be allowed to board their flight to Canada. They are strongly encouraged to check IRCC’s website to confirm that their DLI has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan before they travel.
Students who are already studying in Canada. If they leave Canada, they will not be able to return if their DLI does not have an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. Measures are also in place to allow students to maintain their eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program if they are studying online from abroad.
International students and their accompanying family members must be entering Canada for non-discretionary/non-optional purposes. Students are expected to know what to expect upon arrival and during their studies, and they should ensure that they have a suitable quarantine plan before their travel to Canada. Students will need to pass a health check before they’re allowed to board their flights. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel to Canada.
When students arrive in Canada, their health will be assessed when they speak to the CBSA officer. Students must quarantine for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. This is mandatory for all students traveling to Canada. If the student develops symptoms during their flight to Canada, or believe they were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19 on their way to Canada, they must tell a CBSA officer when they arrive in Canada. If they fail to do so they may face consequences under the Quarantine Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
In coordination with their DLI, students should have a plan for how they will obtain medical care if they become sick during their quarantine period, including getting mandatory medical insurance. While in quarantine, they will not be allowed to leave their quarantine location unless it is medically necessary.
If students do not have a plan for quarantine, including how they will buy groceries and access other essential services, they are advised to delay their travel until they have made one, as failure to do so may result in refusal to enter Canada by the CBSA.
As part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all travelers are required to provide specific information upon entry into Canada. Students can use ArriveCAN app to submit contact information and details of their plan for quarantine, as required by the current emergency orders under the Quarantine Act, up to 48 hours before their arrival.