Guide for Int'l Students Travelling to Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Mar 22, 2021 06:53 PM

If you are planning to travel to Canada in the coming days or months for studies, then you must follow certain guidelines set by the IRCC for international students. Check the official travel guidelines for Canada here: 

The Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is regularly releasing updates for international students travelling to Canada. According to the recent update, the universities and institutes under the DLIs list are reopen for international students who are outside Canada. DLIs are the institutions with COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their province or territory. Only those international students who are enrolled in a DLI approved institution are allowed to travel to Canada. As per the latest data available, one-third of the  DLIs provided have been approved, while the rest are still under approval. 

If you are one of the international students who is planning to travel to Canada in the coming days or months then you must follow certain guidelines set by the IRCC. Read on to know all about travelling guidelines for Canada during the pandemic. 

Entry Requirements for International students in Canada 

To enter Canada as a student, you must meet the minimum requirements mentioned below:

  • You must have a valid 'Study Permit’ approved by the authorities to study in Canada

  • You must be enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) who have a readiness plan approved by their province or territory

  • You must have all of the required documents

Also Read: Negative COVID-19 Test Mandatory for International Students Travelling to Canada

Guidelines for International Students while Travelling to Canada 

The travel restrictions to Canada may have impacted many people but it is necessary to limit the spread of COVID 19 and ensure the safety of everyone. The restrictions prevent discretionary travel to Canada.  However, Canada has released updates based on which international students are allowed to travel to the country provided they follow the guidelines and meet the requirements. 

If you are planning to travel to Canada in the coming days or months then you must follow the guidelines defined by IRCC. Here are the updated guidelines for international students to travel to Canada: 

Use ArriveCAN

As per the updates from November 21, 2020, anyone who is travelling to Canada must use the ArriveCAN before checking in the airport. You can download the ArriveCAN App on Phone or you can also sign it online. It is used to provide travel information, contact details, quarantine plan, COVID-19 symptom self-assessment at the borders. 

Answer to the Questions at the Border

At the airport, the border services officer may ask you few questions mentioned below:

  • Your reasons to travel to Canada

  • Your 14 days quarantine plans after visiting Canada 

  • You should have a living arrangement with a group or community 

  • Whether you will be able to complete the quarantine period before attending the classes in person

  • Proof of documents 

You must have a satisfactory answer to all the questions put before you at the borders.  

Documents to be Carried While Travelling 

Following are the mandatory documents that you must carry while travelling to Canada:

  • Valid Passport

  • Valid Study Permit 

  • Valid Letter of Acceptance from a DLI 

  • Proof of Financial Support 

Also Read: Canadian Universities' COVID-19 Readiness Plans

Health Requirements for Travellers to Canada

While travelling to Canada you must follow the public health measures defined by the Canada government for travellers. The guidelines have been defined under the quarantine act to limit the spread of COVID- 19. The Instructions under the health requirements are as follows:

  • Any person cannot travel to Canada if he/ she is sick. Any symptoms of sickness at the airport will prevent the person from boarding the airlines.

  • At the borders, one must confirm that they do not have they do not cough or breathing problems and must not have a fever.

Important Note: The traveller must strictly avoid providing false or misleading information to the officers. Such information is considered as offensive under the Quarantine Act and can lead to imprisonment or fines. 

Travel Restrictions for International Students

If you are an international student, your travel to Canada won’t be considered essential in the following situations:

  • If your study programme has been suspended by the university.

  • If you are travelling to Canada for some other reason other than study.

Also, you will be  strictly restricted to travel in the following circumstances:

  • If you have COVID 19 symptoms.

  • If you fail to prove your isolation plan on arrival in Canada 

  • If you do not have a valid study permit

  • If your university does nor come under DLI list

Can Immediate Family Members of Students Travel to Canada? 

The immediate family members are allowed to travel with the students and they do not need any authorization from the IRCC. However, they must mention the reasons for their travel to Canada and it should be non-discretionary. There are no restrictions for the family member to travel to Canada who want to help their child to establish and settle well in the country and also support them in their stay. However, they will need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa. For a visitor visa, the student must include it in their application while applying for a study permit. For eTA, one must apply separately.

Also Read: Study in Canada-Timeline for January 2021 Intake

What to Do if you Do not have the Required Documents? 

There are certain circumstances under which international students will be allowed to travel to Canada even if they are unable to provide the required documents. Read on to know what you can do if you do not have the relevant documents to show at the borders:

  • You must have a ‘Letter of Explanation’ to explain the reasons for not submitting the required documents like transcript, enrolment letter etc. The reasons must be genuine and convincing. If the documents are not ready due to the COVID 19 situations and offices being closed, the reason is acceptable.

  • By all means, you must provide the letter of acceptance received from one of the DLI.

  • You must provide an extension date to submit the missing documents.

Hope the above information helps you out to pre-plan your visit to Canada. Stay tuned for latest updates on the travel situation during covid-19 and all other information for international students travelling to Canada. 

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