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

By Neha Kumari Updated On - Jul 27, 2021 12:09 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.

Latest Update: The Canadian government has announced that from August 9, international students will have to have a quarantine plan to show at border.

The travel ban from India to Canada was supposed to expire on July 21, but as per the latest Canadian government notification, the ban has been extended for another 30 days. The direct flight from India to Canada remains suspended until August 21, 2021. 

The Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is regularly releasing updates for international students travelling to Canada. The universities and institutes under the DLIs list are reopened for international students who fulfil the requirements. DLI is Designated Learning Institution. These are higher educational institutes in Canada approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students Only those international students who are enrolled in a DLI approved institution are allowed to travel to Canada. International students planning o come to Canada to study as the international students must follow the DLI COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where it is located.

Also, an international student who is planning to travel to Canada in the coming days or months 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, one must meet the minimum requirements mentioned below:

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

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

  • Must have all of the required documents

Travelling to Canada from India

Latest Update: The Canadian government has suspended direct flights from India until August 21, 2021. The travel ban was supposed set to expire on July 21, but as per the latest Canadian government notification, the ban has been extended for another 30 days. Until then, people from India can take an indirect route to visit Canada via another route.

Students and their family members can visit Canada they meet the following criteria: 

  • Newly admitted students in Canada having valid study visa 

  • International students returning to Canada

  • A family member or support person of an international student

The guidelines that need to be followed for Indians while travelling to Canada is as follows: 

  • Before planning to take a flight to Canada from a third country, the traveller must confirm the itinerary, transit options, and entry requirements of the country

  • Must have pre-departure negative COVID-19 test results before boarding a flight to Canada

  • Those who have already tested positive for COVID-19 a positive COVID-19 molecular test proof instead of a negative COVID-19 test. The test must be conducted at least 14 days and 90 days before departure to Canad

  • Visitors will have to follow a quarantine plan of 14 days on arrival in Canada

  • International travellers who are fully vaccinated need not undergo a quarantine period on arrival in Canada

Also Read:  Canada's COVID- 19 Vaccination Policy for International Students

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

Anyone who is travelling to Canada must use the ArriveCAN before checking in the airport. You can download the ArriveCAN App on your 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  few questions mentioned below:

  • Reasons to travel to Canada

  •  14 days quarantine plans after visiting Canada 

  • Details about the Living arrangements with a group or community 

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

  • Proof of documents 

The traveler must have a satisfactory answer to all the questions. 

Documents to be Carried While Travelling 

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

  • Valid Passport

  • Valid Study Permit 

  • Valid Letter of Acceptance from a DLI 

  • Proof of Financial Support 

Also Read: DLIs With Approved COVID-19 Readiness Plans For Int'l Students to Enter Canada

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

Travel to Canada won’t be considered essential for an international student, in the following situations:

  • If the study program has been suspended by the university.

  • If one is travelling to Canada for some other reason other than study.

Also,  one can be strictly restricted to travel in the following circumstances:

  •  COVID 19 symptoms.

  • Failure to prove your isolation plan on arrival in Canada 

  • Do not have a valid study permit

  • If the university does not 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 2022 Intake

What to Do if I 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.

Have any Queries Related to Admission in Canada?

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

Write to us at to get answers to all your doubts related to study abroad. 

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