Travelling to Canada during COVID-19

If you're an international student, there are important things to know before you plan to travel to Canada

Latest updates

As of February 15, 2021, all travellers to Canada must take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure timeor arrival at the land border.

As of February 22, 2021, air travellers will need to have reserved a 3-night stay at a government approved hotel in advance of travelling and all travellers will need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as complete a COVID-19 test kit during quarantine.

Furthermore, the government announced further measures to support international students. Studies completed outside Canada may be eligible to count towards the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) up to December 31, 2021. See the International Student FAQ for details.


If you’re an international student planning to come to UBC, we are here to help.

There are important steps to take before you plan your trip. It’s important for you to review the guide and understand the process and requirements before you travel.

start the guide

Step 1. Check if you’re eligible to enter Canada

Check if you can travel before making travel arrangements. Not all students can travel to Canada.

  • Understand what travel documents are required
  • Get advice on whether you should travel

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Step 2. Before you travel to Canada

Before you travel to Canada, you must make sure you prepare the right documents and have a quarantine (self-isolation) plan for when you arrive.

  • Gather documents supporting essential travel (proof of enrolment)
  • Get a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure time or within 72 hours before arrival by land
  • Confirm your health insurance coverage

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Step 3. Prepare your quarantine (self-isolation) plan

You must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days upon arrival and submit a quarantine (self-isolation) plan.

  • Read and follow provincial and federal guidelines for quarantine (self-isolation)
  • Consider what you need for necessary support during your isolation
  • Book your 3-night stay at a government approved hotel.
  • Submit your personal details and quarantine plan through the ArriveCAN app (mandatory)
  • Learn about UBC Okanagan’s quarantine (self-isolation) program

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Step 4. While you travel to Canada

Make sure you bring the right documents, know what to expect at the airport or border and follow arrival steps.

  • See documentation to bring
  • Learn what to pack
  • Know what to expect at the airport or borderGet a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and collect your COVID-19 test kit.

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Step 5. After arriving in Canada

There are a few things you need to do as soon as you arrive in Canada.

  • Stay in your pre-booked hotel
  • Follow your quarantine plan for the remainder of the 14 days
  • Complete the COVID-19 test kit during quarantine as instructed
  • Apply for MSP and check that you have iMED
  • Complete the after arrival checklist
  • See options if you need financial support
  • Learn about life in Canada

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