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

The suspension of direct flights from India has been extended to August 21, 2021. See the alert on suspension of flights for more information. Mental  health supports are available through UBC student wellness and the BC government.

As of July 5, 2021, fully fully vaccinated travellers who have received vaccines approved by Canada at least 14 days prior to the day you enter Canada are exempt from the 3-night government hotel stay, the 14-day quarantine, and day-8 COVID-19 test, if meeting eligibility requirements.

Starting August 9, 2021 at 12:01am EDT, all travellers coming to Canada by air will no longer require a 3-night stay in a government approved hotel, but those who are not fully vaccinated must still quarantine for 14 days. If you are required to quarantine upon entry into Canada to begin or continue your studies, you may be eligible for financial assistance from UBC — details will be shared at a later date. Furthermore, the government plans to allow fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the US to enter Canada for non-essential travel, such as parents from the US  travelling to accompany or visit you.

Starting September 7, 2021, provided Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology remains favorable, the government intends to open Canada’s borders to all fully-vaccinated travellers for non-essential travel.

See the backgrounder and news release for more details and for information on additional upcoming changes. The Travelling to Canada Guide will be updated shortly.


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
  • Learn how the travel restrictions may impact you
  • Consider when to 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 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.
  • Get a new medical exam, if required
  • Confirm your health insurance coverage

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

You must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and submit a self-isolation plan. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you still need to prepare for a 14-day quarantine plan as required by the government at this time.

  • Read and follow provincial and federal guidelines for quarantine (self-isolation)
  • Consider what you need for necessary support during your isolation
  • Learn about exemptions for eligible fully vaccinated travellers
  • Book your 3-night stay at a government approved hotel, if arriving by air unless you meet the requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.
  • 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 border
  • Get a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival
  • Collect your day 8 COVID-19 test kit if you do not meet the requirements of vaccinated travellers

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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, if applicable
  • Follow your quarantine plan for the remainder of the 14 days, if applicable
  • Complete the take-home COVID-19 test kit during quarantine as instructed, if applicable
  • 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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