Before you travel to Canada

Before you travel to Canada, you need the right documents and a self-isolation plan for when you arrive.

Travelling to Canada: step by step

Step 1: Check if you’re eligible

Step 2: Before you travel
Before you travel to Canada, make sure you prepare the right documents supporting essential travel and have valid health insurance coverage for when you arrive.

Step 3: Prepare your self-isolation plan

Step 4: While travelling

Step 5: After you arrive

Back to the overview

Gather documents supporting essential travel

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will determine whether or not your travel is considered “essential”, depending on your individual circumstances and the supporting documents you share when you arrive in Canada.

Check if you’re eligible to travel before preparing documents.

As proof you are a current, enrolled UBC student, you will need a Letter of Enrollment which has been recently issued, ideally the same week that you travel. You can download this in your Student Services Centre (SSC) under “Grades and Records”. If you are not able to get a Letter of Enrollment from the SSC, contact an Academic Advisor or graduate program staff for a customized letter of enrollment.

See Step 4: While you travel, for a list of recommended documents to bring when you travel. 

Health insurance coverage

If you’re new to UBC

As a new student, you have temporary health insurance coverage for your first three months through iMED. Once you’ve arrived in Canada, you must apply for the BC Medical Service Plan (MSP) to cover your remaining time at UBC. Learn more about health insurance.

CONFIRM YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

You will receive an email from David Cummings Insurance Services (DCIS) with information related to your temporary iMED health insurance and instructions on how to confirm your arrival date in Canada. You must confirm your arrival date with DCIS.

We strongly recommend that starting 3 weeks before your travel date, you confirm your arrival date before travelling by providing your scanned flight tickets to DCIS.

You can also confirm your arrival with DCIS up to 3 weeks after you’ve arrived in Canada by providing your scanned flight tickets, boarding pass(es), study permit, passport stamp, or landing documents.

GET YOUR VIRTUAL IMED CARD

Once you confirm your arrival with DCIS, you will receive your iMED card by email. If you don’t receive your iMED card, please email DCIS at info@david-cummings.com.

Confirm the iMED coverage period on your iMED card is correct. iMED coverage should start from the month you arrive in BC plus two months to cover the BC MSP waiting period.

IF YOUR PLANS CHANGE

If your travel plans change, request an adjustment of your iMED coverage period. Once you know your new arrival date, submit an iMED date change request online through DCIS website before December 31, 2021. You will then receive a new iMED card with your new coverage period.

Returning students

Before you travel, check whether you have valid BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.

IF YOU’VE BEEN OUTSIDE OF CANADA FOR SIX MONTHS OR LESS

If you have been outside of Canada for less than six months and you did not cancel your MSP, ensure your MSP coverage has not expired. You should be able to be covered under MSP, however consider contacting BC MSP to confirm.

IF YOU’VE BEEN OUTSIDE OF CANADA FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS

If you have been outside of Canada for more than six months, contact BC MSP to confirm your eligibility for coverage. If you can still be covered under MSP, no further action is required until your MSP expires.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE MSP

Before you travel to Canada, you will need to get private health insurance, such as the Global Campus Health Plan, to cover the three-month MSP waiting period. Make sure the private health plan you choose has adequate coverage as some private health insurance companies are no longer covering COVID-19 testing and treatment. 

As soon as you re-enter BC, apply for MSP online. See the Medical Service Plan Response to COVID-19 for the latest updates.

This information is accurate as of October 21, 2020, and is subject to change. Follow the latest updates on travel restrictions due to COVID-19. See also CBSA’s updates on travel for non-Canadians.