Travelling to Canada and self-isolation

Updated May 13, 2022

Vaccination requirements for travel within Canada and departing Canada

Currently, you must qualify as fully vaccinated in order to board:

  • domestic or international flights departing from most airports in Canada, including charter and foreign airlines carrying commercial passengers – this includes boarding a flight to return to your home country
  • VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains

If you don’t qualify as fully vaccinated and don’t permanently reside in Canada, you will be allowed to depart Canada up until August 31, 2022 with proof of a valid COVID-19 test result. After that time, you will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight or train to leave Canada.


New entry requirements now in effect

As of January 15, 2022, international students (18 years or older) can only enter Canada if they qualify as fully vaccinated travellers.

As of April 25, 2022fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry. Furthermore, fully vaccinated travellers arriving to Canada are no longer federally required to do the following for 14 days after arriving:

  • mask while in public spaces;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms;
  • quarantine if another traveller in the same travel group exhibits signs or symptoms or tests positive; and
  • maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited.

All travellers are still required to use ArriveCAN (free mobile app or website) to provide mandatory travel information within 72 hours of their arrival to Canada and/or before boarding a plane or cruise ship destined for Canada, including:

  • contact and travel information, and
  • vaccination information and proof of vaccination (if applicable).

For more details review: International students: Travel restrictions and exemptions and COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada


Before you travel, if you have questions about the timing of your arrival, you should contact your airline and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for more information. 

Currently, international students must meet all of the following requirements to enter Canada:

  1. You must qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller if you are 18 years of age or older.
  2. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, unless you are exempt (for example, if your program of study is six months or less).
  3. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI).
    • If you are under 18 and do not qualify as fully vaccinated, your DLI must have an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. The University of Victoria is a DLI, and has an approved plan in place.

Please check with your airline and Canada Border Services Agency if you have questions about the timing of your travel to Canada. A Border Services Officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

If you have any concerns before you travel, you can email uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca or you can contact the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for more information.

You must carry supporting documents to demonstrate you meet the requirements for entry to Canada.

Please ensure you have the following documents with you for travel:
  • Valid passport, or other accepted travel document
  • Valid temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (if required)
  • Valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows you have been approved for a study permit.
  • Valid letter of acceptance (If you need a copy of your letter, please email BMT@uvic.ca
  • Registration receipts showing your current or upcoming course registration and tuition payment (if you need a copy of your receipts, please email the Registration Office at uvcsreg@uvic.ca
  • If you are a returning student (have studies previous terms inside or outside Canada) you may also wish to include a copy of your transcript showing your completed study terms (the official transcript is $10 and can be requested by email from the Registration Office at uvcsreg@uvic.ca
  • Valid enrollment letter (An enrollment letter is only issued during a current study term for students actively participating in courses)
  • Proof of a valid immigration medical examination (if required)
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Proof of vaccination, if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller
  • ArriveCAN receipt

If you have any questions about your travel documents, please email uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca.

You should also:

  1. Arrange for appropriate travel insurance, as circumstances and restrictions may change.
  2. Ensure you have appropriate health insurance in place. For questions about health insurance, please email the Registration Office at uvcsreg@uvic.ca

Students whose study permit application is still being processed will need to wait to travel to Canada until they receive confirmation that their study permit application has been approved, and they receive the letter of introduction. Students should wait to make any travel arrangements until they have received their letter of introduction showing study permit approval and can meet any travel requirments or exemptions.

IMPORTANT: Travel requirements will change over time. The changes may be big or small, sudden or expected. You must continue to check for updates as you plan your trip. If you have any questions about quarantining, vaccinations, proof of vaccination documents, immigration or study visa, contact our Continuing Studies International Student Adviser at uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca.

For updates and information: 

Travellers arriving to Canada who are fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine

 

Currently, international students 18 years and older are only allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated. Only minor students (under 18 years old) can enter as unvaccinated travellers. For the definition of “fully vaccinated,” check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

If you plan to enter Canada as an unvaccinated minor student, please let us know so we can provide you with further information and support.

To enter Canada as a fully vaccinated international student, you will need to consider or prepare the following:

  1. Do you qualify as a fully vaccinated travellerCheck if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller. If you believe you may not qualify, please contact our office for further information and support.
     
  2. Do you have all your immigration documents? If you have any questions about your travel documents, you should connect with an International Student Adviser (ISA) prior to travelling. Please email your questions to uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca.
     
  3. Have you filled out the Continuing Studies self-isolation registration form? It is recommended to register your arrival details with UVic. Fill out the Continuing Studies self-isolation registration form to submit your travel information.
     
  4. Prepare your proof of vaccination document. You will need to upload a copy of this document into the ArriveCAN app before you travel, and you should also bring a physical copy with you. To see the requirements for an acceptable proof of vaccination document, see Upload proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN before you travel and select either the Canadian proof or “other.”
     
  5. Effective April 25, 2022, eligible fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to prepare a suitable 14-day quarantine plan and upload it into ArriveCAN. In the unlikely event that your arrival to Canada test is positive and you are instructed to quarantine, you can find resources and information at Self-isolation (quarantine) plan resources and support. If you are eligible to enter Canada as an unvaccinated traveller (for example, you are under the age of 18) and do not have a valid medical contraindication, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival, and you must prepare a suitable 14-day self-isolation (quarantine) plan prior to travel. This means that you must identify a place where you could:
    1. stay for at least 14 days
    2. avoid contact with others
    3. access food, water, and medicine without leaving​

      ​You will submit your quarantine plan using the ArriveCAN app (see details below) and should also be prepared to answer questions about your plan when you arrive in Canada.
       
  6. Submit travel information via ArriveCAN ArriveCAN is the federal government app which you must use to submit travel information such as your self-isolation (quarantine) plan (if required) and proof of vaccination documentation.
    • Download the ArriveCAN app and prepare to fill it out shortly before your trip. After you complete ArriveCAN with your travel details and documents, you will receive a receipt to show the border agent.
    • Using ArriveCAN is mandatory and it is also free! Do not engage with any websites or apps that demand payment for using ArriveCAN. For more information, see use ArriveCAN to enter Canada.
       
  7. Take a pre-entry COVID-19 test if required, and pre-register for arrival testing. Starting April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests are no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by land, air or water.

    Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children 5 years of age or older must provide a valid pre-entry test result, even if they are accompanying a fully vaccinated adult. See pre-entry testing (accepted types, timing).

    Children who are less than 5 years old are not required to test, regardless of their vaccination status.

    You may also be asked to test for COVID-19 upon entry to Canada. To speed up the arrival testing process, we recommend registering in advance with the testing provider for your first point of arrival in Canada. For example, if you fly [country of departure] > Vancouver > Victoria, you should book your arrival test in Vancouver. Make sure to use the same email address you used for your ArriveCAN account.
     

  8. After you arrive: Submit daily check-ins. If you are required to quarantine, you must submit an online Continuing Studies daily check-in form. It is unlikely that fully vaccinated travellers will be required to quarantine. However, the final decision will be made by the border agent at the time that you enter Canada. If you are required for any reason to quarantine upon entry, even for a short time, you must submit an online Continuing Studies daily check-in form every day until you are permitted to leave. You may also have to check in on the ArriveCAN app.

 For an overview of all requirements, see COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada.

Before travelling to Canada, it is recommended that all students create a 14-day quarantine plan. Your submissions will cover your travel arrangements, locations of self-isolation (quarantine), and arrangements for necessities (food). This applies to both fully vaccinated travellers who meet the Government of Canada requirements of fully vaccinated exemption, as well as those who are not vaccinated.

Continuing Studies students are recommended to submit the Self-Isolation Registration form provided below so that we can correctly track students arrivals and self-isolation plans. I understand that some students may have submitted the Self-Isolation Registration through the International Student Services (ISS) Office. Please be aware that the ISS form will not be able to connect to your student file as the Continuing Studies and ISS systems are completely separate.

It is recommended that international students:

  1. Complete a self-isolation registration form prior to arrival
  2. Complete a daily check-in form, starting on your date of arrival.
    • Unvaccinated students must complete a daily check-in form for each day while in self-isolation (quarantine), starting on your date of arrival in Canada.
    • Fully vaccinated students only need to submit the daily check-in on the day of their arrival in Canada.

UVic's self-isolation program is designed to support you, as a UVic student, make the necessary arrangements for arriving in Canada, self-isolating on arrival, and ensuring a successful start to your studies in Canada.

At the port of entry – immigration documents

When you arrive at the port of entry to Canada, a border agent will assess your eligibility to enter Canada under the current travel restrictions and make a final decision on whether to allow entry. If you were approved for a new study permit from outside Canada, your study permit will also be issued (printed) at this time.

Make sure to check your study permit when it is issued to you, to ensure all the details are correct and the appropriate conditions have been imposed.

  • Check that all details in the client information section are correct.
  • If you are a full-time student at UVic, make sure your study permit includes a statement that you “may work” or “may accept employment”. If it does not, this can significantly delay your ability to begin working in Canada.

If you notice any errors on your documents, request changes before you leave Immigration. Be prepared to demonstrate your eligibility to work (for example, by showing the officer an enrollment letter and/or course registration receipts from UVic confirming your full-time student status), if needed.

IMPORTANT:

  • Currently, most international students 18 years and older are only allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated. 
  • Only minor students (under 18 years old) or those who qualify for other limited exemptions can enter as unvaccinated travellers.
  • If you plan to enter Canada as an unvaccinated student, please contact us at uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca.so we can provide you with further information and support.

Arrival testing requirements

Fully vaccinated travellers (check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller) may be randomly selected for an arrival test. To speed up the arrival testing process, we recommend registering in advance with the testing provider for the airport you will arrive at. For example, if you fly [country of departure] > Vancouver > Victoria, you should book your arrival test in Vancouver. Make sure to use the same email address you used for your ArriveCAN account.

If you are allowed entry to Canada as an unvaccinated or partially vaccinated traveller (for example, you are under 18 or qualify for other limited exemptions to the vaccination requirement), you will be required to take an arrival (Day 1) COVID-19 test and a Day 8 test. To speed up the arrival testing process, register in advance with the testing provider for the airport you will arrive at. For example, if you fly [country of departure] > Vancouver > Victoria, you should book your arrival test in Vancouver. Make sure to use the same email address you used for your ArriveCAN account.

Self-isolation (quarantine) requirements on arrival

If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you likely will not have to self-isolate (quarantine) upon arrival to Canada. Check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and make sure that your vaccine, timing of your second dose, and proof of vaccination document all meet the requirements. The final decision about whether or not you must quarantine will be made by the border agent when you enter Canada. Please follow all instructions from government officials when you arrive.

If you are allowed to enter Canada as an unvaccinated traveller, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. See above sections for more information. 

Other requirements on arrival

Although the Government of Canada no longer requires fully vaccinated travellers to follow certain measures for the 14 days following entry into Canada, you may still wish to follow them. These include:

  • masking while in public spaces;
  • monitoring and reporting if you develop signs or symptoms;
  • quarantining if another traveller in the same travel group exhibits signs or symptoms or tests positive; and
  • maintaining a list of close contacts and locations visited

For more information, review: Additional easing of border measures effective April 25.

Children or dependents

If you are travelling with children and/or unvaccinated adult dependents, please visit the Government of Canada website for specific guidance on requirements after entry.

If students or family members travelling with them develop COVID-19 symptoms during their self-isolation, please call 8-1-1 to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC. 8-1-1 has translation services in 130 languages. You can also find more information at HealthLinkBC.

We know that the impact of this global pandemic has made starting, and continuing, student studies more complex. Please know that we are here to support students and look forward to welcoming them to the the Division of Continuing Studies at UVic.

Isolating in a new and different country may present challenges and raise questions. If students have questions, or need assistance, please email uvcsimmigration@uvic.ca.