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Pre-Departure Negative COVID-19 Test Results Required to Board Plane to Canada

The Government of Canada announced an update to entry requirements for all travellers to Canada.

Effective January 7, 2021, all air passengers (age five and older) must present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight to Canada. Read Transport Canada issued COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance.

Key Highlights:

  • The requirement comes into effect, January 6, 2021, at 11:59:59 pm EST.
  • Only the following tests for COVID-19 will be accepted: Molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)
  • The test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure to Canada.
  • All requirements for mandatory quarantine upon arrival remain in place.

Here are a few temporary exceptions to the new requirements:

  • Travellers departing from the Caribbean or South America can use tests conducted within 96 hours of departure (instead of 72 hours) until January 14. 2021
  • Travellers departing Saint Pierre et Miquelon are exempt from the requirement to provide negative test results until January 14, 2021.
  • Travellers departing Haiti are exempt from test requirements until January 21, 2021.

Where Can I Get Tested? 

The test result must be from a lab accredited by an external organization (e.g., a government, a professional association or ISO accreditation). The Government of Canada has posted information for Canadians abroad to assist in locating testing centres. This information may also help find testing locations in your home country if you are unsure where to obtain a test. These can be found by searching Canada’s travel advisories by location and viewing the Health tab.

Travellers also have to take note of travel restrictions for any countries through which they are transiting. Read current information about the situation per country on the IATA website.

Contact Us

We understand that this requirement may complicate your travel plans. Please keep us updated if your travel plans are modified. If you are unable to meet this new requirement, please contact International Student Services at advising@ualberta.ca.


IRCC News on Post Graduated Work Permit (PGWP) for International students

IRCC announced, January 8, 2021, that former international students who hold or held a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date they apply will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit.

These will be valid for 18 months and allow former international students to remain in Canada and continue to seek employment.

Read more

Students with questions about immigration applications can contact advising@ualberta.ca

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Global Beat is the International Services Centre's bi-weekly newsletter. It is one of many channels used to keep International Students and visitors up-to-date on the latest news, information, and upcoming events both on and off-campus.

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