Travel and Isolation Information for International Students

Important Updates:

Updated January 15, 2022.

  • International students aged 18 years or older not considered fully vaccinated by Canada are not allowed to enter Canada until further notice.
  • Only non-fully vaccinated international students and dependent children of fully vaccinated students under 18 can enter Canada.
  • All incoming fully-vaccinated air travellers, except those arriving from the US, must take a COVID-19 test at entry regardless of vaccination status. Travellers must self-isolate until they receive results.
  • Students travelling to Canada must register with the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITR) to ensure they have an acceptable quarantine plan while waiting for test results if required. The OCITR is a required component of the University's federally approved plan for facilitating international students' entry to Canada.
  • The U of A winter semester started on January 4, 2022. The University temporarily moved to remote delivery of in-person Winter term courses until Monday, February 28. Read the President's announcement. If you are registered in an in-person delivered course, you must prepare to be in Edmonton after February 28 to participate in the course.
  • Non-fully vaccinated foreign nationals who are in Canada will be allowed to depart from Canada without being fully vaccinated as long as their departure is before February 28, 2022. After this date, only fully vaccinated travellers can board departing flights from Canada.
For current border measures and requirements, visit the Government of Canada for the most recent updates.

 Learn more at the Canada Border Services Agency Website

Check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

 
Vaccines and Travel to Canada

Fully Vaccinated Students

Fully vaccinated students who have received a complete series of vaccines at least 14 days before the day they enter Canada to study at the University of Alberta may be exempt from completing the 14-day quarantine and day-8 COVID-19 test if meeting all eligibility requirements.

To qualify, you must:

You can receive your vaccine in any country, but you must provide documentation in English or French supporting your vaccination information. If your vaccination document is in any other language, it must have a certified translation. 

Fully vaccinated students arriving from any country other than the US must take an arrival COVID test and self-isolate until notified of the results. CBSA strongly advises travellers to register in advance for their arrival test.

Students travelling to Canada are reminded to register with the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITRbefore their scheduled flight to Canada to ensure they have an acceptable quarantine plan while waiting for test results that will be implemented if required.

The OCITR remains a required component of the University's federally approved plan for facilitating international students' entry to Canada.

Review what other documents you need to enter Canada. 

Get Your Alberta QR Vaccine Code

Fully Vaccinated Short-Term Students:

If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you may enter Canada for studies of less than six months as long as you have a valid visitor visa or eTA. If you enter Canada as a fully vaccinated short-term student (e.g. one-term exchange student) without a valid study permit, you are not eligible to work during your studies in Canada.

Students Not Considered Fully Vaccinated

Unvaccinated adult students (aged 18 years or older) are not allowed entry to Canada. The only unvaccinated students allowed to enter Canada are minor students (under 18 years of age).

If you enter Canada as a non-fully vaccinated minor, you are required to register with the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITR) and submit your quarantine plan to isolationoffcampus@ualberta.ca for approval.

Review what other documents you need to enter Canada.

Unvaccinated Travellers Register Your Travel Information

Students Travelling with Unvaccinated Children and/or Dependent Family Members
If you are fully vaccinated but will be travelling with children and/or adult dependents who are unvaccinated must follow the respective quarantine requirements.
Fully Vaccinated Travellers Entering for Discretionary (Non-essential) Purposes

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals with valid TRVs or eTAs may be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) reasons, such as tourism.

Exchange Students: If you qualify as a fully vaccinated short-term/exchange student, you may enter Canada for studies of less than six months as long as you have a valid visitor visa or eTA. Exchange students who want to work during their studies in Canada or who will be coming for longer than six months are still required to apply for a study permit regardless of vaccination status.

PGWP Holders: Fully vaccinated students who will have a valid Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and visa (where applicable) or an approval for a PGWP made outside Canada may be allowed entry without the requirement for a valid job offer if you qualify as a fully-vaccinated traveller.

Learn more about Government of Canada Requirements and Exemptions


Frequently Asked Questions

I am considered fully vaccinated in Canada and plan to travel to Canada to start/continue my study program; do I still need a quarantine plan?

Yes. Even though you are fully vaccinated, you must have a three-day quarantine plan which the University must approve. All fully vaccinated travellers must complete an arrival COVID test then quarantine until they get the test result back. If your test comes back negative, you can leave your quarantine (even before the three days are up). If your test result comes back positive, you will be required to continue quarantine for an additional ten days. You have the option to quarantine in the Port of Entry city or at your final destination (Edmonton).

To get your quarantine plan approved, you must register in the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITR) and email your quarantine plan to isolationoffcampus@ualberta.ca for approval.

I am an international student who is not fully vaccinated with a Canada-approved vaccine; can I come to Canada?

Adult travellers not considered fully vaccinated by the Canadian Government cannot enter Canada. Only if you are under 18 years old at the time of entry will you be allowed to enter Canada without having full vaccination status.

See what required documents you need upon entry.

I am currently an international student in Canada and have plans to visit my family in my home country; what do I have to consider?

If you are currently in Canada, you need to be fully vaccinated before making any travel plans. Otherwise, upon entry back to Canada, you will not be allowed entry.

Make sure to have the needed documents upon entry.

It is advisable to avoid non-essential travel when you can; given the ever-changing COVID situation, if new travel restrictions get imposed, they may prevent you from returning to Canada as planned.

The University of Alberta requires all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated by an approved World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine before participating in on-campus activities. 

Read COIVD-19 Vaccinations and the U of A 


Isolation and Quarantine Information

All new and returning international students, regardless of vaccination status, must register their travel and quarantine plans through the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITR). The University is in touch with the students registered in this program and will continue to support them as they travel to Canada. Students should register their travel plans if they have yet to do so.

Let us know when you will arrive and where you plan to stay during your 14-day self-isolation period. All registrants receive a welcome package and a personalized check-in. Please submit your quarantine plan at least one week before you travel.

Documents to Enter Canada

To enter Canada as a student, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must be attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 readiness plans. UAlberta is listed on page 6, DLI# O19257171832 (the first digit is the letter "O," not the number zero). 
  2. You must hold a valid study permit or a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction that shows your study permit approval.
  3. Be fully vaccinated and have the respective vaccination certificate/record

We strongly advise that fully vaccinated students carry with them the following documents upon entry to Canada:

New students, documents include:

  • Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. The POE Letter of Introduction is not your study or work permit.
  • Valid Visa/eTA as applicable
  • Admission letter
  • Financial documents used in your application as proof that you will be able to support yourself (and your family in the event you will be entering together)
  • Approved quarantine plan
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Your ArriveCAN receipt
  • Valid IRCC medical exam; if your original exam expires at the time of entry, you are advised to complete a new medical exam.
Note: If you are a new student entering Canada after starting your program, print out your Verification of Enrollment document from Beartracks. You need this in addition to the admission letter listed above to verify your enrollment at UAlberta upon entry.

Returning students, documents include:

  • Valid Study Permit
  • Valid Visa/eTA as applicable
  • Verification of Enrollment (print out from Bear Tracks)
  • Unofficial transcript (print out from Bear Tracks)
  • Approved quarantine plan
  • Proof of vaccination
  • Your ArriveCAN receipt
  • Valid IRCC medical exam if you have been living in a designated country for over six months in the past 12 months
In addition to the documents listed above, students asked by a third party (e.g. airline) for a letter to support their travel to Canada can request the Essential Travel letter by following the relevant instructions. If a third party does not request this letter, students don't need to have it along with the documents listed above.


Important Notes:

  • All international student travellers, regardless of vaccination status, who do not submit the required information digitally before entry could be subject to enforcement action upon entry ranging from a verbal warning to a monetary fine anywhere between $1000 - $3000. Exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances such as a disability or inadequate infrastructure.
       Learn about ArriveCAN  

  • The University of Alberta is listed approved on the institution's COVID-19 readiness plan.
  • The IRCC will only issue Port of Entry Letters of Introduction when students secure "final" approval. Do not make any travel arrangements until a final decision on your study permit application has been made.
  • If you experience difficulty submitting your information through ArriveCAN (using the app or online website), you can find additional information at Canada.ca/ArriveCAN or email phac.arrivecan.aspc@canada.ca.
  • A border services officer will ultimately make the final decision on whether you are eligible to enter Canada when you arrive. For quarantine plan details, visit the Government of Canada website: Without Symptoms: Mandatory Quarantine. If applicable, review Where you can quarantine, see Quarantine with others in the same household.  

Questions?

Read frequently asked questions about immigration, travel and employment. 

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