Travel to Canada During COVID

Important Update:

Travellers to Canada now require a negative COVID test result before boarding their flight for Canada. Visit Transport Canada website for full information.

Key Highlights:

  • The requirement comes into effect on 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 with respect to mandatory quarantine upon arrival remain in place.
Read the Government of Canada's frequently asked questions about this update. 


Read Immigration, Travel and Employment FAQs

To enter Canada as a student, you must also meet two 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 you were approved for a study permit.

Your entry to Canada will be considered essential (non-discretionary) if you meet the above requirements and have the required documents upon entry.

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
Note: If you are a new student entering Canada after the start of your program, print out your Verification of Enrollment document from Beartracks. You will 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 (which can be printed out from Bear Tracks)
  • Unofficial transcript (which can be printed out from Bear Tracks)
  • Approved quarantine plan

Additional Mandatory Requirements for Travellers to Canada

As part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all international student travellers must provide specific information before and after entry into Canada using the ArriveCAN app or by signing in online.

Before Entry to Canada:

Air Travellers:

You must also submit your travel information electronically through ArriveCAN before boarding your flight (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order).

Dedicated lanes for faster processing for ArriveCAN users are available at some major international airports, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

International student travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding could be subject to enforcement action ranging from a verbal warning to a $1000 fine. Exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances such as a disability or inadequate infrastructure.

Learn how to use ArriveCAN

Entering Canada by Land or Sea:

If you are entering Canada by land or sea, you are strongly encouraged to use ArriveCAN to provide the mandatory information before you arrive to avoid additional delays and limit points of contact at the border.

Post-Entry to Canada:

As of November 21, 2020, all travellers entering Canada are required to:

  • confirm they’ve arrived at their quarantine location within 48 hours of entry and
  • complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments for the duration of their mandatory quarantine/isolation period

You must report this through ArriveCAN (app or online) or by calling the 1-833-642-0343 toll-free number.

Any traveller who doesn't submit the mandatory information after entry using ArriveCAN or the toll-free number 1-833-642-0343 will be considered a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement.

Learn more about ArriveCAN

Please note:

  • The University of Alberta is on the list as the institution’s COVID-19 readiness plan has been approved.
  • The IRCC will only issue Port of Entry Letters of Introduction when a student secures “final” approval. Do not make any travel arrangements if you have only received Approval in Principle (stage 1 approval).
  • If you experience difficulty submitting your information through ArriveCAN (using the app or online website), you can find additional information at or email
  • If you receive a Visa Office and/or Airline request for additional documentation from the institution to support your study permit application and/or travel booking, visit Non-Discretionary Travel Updates for details.
  • 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.  

In the following pages, you will learn:

Check-list to Get Ready

Here's a check-list to assist you with preparing for your trip to Canada during COVID-19:

 Apply for a study permit

 Book your flight

 Book your COVID-19 test within 72 hours before your scheduled departure to Canada

 Ensure you have your 14-day quarantine plan in place. You must participate in the UAlberta Isolation Accommodation Program (IAP) or the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry. These plans are the UAlberta-DLI approved COVID-19 readiness plans.

 Download theArriveCAN App

 Conduct a health self-assessment before you depart

Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry (OCITR)

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. 

Important: View FAQ's on New Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing and Negative Results for Air Travellers Coming to Canada

Register Your Travel Information


Read frequently asked questions about immigration, travel and employment. 

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