Travel to Canada During COVID

Important Update:

On February 12, 2021, the Government of Canada Released Additional Details About the New Travel and Quarantine Restrictions.

Key Highlights: 

  • New Restrictions Affecting Air Travellers as of February 22, 2021:
    • All travellers are required to take a COVID-19 test at the first Port of Entry at the airport, upon arrival in Canada and another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine (travellers are still required to present a negative test COVID test to board a flight to Canada; all testing will be at the traveller's expense).
    • Travellers must quarantine in a designated hotel for three days at their own expense while they await test results.
      • Reservation must be made before departure; the Canada Border Services officer at POE will ask for proof of booking. Travellers can start making reservations starting February 18, 2021. Learn how to make a reservation. Costs of these hotel stays may vary slightly at each location. It is up to the traveller to choose where they wish to stay and book in advance of departure. The price will include costs associated with the room, food, cleaning, infection prevention and control measures, security, and transportation from the airport.
      • If the test result comes back negative, the traveller will be allowed to continue to their final destination and complete the quarantine requirement.
      • If the test result comes back positive, the traveller will be moved to a Federal quarantine facility to complete the mandatory quarantine requirement.
  • New Restrictions Affecting Travellers Arriving by Land:
    • As of February 12, 2021, all travellers, with some exceptions, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken in the US within 72 hours of pre-arrival or a positive test taken 14 - 90 days before arrival.
    • As of February 22, 2021, all travellers must take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and toward the end of their 14-day quarantine. They will also need to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border.
  • Canadian airlines (Air Canada, West Jet, Air Transat, Sunwing) to Caribbean countries and Mexico are suspended until April 30, 2021.
  • All international flights must land at one of four airports: Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal.

Learn more

Isolation Accommodation Reminder

UAlberta students travelling to Canada have been asked to participate in the Isolation Accommodation Program or register their travel and quarantine plans through the Off-Campus Isolation and Travel Registry. The University is in touch with the students registered in these programs and will continue to support them as they travel to Canada. Students who have not yet registered their travel plans are asked to do so. Please direct all quarantine-related inquiries and questions to

PGWP Update

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 flight to Canada or 72 hours before entering Canada if driving

 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.

 Book your quarantine in a designated hotel for three days at your own expense.

 Download the ArriveCAN App

 Conduct a health self-assessment before you depart

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
  • Your ArriveCan receipt
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
  • Your ArriveCan receipt

Mandatory Requirements for Travellers to Canada

As part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all international student travellers and their dependent family members must follow the mandatory travel requirements. 

Before Entry to Canada:

Air Travellers:

Air travellers and their dependent family members must:

Read more details

Entering Canada by Land:

All travellers entering by land must:

Read more details

Important Note:

International student travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before entry and/or who are mandated to book their hotel quarantine but do not could be subject to enforcement action upon entry ranging from a verbal warning to a monetary fine anywhere from $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 how to use ArriveCan

Post-Entry to Canada Requirements:

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:

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

Please note:

If you require financial support to assist with covering additional costs associated with Canada's quarantine requirements, you may be eligible for an International Quarantine Support Grant.

The grant is available to international students who have experienced an increase in financial need due to the requirement to quarantine upon entry to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To be eligible for the International Quarantine Support Grant you must be registered in the Isolation Accommodation Program or the Off-Campus Isolation Travel Registry before you leave your home country. Learn more.


Read frequently asked questions about immigration, travel and employment. 

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