Please visit our COVID-19 page for the latest news, resources, and FAQs.

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: JUNE 2021:
1. International students with a valid study permit (or approval letter) can travel to Canada (McGill is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan).
2. The 14-day quarantine is still required from ALL travellers entering Canada (even if vaccinated). However, as of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm ET, fully vaccinated* travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, will be exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Please note, the 14-day quarantine will continue to be required for all other travellers who do not meet the requirements to be considered fully vaccinated. See our Entering Canada page on Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers for all of the important details.
3. Before making travel plans, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and to our vaccination FAQs.

Please visit our COVID-19 page for additional news, resources, and FAQs.  

Important Message for International Students Who Would Like to Enter Canada

 

Entering Canada: Travel Restrictions | Travelling to Canada by air | Travelling to Canada by land | Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers | Government Resources on Travel Restrictions |

We know many of you are wondering if and when you can enter Canada. COVID-19 has made international travel complicated, and while we can’t wait to welcome you to McGill, we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information about cross-border travel so you can plan with the risks and restrictions in mind. Remember that no matter where you’re living now, McGill is here for you remotely with academic support, student services, and engagement opportunities throughout the term.

Travel exemptions and restrictions for international students:

International students, regardless of which country they are entering Canada from and whether they are arriving by land or by air, will be considered to be entering Canada for a non-discretionary and non-optional purpose, if:

  • Their study permit has been approved (regardless of the date of their letter of introduction), they hold a valid study permit, or are authorized to apply for a study permit upon entry to Canada (US citizens and US permanent residents only);
  • They are attending an educational institution that is on the list of institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place*;
  • They do not have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19; AND
  • They have a plan to quarantine for 14 days** (see Quarantine Resources below)

These entry requirements for international students are in force as of October 20, 2020 at 23:59.

*Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that all post-secondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Québec are approved. This includes McGill University.

In order to enter Canada, you must meet all of the entry requirements cited above. You should not make any travel plans until you meet all of the entry requirements (e.g. your study permit application has been approved and you have letter of introduction).

For full details, please see IRCC’s news release and IRCC’s webpage for international students.

Immediate family members

An immediate family member is defined as a:

Under the current travel restrictions, immediate family members may come to Canada if they entering for a non-discretionary and non-optional purpose:

  1. Either they are your dependent (spouse or child) and will accompany you during your studies
    OR
  2. They will help you settle in Canada. If you are a minor child, one immediate family member may enter Canada to help you. If you are not a minor child, then you will need to have supporting documents (such as medical documents) that prove you need assistance to settle in Canada, in order for one immediate family member to accompany you.


NOTE: There continue to be two travel restrictions, one that applies to entry to Canada from the US and the other that applies to entry to Canada from a country other than the US. Under both of these travel restrictions, the requirements for entry to Canada for international students are the same as mentioned above.

  • The travel restriction that applies to entry to Canada from the US is currently in effect until July 21, 2021, but may be extended.
  • The travel restriction that applies to entry to Canada from a country other than the US is currently in effect until July 21, 2021, but may be extended.

In addition to meeting the travel restriction requirements for international students mentioned above, international students will also have to respect certain measures in order to enter Canada. These measures differ depending on if you are entering Canada by air or if you are entering Canada by land. Please see below for step-by-step instructions to follow if you plan on travelling to Canada by air or if you plan to travel to Canada by land.

***IMPORTANT information for travellers entering Canada by air***

  1. International passenger flights continue to be required to land at one of the following four Canadian airports: Vancouver; Toronto; Calgary; and Montreal. For the full announcement, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada's official news release.
  2. Canada has extended the suspension of all private and commercial flights arriving from India until July 21st, 2021. For more details, please see the Government of Canada's travel advisory notice for India. *Please note, as of June 21st, 2021, the suspension of flights from Pakistan have been lifted.

     

Travelling to Canada by air

For full details, the Government of Canada has provided a Flying to Canada Checklist.
 

Step 1: Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your flight’s scheduled departure to Canada

Pre-departure COVID- 19 testing requirement for all air travellers:

As of January 7, 2021, all travellers aged 5 years and older entering Canada by air must present airline officials with proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) test taken within 72 hours prior to their flight’s scheduled departure to Canada. Air passengers without proof of a negative test result will not be allowed to board their flight to Canada. See our Travel FAQs - Covid-19 and the Canadian government's Flying to and within Canada webpages for more details.

For the full announcement and FAQs, please see Transport Canada’s Travel Advisory webpage.


Step 2: Book a three-night stay for you and any accompanying immediate family members at a government approved hotel before your departure to Canada

All travellers, with limited exceptions, will be required to reserve their three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel prior to their departure to Canada.


****IMPORTANT***

  • Unaccompanied minors (i.e., a person who is less then 18 years of age) are exempt from the mandatory three-night stay in a government approved hotel. However, unaccompanied minors must still comply with all other entry requirements.
  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the mandatory three-night stay in a government approved hotel. For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section below.


Step 3: Download the ArriveCAN App and submit the required information before your departure to Canada

All travellers entering Canada by air, must use the ArriveCAN app to submit the following required information prior to boarding their flight:

  • Their travel and contact information;
  • Their quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order); AND
  • A COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.

For more information, please see the Government of Canada’s news release, and ArriveCAN information for all travellers (including download links)

Additionally, the Government of Canada has also provided a webpage to assess your quarantine plan.


Step 4: Gather your travel documents

When entering Canada make sure that you bring all the following documents with you:

  1. a valid study permit or a copy of your Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (study permit approval letter)*;
  2. a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from McGill and proof of enrolment, if you are returning student;
  3. proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada;
  4. valid immigration medical examination results** if you have resided in a designated country or territory (meaning a country or territory for which they are required) for more than 6 months within the past year, or if you will be employed in a position that puts you in close contact with people, for example as:
    • a medical student
    • a student in a health sciences field who will have placements in health-care or home-care settings
    • an education student who will have placements in primary or secondary schools
  5. your CAQ (or CAQ approval letter);
  6. a valid eTA or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). * ONLY U.S. Citizens are exempt from needing an eTA or a TRV. For more information on entry requirements, see IRCC’s website;
  7. your passport; AND
  8. all other supporting documents you included in your study permit application.


****IMPORTANT****

  • If you are a US citizen or US permanent resident, you may apply for your study permit upon entry to Canada.
  • The requirement to have valid immigration examination results applies to ALL students, regardless if you are a returning student entering Canada with a valid study permit OR a new student entering Canada with a study permit approval letter (letter of introduction).
  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers must also travel with a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination documentation in English or French (or accompanied by a certified translation). For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section below.


Step 5: Take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada and quarantine at a government-authorized hotel 

As of February 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm ET, all travellers, with limited exceptions*, will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada and quarantine for three nights at a government-authorized hotel at their own expense while they wait for the results. The estimated cost to travellers could be up to $2,000. For more information, see the Government of Canada’s news release.


****IMPORTANT***

  • Unaccompanied minors (i.e., a person who is less then 18 years of age) are exempt from the mandatory three-night stay in a government approved hotel. However, unaccompanied minors must still comply with all other entry requirements. A government representative will provide further instruction on arrival for testing.
  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the mandatory three-night stay in a government approved hotel but must still take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada. For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section below.


Step 6: Within 48 hours of your arrival to Canada, submit the required information through the ArriveCAN app 

Within 48 hours of entering Canada, all travellers will be required to submit the following information to the Canadian government through the ArriveCAN app:

  1. Confirmation that they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation; AND
  2. A daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period.


****IMPORTANT****


Step 7: After you have completed your 3-night quarantine in a government-authorized hotel, continue the rest of your 14-day quarantine 

  1. If the results of your COVID-19 test that you took upon arrival to Canada are negative, you can continue the rest of your 14-day quarantine at home.
  2. If the results of your COVID-19 test that you took upon arrival to Canada are positive, you will be required to complete your 14-day quarantine at a designated government facility.


****IMPORTANT****


Step 8: Submit to second COVID-19 test towards the end of your fourteen-day quarantine.

On the 8th day of your quarantine, you will need to submit another COVID-19 test as per the instructions you received. You must continue to quarantine while you wait for your results. If your results are negative, you may leave your place of quarantine once you have completed the full 14-day quarantine period. If your results are positive, you must isolate yourself for another 14 days.


****IMPORTANT****

 


Travelling to Canada by land

For full details, the Government of Canada has provided a Driving to Canada Checklist.

Step 1: Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of when you will be crossing the border into Canada

As stated in the Government of Canada’s news release:

  • As of February 15, 2021, all travellers arriving to Canada by land, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.


Step 2: Download the ArriveCan App and submit the required information before your departure to Canada

As of February 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm ET, all travellers entering Canada by land, must use the ArriveCAN app to submit the following required information:

  • Their travel and contact information;
  • Their quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order); AND
  • A COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.

Travellers arriving by land who do not use ArriveCAN will have to submit their information orally to a border officer or fill out a paper form at their Port of Entry.


Step 3: Gather your travel documents

When entering Canada make sure that you bring all the following documents with you:

  1. a valid study permit or a copy of your Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (study permit approval letter)*;
  2. a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from McGill and proof of enrolment, if you are returning student;
  3. proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada;
  4. valid immigration medical examination results** if you have resided in a designated country or territory (meaning a country or territory for which they are required) for more than 6 months within the past year, or if you will be employed in a position that puts you in close contact with people, for example as:
    • a medical student
    • a student in a health sciences field who will have placements in health-care or home-care settings
    • an education student who will have placements in primary or secondary schools
  5. your CAQ (or CAQ approval letter);
  6. a valid eTA or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). * ONLY U.S. Citizens are exempt from needing an eTA or a TRV. For more information on entry requirements, see IRCC’s website;
  7. your passport; AND
  8. all other supporting documents you included in your study permit application.


****IMPORTANT****

  • If you are a US citizen or US permanent resident, you may apply for your study permit upon entry to Canada.
  • The requirement to have valid immigration examination results applies to ALL students, regardless if you are a returning student entering Canada with a valid study permit OR a new student entering Canada with a study permit approval letter (letter of introduction).
  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers must also travel with a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination documentation in English or French (or accompanied by a certified translation). For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section below.


Step 4: Take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada

As stated in the Government of Canada’s news release:

  • As of  February 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm ET, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival.


Step 5: Quarantine for 14 days and within 48 hours of your arrival to Canada, submit the required information through the ArriveCAN app

Within 48 hours of entering Canada, all travellers will be required to submit the following information to the Canadian government, either through the ArriveCAN app or by calling the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number, if they did not use the app:

  1. Confirmation that they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation; AND
  2. A daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period.

For more information, please see the Government of Canada’s news release, ArriveCAN information for all travellers (including download links), and information specifically for travellers entering Canada by land.


****IMPORTANT****


Step 6: Submit to second COVID-19 test towards the end of your fourteen-day quarantine.

As of February 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm ET, all travellers entering Canada by land will have to take a second COVID-19 test towards the end of their fourteen-day quarantine.

On the 8th day of your quarantine, you will need to submit another COVID-19 test as per the instructions you received. You must continue to quarantine while you wait for your results. If your results are negative, you may leave your place of quarantine once you have completed the full 14-day quarantine period. If your results are positive, you must isolate yourself for another 14 days.


****IMPORTANT****


Quarantine Exemption for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

As of July 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully vaccinated* travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, will be exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine and take a COVID-19 test on day-8 of their arrival to Canada. In addition, fully vaccinated* travellers authorized to enter Canada by air will no longer be required to arrange for a 3-day stay at a government-approved hotel. Fully vaccinated travellers will still be required to follow all other public health measures in place such as the wearing of a mask in public, where applicable.

*NOTE: To be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must have received the required dosage of a vaccine or combination of vaccines approved by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. At this time, the list of vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada are those made by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country.

In order to be exempt from the federal quarantine requirement, fully vaccinated travellers must meet the following Public Health Agency of Canada requirements:

  • meet all other mandatory requirements, including pre- and on-arrival testing;
  • be asymptomatic when entering Canada;
  • have a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination documentation in English or French (or accompanied by a certified translation);
  • continue to submit their COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in Canada; AND
  • present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, should a border officer determine that they do not meet the conditions to be exempt from quarantine.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated or do not meet the requirements above must continue to adhere to all quarantine requirements applicable to their mode of travel.

For full details, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada's announcement and the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada page.


Important Government Resources on Travel Restrictions

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