ISS is here for you.

All services continue to be offered remotely during regular business hours.

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: August 2021: Easing of border measures coming into effect on August 9th, 2021 at 12:01am (ET). 
The latest updates can be found on the Entering Canada page.
            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). Before making travel plans, please refer to our Entering Canada page.
            2. Fully vaccinated travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, are now exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The 14-day quarantine continues to be required for all other travellers who are not considered fully vaccinated.
           3. For more information, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and IHI’s vaccination FAQs.

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

Entering Canada

Updates Coming August 9, 2021

Border measure coming into effect as of 12:01am (ET) August 9th, 2021:

  • Fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents who are currently residing in the US :
    • Will be able to enter Canada for discretionary (or non-essential) travel, such as leisure or tourism;
    • Will no longer have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival unless randomly selected to do so at the Port of Entry (POE);
    • Will be exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
  • All fully vaccinated travellers (regardless of citizenship):
    • Will no longer have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival unless randomly selected to do so at the Port of Entry (POE);
    • Will continue to be exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine
    • Must continue to be travelling for a non-discretionary or essential purpose*, with the exception of fully vaccinated US citizens and PRs (see point above).
  • All travellers (regardless of vaccination status)
    • Must continue to take a pre-arrival Covid-19 molecular test 72 hours prior to arrival
    • Must continue to submit a quarantine plan through ArriveCAN prior to travel
    • Will be exempt from the three-night government-authorized hotel stay
    • Travellers who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 must present proof of a positive Covid-19 molecular test result taken within 14 to 90 days prior to arrival in Canada as part of prearrival test requirements (in lieu of a negative test result).
  • All travellers that are not fully vaccinated
    • Must continue to take a Covid-19 test on arrival (Day 1) and on Day 8
    • Must continue to quarantine for 14-days

 

*Discretionary (or non-essential) travel for all other foreign nationals who are  fully vaccinated is expected to come into effect on September 7th, 2021. Details to come.

With this update, any accompanying unvaccinated minor children under 12 years of age, or unvaccinated dependent children of any age (due to a documented medical condition), will also be exempted from the requirement to quarantine but must still adhere to all public health measures in place. Unvaccinated children will remain subject to the Day 1 and Day 8 testing requirements.

For a checklist of everything you’ll need to enter Canada and to find out if you meet the exemption for fully vaccinated travellers, please visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada website.

For the full announcement, please see the Public Health Agency of Canada’s news release on Easing border measures for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada.

Entering Canada and Quarantine Town Hall

We suggest viewing these live town hall information sessions before making travel plans to enter Canada.

These presentations include a panel presentation followed by a Question and Answer period. Panel members include staff from the Scholarships and Student Aid Office (SSAO), Residence Life, and an Immigration Advisor from International Student Services (ISS).

Panelists discuss the most up-to-date immigration and quarantine guidelines, quarantine resources, quarantine bursaries, and quarantine housing.

 

Town Hall Sessions

Recording

Slides

Thursday, July 29

here

PDF icon international_student_services_iss.pdf

PDF icon scholarships_and_student_aid_office_ssao.pdf

PDF icon student_housing_and_hospitality_services_shhs.pdf

Thursday, August 5

coming soon

coming soon

Monday, August 9

coming soon

coming soon

Thursday, August 12

coming soon

coming soon

Travel Exemptions and Restrictions

While we wait to welcome you at McGill, COVID-19 has made international travel complicated. Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information about border measures so that you are well informed as you plan your travels to Canada.

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 the 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 are 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 August 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 August 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.

Travelling to Canada by air

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

***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 August 21st, 2021. Travellers flying to Canada from India via an indirect route are required to obtain a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test result from a third country before continuing on to Canada. Travellers who have previously tested positive for Covid-19 must present proof of a positive Covid-19 molecular test result taken within 14 to 90 days prior to departure in lieu of a negative test result; proof of a positive test result must be obtained in a third country prior to departure to Canada. Test results from India will not be accepted. For more details, please see the Government of Canada's travel advisory notice for India. 
     

 

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 than 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 12:01am 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 on the side navigation bar.


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; and these two letters prepared by Enrolment Services:
  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.
  9. Optional: Return to in-person teaching for Fall 2021 letter prepared by Enrolment Services.


****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 12:01am 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 on the side navigation bar.


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 than 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 12:01am 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 on the side navigation bar.


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****

  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from this requirement. For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section on the side navigation bar.


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****

  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from both the 3-night hotel and 14-day quarantine. For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section on the side navigation bar.


Step 8: Submit a 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****

  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the requirement to take a second COVID-19 test on day-8 of their arrival in 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 on the side navigation bar. 

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 in 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 was 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; and these two letters prepared by Enrolment Services:
  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.
  9. Optional: Return to in-person teaching for Fall 2021 letter prepared by Enrolment Services


****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 12:01am 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 on the side navigation bar.


Step 4: Take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in 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****

  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine, and thus, from this requirement. For information on the requirements that need to be met to be considered fully vaccinated, see the Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers section on the side navigation bar.


Step 6: Submit a 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****

  • As of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am EDT: Fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from the requirement to take a second COVID-19 test on day-8 of their arrival in 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 on the side navigation bar.

Quarantine Exemption for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

As of July 5, 2021 at 12:01am 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 includes those made by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccines 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.

Late Arrivals

Undergraduate Students: If your arrival or the end of your self-isolation period is after the start of the term, it is possible to request academic accommodation for in-person classes that you will not be able to attend in-person. Accommodation requests will be considered for students who are unavoidably and temporarily delayed in starting their courses, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Not all requests may be possible to accommodate, depending on course format and pedagogy. Instructions on how to request accommodation will be available in the coming weeks. Therefore, students should make every effort to be in Montreal and out of quarantine for the beginning of the term. For more information, please see the McGill Coronavirus webpage for Fall 2021 for students FAQ, in particular the question: What academic accommodations related to COVID-19 are available for students? International students admitted for Fall 2021 and experiencing visa/travel delays related to COVID can request a deferral until September 1st. Instructions and forms are available here.

 

Graduate Students:

Master’s thesis and PhD students: You should make every effort to be in Montreal and out of quarantine for the beginning of the term. If your arrival or the end of your self-isolation period is after the start of the term due to a delay in obtaining your immigration documents, contact your department and your supervisor as soon as possible to discuss your options. All such inquiries will be handled on a case by-case basis to ensure you can progress towards your degree in a timely manner.

 

Master’s non-thesis students: You should make every effort to be in Montreal and out of quarantine for the beginning of the term. If your arrival or the end of your self-isolation period is after the start of the term due to a delay in obtaining your immigration documents, contact your department as soon as possible. Academic accommodation requests for missed in-person classes are not guaranteed. Graduate deferrals are handled at the departmental level. For questions about deferral options, contact your Graduate Program Coordinator

Government and Campus Resources on Travel Restrictions

Back to top