Traveling to Canada to study in the times of COVID? Read this before you board that plane

In the day and age of COVID, every country has updated its travel requirements to contain and fight the spread of the virus. Canada has partially lifted international travel restrictions that were valid till 21st February 2021. The ban still restricts most non-essential or discretionary travel to the country.

To ensure that the incoming population doesn’t result in a spike of COVID cases, people have to show a negative COVID-19 report taken in the last 72 hours to enter Canada. Along with this, every traveler has to use the ARRIVECAN App to comply with the new travel requirements.

Read on further to know about the travel requirements -

  1. The first thing every international student has to do is check if they are eligible to travel to Canada. They can find this out by answering some simple questions on the website →
    Find out if you can enter Canada - Travel restrictions in Canada –

This questionnaire will only provide information and does not guarantee entry into Canada. If you indicate the following, you might be able to enter the country -

  • If you are an international student
  • If you are not showing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • You have a valid study permit,
  • The school you are attending is a Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
  • The school has a COVID-19 Readiness Plan approved by its province or territory.
    The final determination is made by the government officials at the port of entry.
    IF your program or course is suspended or canceled because of COVID, then the entry will be denied.
  1. The travel restrictions are very stringent for international travelers, and it is important to acquaint yourself with Federal and Provincial/Territorial requirements. Find Provincial/Territorial requirements on this page →
    Provincial and territorial restrictions - Travel restrictions in Canada -

  2. Travelers entering Canada need to show proof of a negative molecular COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours before the scheduled flight. They will also have to take this test before leaving the airport after entering Canada and at the end of their 14-day quarantine.

  3. international travelers must quarantine for 14 days - if they show no symptoms. Travelers will have to isolate for 14 days if they show symptoms or were in contact with an infected person.
    This is a mandatory requirement even for travelers who have no symptoms, have been vaccinated, or recovered from COVID. The travelers will have to book a 3 night pre-paid government-authorized hotel at their own cost to await the test results.
    After they have received the negative results of their molecular COVID-19 test done at the airport, they can move to their chosen place of quarantine. They will be required to receive a negative test result to end their quarantine as well.

  4. All foreign nationals have to submit their quarantine plan through the ARRIVECAN app before traveling to Canada. They must make a plan regarding their place of quarantine. If any foreign national is found without a plan, they will be denied entry into Canada.

  5. If a foreign national has signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they will not be allowed to enter the country.

  6. There are strict regulations - if found flouting regulations, you could end up in prison for 6 months and/or pay a fine of up to $750,000.

  7. You will be asked questions such as - where you can quarantine; if you do not have a suitable place for quarantine; when your quarantine starts and ends, etc. All these questions have to be answered on the ARRIVECAN app.

  8. Refer to this link to read up on how to quarantine after reaching Canada -
    For travellers without symptoms of COVID-19 returning to Canada by air -

For International Students

  • The Border Services Officer will look at your reason for traveling to Canada, your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine as soon as you arrive at your final destination, and if you have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes / can take classes online while in quarantine.

  • You must bring -

  1. A valid study permit or port of entry letter of introduction that shows that you were approved for a study permit
  2. A valid letter of acceptance from a DLI with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.
  3. Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family member that comes with you to Canada.
  • If your classes have moved online or suspended completely due to COVID-19, you are still compliant with your study permit - if you stay enrolled with your DLI and take part in the online classes (if your DLI is offering them).

  • Student with a valid work permit can continue working even if COVID-19 forced them to become a part-time student from a full-time student. Such students must be authorized to work on or off-campus while they studied.

  • Off-campus work: Students can work up to 20 hours per week during an academic session. They can work full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic year.

  • Students who have graduated or will graduate from a DLI that offer a PGWPP-eligible program, will be eligible for a post-graduate work permit - if their classes moved to an online-only format, or they had to put their studies on hold (or study part-time) because of COVID-19 during the Winter, Spring, or Summer 2020 semesters.


  • If you are traveling on or after 22nd February 2020, you need to download the latest version of the app and sign-in.
  • Travelers need to submit the following information before they board their flight -
  1. travel and contact information
  2. must submit the booking reference number for a 3-night stay at a government authorized hotel (to await the result of the COVID-19 test done before leaving the airport)
  3. quarantine plan - details about their place of quarantine after receiving a negative test result
  4. COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment

How to use the app
You can use this app to submit your information before you arrive in Canada. It is available in the play store.

  • Create an account and sign in online.
  • provide contact information
  • provide the booking reference number for your 3-night reservation at a government-authorized hotel.
  • acknowledge that you have to show a negative molecular COVID-19 test result
  • answer questions about your quarantine plan
  • once you have finished, you will get a confirmation receipt that has to be shown to the Canada Border Services Officer. You can take a screenshot of this receipt or print it. It will also be emailed to you.
  • Once you have reached your place of quarantine, you can report it on the app.
  • You have to do a daily self-assessment until the end of your quarantine and report through the app.

Note - You won’t be denied entry if you arrive in Canada without submitting your information via the app, BUT you will face additional delays at the port of entry and may be subjected to fines of up to $1,000.

To ensure you are following all the social distancing and quarantine rules and regulations -

  • You will receive a call from a Government of Canada official.
  • A designated screening officer may also visit you.

Follow this checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step -

Source -

For the international student under age 15, if he/she still needs 3 night stay at a government-authorized hotel?

Thank you

Hi @Frank_D,

The quarantine rules are irrespective of the age of the student or the school level they are going to. So, even a 15-year-old student will still need a 3-night stay at a government-authorized hotel.

Hope this helps!