COVID-19 information for international students

ISS posts updates and answers to frequently asked questions below.

Last updated: April 27, 2022

Travel departing a Canadian airport

UPDATED: April 27, 2022

Yes, if you are 12 years of age plus 4 months, or older, you will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board domestic or international flights departing from most airports in Canada.

Foreign nationals who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated and who don’t permanently reside in Canada will be allowed to depart Canada up until August 31, 2022. They must show proof of a valid COVID-19 test result at the time of boarding. After August 31, 2022, foreign nationals will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight or train to depart Canada.

Learn more here: COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders

 

If you are fully vaccinated, a COVID-19 test result is not needed to board a flight in Canada unless you’re flying to a country that requires it.

If you’re unvaccinated, you must provide a valid COVID-19 test result if you were given an exemption:

  • from your carrier or
  • through the National Interest Exemption Program (NIEP)

If you don’t provide proof of vaccination (or valid COVID-19 test result if you have an exemption), you won’t be able to travel. Vaccination is required for travel within and to depart Canada. A valid COVID-19 molecular test result will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless you’re eligible for one of the limited exemptions.

Learn more here: COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders

Travel to Canada

UPDATED: April 27, 2022

Carefully and regularly review each section before you plan any travel. Restrictions and policies may change rapidly.

If you are fully vaccinated students 18 years of age or older, you must bring:

  • valid study permitor a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit
  • a valid visa or eTA
  • a valid letter of acceptance from the University of Calgary and your confirmation of registration letter (if you have already started your program)
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • proof of vaccination
  • Valid immigration medical exam results if you are arriving from a designated country or territory
  • Download the ArriveCAN app and provide your travel and vaccination information to Border Services within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada.

The border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

Learn more here: Government of Canada - Foreign workers and students

Government of Canada websites:

If you are arriving in a city in Canada other than Calgary and are taking a connecting flight to Calgary (your final destination), we recommend that you give yourself at least a 3-hour layover before your connecting flight to Calgary to account for: 

  • collecting your bags
  • going through Canadian Immigration
  • clearing Canada Customs
  • Completing your arrival PCR test (if required)
  • Transferring to domestic terminal for connecting flight 

Check the airport websites for updates about any anticipated delays. Some airports are experiencing delays due to current COVID-19 protocols. 

Travel delays

UPDATED: April 1, 2022

There continues to be study permit processing delays due to the COVID-19 impacts. We advise students toapply onlineas soon as possible to get into the queue to increase their chance of getting their application approved in time for the start of classes and to maintain eligibility for a Post Graduate work permit. 

Studying In-Canada 

Students must have a study permit to study inside Canada.

Processing Delays and Refusals

If your study permit has been refused or a delay in processing may result in you not being able to attend your program for the start of the Spring/Summer 2022 (May 2022) term, then you must contact:

 

Remote Studies

Currently, the IRCC has authorized remote studies, outside of Canada, until August 31, 2022, without it effecting your post-graduate work permit (PGWP) eligibility. 

Outside of Canada students are eligible for this temporary policy if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program.
  • were outside Canada and unable to travel to Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic but were still able to take online courses.
  • began a program in any semester from spring 2020 to summer 2022, or your program was already in progress in March 2020.
  • have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or you have applied for a study permit for which you are eventually approved prior to starting your program.
  • meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria.

 

Remote Studies from inside of Canada

It’s highly recommended that you attend in-class options when offered.  If your courses were moved online due to Covid-19 impacts, the time you spend studying online from within Canada will count towards the length of your post graduate open work permit (PGWP).

Learn more HERE.

Please contact your program. In most cases, a deferral is an option, but please be aware that deferring your program may impact your funding/scholarships. Some programs follow a cohort-based model, which may restrict your options for a deferred start date.

If you are a current student, you also have the choice of taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from your program. A deferral may also carry the risk, though slight, of losing your admission due to unexpected changes in budget or supervision resources.

A deferral may also carry the risk, though slight, of losing your admission due to unexpected changes in budget or supervision resources.

Testing and quarantine requirements for travellers to Canada

UPDATED: April 27, 2022

Starting April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests are no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by land, air or water. You must still use ArriveCAN within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada.

Starting April 25, 2022, Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children under 12 are no longer required to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result, if they are accompanying a fully vaccinated adult.

Children who are less than 5 years old are not required to test, regardless of their vaccination status.

Learn more here: Requirements for COVID-19 vaccinated travellers

No, if you are fully vaccinated, you are exempt from quarantine and are not required to do pre-entry tests.

While there is no longer a pre-arrival test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers, you may be selected for randomized arrival tests by a border services officer.

If selected for testing, you must take a COVID-19 test as directed on the day you arrive in Canada. You are not required to quarantine while awaiting the test result.

It is your responsibility to be informed of current travel requirements to enter Canada, as well as any requirements for countries or provinces you connect through. Currently, the province of Alberta has no requirements in addition to the federal requirements.  

When entering Canada as a fully vaccinated students, you must: 

  • be asymptomatic while travelling 
  • follow public health measures in place, such as wearing a mask when traveling and in public
  • Have study permit and documents prepared
  • Have completed a full series of a Government of Canada-accepted COVID-19 vaccine (or a mix of two accepted vaccines) at least 14 days before you enter Canada
  • Upload your travel details and proof of vaccination to ArriveCAN app (in English, French, or certified translation)  

As of April 25, 2022, you are no longer required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry. 

Government of Canada websites:

Unvaccinated students aged 18 years or older are not allowed entry to Canada.

If you will be 17 years old or younger when you arrive, you may be allowed to enter. Meet these requirements if you are eligible to enter Canada, and do not qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption, or other special exemptions for your situation such as those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Learn more here: International Students 18 years or older

If your child (under the age of 18 years) will be coming with you to Canada and you are fully vaccinated, they don’t need to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller. Children 5 through 11 years old do not need to provide a valid pre-entry test result. However, they do need to come to Canada at the same time as you. Youth 12 to 17 years of age must complete the 14-day quarantine and all testing requirements, even when they are accompanied by you.

Dependents, 18 years of age or over who are unvaccinated because of mental or physical limitation may enter but must follow all testing and quarantine requirements, even when they are accompanied by parents or guardians who qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

Follow the checklist of testing and quarantine requirements

 

Proof of vaccination

UPDATED: April 27, 2022

You are responsible to understand the vaccination requirements in place for entry into Canada, any transit countries, and Canadian provinces, to meet Alberta Restriction Exemption Program, and to meet UCalgary CovidSafe Campus requirements. 

Regulations may change rapidly. Please consult official websites for the most up-to-date information before making any plans. 

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to Canada, you must:

  • have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
  • have received your second dose at least 14 calendar days before you enter Canada
  • have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • follow pre-entry testing and entry requirements

Government of Canada websites:

Isolation: Vaccinated and unvaccinated Albertans with any core COVID-19 symptom are legally required to isolate, but the timeframe may differ.

Quarantine: Close contacts of positive cases are no longer required to quarantine, but should monitor for symptoms and avoid visiting high risk settings. International travellers must still comply with federal requirements.

Alberta travel: Alberta does not require proof of vaccination from visitors arriving from another part of Canada.

Fully vaccinated Albertans must still follow public health measures.

Learn more here: Government of Alberta - After your vaccine

ALBERTA – Effective March 1, the provincial mask mandate has been lifted for most settings, except:

  • on municipal and intra-provincial public transit for Albertans 13 and older
  • at all AHS operated and contracted facilities
  • at all continuing care settings
  • continuous masking must be followed for up to 5 days following mandatory isolation due to COVID infection for vaccinated individuals. For more information, see the isolation page.

UCALGARY - Masking remains required until April 30, 2022. From May 1, 2022, masking will become optional at the University of Calgary.

Please refer to the COVID 19 Communication page for the most up-to-date UCalgary Policy on COVID 19 measures.

Carefully review the COVIDSafe Campus website and pages below for specific details: 

You can send questions about uploading proof of your WHO-approved vaccination for the UCalgary  CovidSafe policy to covidsafe@ucalgary.ca.

If your proof of vaccination is not in English or French, you need a certified translation in English or French. Your certified translation must include the stamp or membership number of a professional translation association.

Translation of documents

Keep both the original proof of vaccination and the certified translation with you while you travel. If your proof of vaccination doesn't meet all of the requirements, it will be considered invalid. You will not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

The ISS team is not able to provide medical guidance on this matter.

Vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel to and within Canada:

  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273) including for children aged 6 to 11 years
  • Novavax (NVX-COV2373, Nuvaxovid, Covovax)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2) including for children aged 5 to 11 years
  • Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must have received, at least 14 calendar days by the day you travel:

  • at least 2 doses of a vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel
  • or a mix of 2 accepted vaccines
  • or at least 1 dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine

If you are 18 years of age or older and do not meet the requirements above, you are not eligible to enter Canada.

Physical & Mental Health

UCalgary Student Wellness Services website has information remote and in-person mental and physical health support.

If you're feeling stressed during these times, please visit the UCalgary COVID-19 mental health page. It provides access to strategies, webinars and other resources to help you cope. 

UCalgary COVID-19 Community Support website has resources including webinars, podcasts, online learning guides, and more.

Coping During COVID-19 - a guide on safer substance use

Diversity Calgary has health information in multiple languages. 

The Alberta International Medical Graduate Association website has resource guides, videos, and podcasts in 18 languages to help provide information on COVID-19.

Calgary Local Immigration Partnership's website also has a list of resources and updates about COVID-19 offered in multiple languages.

  1. Healthlink Alberta (811)

    Healthlink Alberta (811): This is a free, non-emergency service available to any resident of Alberta 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Dial 8-1-1- to reach a registered nurse for health advice or assistance locating services. Translation services are available.

    There are reports of individuals receiving scam phone calls from people pretending to be Alberta Health Services (AHS) with test results who as asking for credit card information. Please do not share this information and hang up if you receive suspicious call. 811 will never ask for your credit card details or Social Insurance Number (SIN).

  2. Alberta Health Services Text4Hope Program

    Through a set of daily messages, people receive advice and encouragement helpful in developing healthy personal coping skills and resiliency. Community members simply subscribe to receive ongoing supportive content. There is no cost. 

  3. Alberta 211 (Community & Social Services Help Line)

    This is a free non-emergency helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages. You can call 211 or visit the website (www.ab.211.ca) for a growing list of community resources related to the current Covid-19 situation in Calgary. View the resource list here.  

  4. Free courses for adults with ongoing COVID-19 symptoms

    Alberta Health Services offers free online Zoom courses on breathing, eating, sleeping, stress, and activity for adults living in Alberta who continue to experience symptoms of Covid-19 after diagnosis.

    Learn more here

     

Expired study permits or visitor records

If your study permit or visitor record is expiring soon or has expired, you may be provided with an extension of your AHCIP coverage while you wait for your new document from IRCC. You must:

  • be currently living in Alberta
  • be recently enrolled in AHCIP coverage
  • have not received a denial from IRCC regarding your application to extend
  • be able to provide the date of application and the application number from IRCC that confirms you applied to extend your work or study permit or visitor record before the expiration date

Learn more here: AHCIP COVID-19 response

  1. Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

    Learn more about eligibility for AHCIP and what services are covered. Direct any questions to Alberta Health, using the contact information found here.  

  2. SU & GSA Health and Dental Coverage

    Undergraduate Students: Visit the Students' Union Health and dental plan website for information about coverage for Covid-19. Direct specific questions to: 

    Graduate Students: Visit the Graduate Students' Association's Frequently Asked Questions page for information about coverage for Covid-19. 

Financial Wellbeing

There have been reports across Canada of scams related to Covid-19. It’s normal to feel vulnerable or uncertain right now; however, it’s important to stay vigilant about protecting your personal information. 

Watch out for fraudulent communication such as: 

  • Texts or emails that include links to make payment for delivery of masks or supplies, tomake a donation, or receive informational updates 
  • Phone calls or voicemails pretending to be from a public health agency (such as Alberta Health Services or 8-1-1) with test results, asking that you share credit card or health card numbers. AHS will never ask for your credit card information. 
  • Door-to-door scammers trying to sell fake testing kits or supplies 

It’s always best to visit official websites for up-to-date information, not through unsolicited links sent to you. If you have any concerns, reach out to the ISS advising team (iss@ucalgary.ca).

To learn more about possible scams or if you think you have been targeted by a scam, please visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre website. (learn more here: ). 

Adapted from: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/coronavirus-scams-canada-1.5501958 

To help you get settled in Canada faster and save you time later, do your research in advance to find a bank that meets your needs and allows remote banking setup options. Many Canadian banks are providing remote services at this time.

On-campus, there are two banks- ATB Financial and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Both offer remote banking setup with certain conditions:

Note: ensure you know how you will pay for expenses while completing any required quarantine. 

If you are experiencing financial insecurity, please contact iss@ucalgary.ca. An ISS advisor will make recommendations to resources or supports available through the UCalgary community such as emergency bursaries (through the SU or GSA), short-term emergency loans (through Enrolment Services), and food insecurity resources. Please contact us—we are here to help. 

Contact us

Do you have a question that isn't answered here?

Email our team at iss@ucalgary.ca.

 

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