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COVID-19 information for international students

COVID-19 measures can change without notice. Visit the Government of Canada website for the most current information. 

If you still have questions or need support, contact the  (ICS). If you are a Gustavson School of Business student, please contact .

The information below is not a comprehensive list of all COVID-19 information for international students. Be sure to review the following UVic websites which are updated regularly: 

If you have further questions, please email

Immigration updates

Please consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the latest immigration information.


All COVID-19 emergency border measures have ended

All federal border testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements have been discontinued.

Travel restrictions may change with little warning. For the latest COVID-19 travel information, please visit:

Application processing times

For information on estimated processing times, visit the IRCC website.

Study permits and online classes

If you are an international student engaged in online learning inside of Canada, and your program of study is longer than 6 months, you require a valid study permit.

If you are an international student engaged in online learning outside Canada, you do not require a study permit. However, we recommend applying for a study permit as soon as possible, as you must have a valid study permit or letter of introduction when you arrive to Canada to engage in your studies, if your program of study (including both inside- and outside-Canada components) is longer than 6 months.

If you choose to start your program before your study permit application is approved, please note that starting your program of study from outside Canada does not guarantee that your study permit will be approved.

In addition, time spent studying online from outside Canada before you apply for a study permit will not be counted toward your eligibility for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), and could negatively impact your PGWP eligibility as well as the work permit length.

Please note that time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2024 will not be counted toward PGWP eligibility or length, even if you have a study permit application in process.

For detailed information, visit the IRCC website.

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program

If you have been studying online from outside Canada during the pandemic, visit the IRCC website for information about how much of your online studies may be counted toward your post-graduation work permit eligibility and length. This may vary depending on when you began your UVic program.

Please note that the following time can not be counted toward your PGWP length:

  • time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2024
  • time spent studying outside Canada before you applied for a study permit

Official UVic letter regarding COVID-19 for your IRCC application

International students whose registration was impacted by COVID-19 between Spring 2020 and Spring 2022 may request an official letter from the Office of the Registrar, using the following email template. Ensure you include your name, V#, email address and impacted terms. 

Subject: Document request re: COVID-19 impacts on registration

Hello Office of the Registrar,

I am an international student and my registration in the [Spring 2020 and/or Summer 2020 and/or Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021 and/or Summer 2021 and/or Fall 2021 and/or Spring 2022] term has been impacted or disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. I require an official letter explaining this impact for immigration purposes.

My V# is [V00######]. Please send my letter to [email address].

Thank you,
[FirstName LastName]

If you are using this letter for an IRCC application and you have questions, contact the  or if you are a Gustavson School of Business student, please contact .

BC COVID-19 Immunization Program

COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge to international students in British Columbia. You do not need to be enrolled in the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) to get the vaccine. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen or have permanent residency to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

For information on how to get vaccinated in BC, see how to get vaccinated for COVID-19 on the BC government website. If you don’t have a Personal Health Number (PHN), you will need to register by phone. A PHN will be created for you when you register. Important: This temporary PHN is not medical insuranceYou still need to apply for BC MSP as soon as possible after your arrival in BC if you will study here for more than 6 months.

If you are partially vaccinated or were vaccinated outside BC, see Can I get additional doses in BC?

  • if it is recommended that you get another dose, follow the instructions to submit your current vaccination record and register for your vaccination
  • if you do not need another dose, follow the instructions to submit your current vaccination record, register in BC’s immunization registry and download your BC Vaccine Card or Canadian Proof of Vaccination document

If you require any help registering for your vaccination or downloading your proof of vaccination documents, contact the ICS at  or 250 721 6361.

COVID-19 information is available in different languages. For translated content, visit the BC COVID-19 website.

Proof of vaccination documents and requirements

Government of Canada (federal) regulations
  • proof of vaccination is no longer required to board a train or plane in Canada
  • you do not need a COVID-19 test to board a plane or train in Canada unless you are flying to a country that requires it
    • make sure to research the entry requirements of your destination before you travel
Government of BC (provincial) regulations
  • while living in BC, you must follow all rules set out by the Government of Canada and the Government of BC
  • as of April 8, 2022, there is no requirement for events, services or businesses in BC to check proof of vaccination
    • individual businesses and event organizers may continue to require proof of vaccination for entry to their premises. For information about this program, see Proof of vaccination on the BC government website.

Proof of vaccination documents available in Canada:

Canadian Proof of Vaccination document
  • the Canadian (federal) proof of vaccination may be used as proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling within and outside of Canada
  • use your Personal Health Number (PHN) to download your document
    • save a digital copy to your phone and/or print a paper copy
  • if you plan to use this document for travel to other countries, be sure to research whether or not it will be accepted in your destination
  • visit About the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for more information