Travel Considerations and Self-Isolation (Quarantine)

August 03, 2021

To manage the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Canada has implemented travel restrictions with only a few exemptions. Please ensure you meet the exemptions before you plan to travel.

Please note that information can change as the pandemic evolves. It is strongly recommended that you closely monitor the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website in preparation for your travel to Canada.


August 9 border changes: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the U.S. and who qualify as fully vaccinated travellers, will be able to enter Canada for discretionary travel starting August 9.

Unless eligible, other foreign nationals can’t enter Canada at this time.

Flights from India suspended. Read the news release.

Can I travel to Canada to study?

To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a valid letter of introduction that shows you are approved for a study permit. An approval-in-principle is not sufficient for travel. 
  2. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory. UVic is a DLI with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.

As a student, you will not be allowed to enter Canada if:

  • your study program has been cancelled or suspended
  • you’re entering Canada for any reason other than to study

A border services officer (BSO) will make the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada when you arrive. When the border services officer greets you, they consider:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period (if required) as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • if you either:
    • have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or
    • can study online during your quarantine

If you have any concerns before you travel, you should speak with an international student adviser.

When should I make my travel arrangements?

Do not make travel arrangements until you have been approved for a study permit by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Once your have been approved, ensure you:

  1. Follow the appropriate checklist on the Government of Canada website when making arrangements as requirements may vary depending on your method of travel to Canada. For more information about self-isolation (quarantine) plan and COVID-19 testing requirements, visit the self-isolation section of our office website.
  2. Arrange for appropriate travel insurance, as circumstances and restrictions may change.
  3. Ensure you have appropriate health insurance in place. New students are automatically covered for their first term of registration by the plan. Returning students should contact International Student Services with questions.
  4. Register your self-isolation (quarantine) plans prior to departure.

Before you travel, if you have questions about the timing of your arrival (e.g., arriving to Canada more than 3 weeks prior to the start of classes - September 8, 2021) you should contact your airline and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for more information. 

What documents should I carry when I travel to Canada?

Students may not travel to Canada for their studies without the necessary documentation. Please ensure you have the following valid (i.e. non-expired) documents:

  • Passport, or other accepted travel document
  • Temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (if required)
  • Study permit or letter of introduction that shows you are approved for a study permit. An approval-in-principle is not sufficient for travel.
  • A valid letter of acceptance (study permit information letter from UVic). If your study permit information letter has expired, you should request for another one through UVic Online Tools > Student Services >Online Request Forms.
  • Verification of enrolment (VOE) at the University of Victoria. As soon as you have course registration with UVic, you will have access to your term-by-term VOE through UVic Online Tools > Online Request Forms.

As well as:

  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • Medical exam results that have not expired, if a medical exam is required
  • A valid COVID-19 molecular test result and a quarantine plan. Depending on your COVID vaccination status and mode of travel, the requirements for these documents may vary. You must follow the appropriate checklist on the Government of Canada website to prepare these documents.  If you are seeking the exemption for fully vaccinated travellers, please also bring proof of vaccination with you.

At this time, proof of having COVID vaccination does not replace a valid COVID-19 molecular test result.

Do I have to self-Isolate (quarantine)?

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. Self-isolation is mandatory, even for people with no symptoms.

International students arriving from abroad may be required to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days on arrival at their final destination if they don't meet the exemption, and must have a self-isolation (quarantine) plan in place, prior to their arrival. A plan must be submitted to the Government of Canada through the ArriveCAN app and to the University of Victoria through the Self-Isolation Registration form.

If you are travelling to Canada, you will need to provide your plan to the University of Victoria, and confirm compliance with your plan through a series of check-ins. ISS team members are here to support you throughout your time in self-isolation (quarantine). Please see more details below.

The information and resources on our Travelling to Canada webpage are to support you, as a UVic student. They will help you make the necessary arrangements for arriving in Canada, create a plan for self-isolating (quarantining) on arrival, and ensure a successful start to your studies.

To support students who are self-isolating (quarantining), the University of Victoria’s Self-isolation Program includes:

  • A website that includes up-to-date self-isolation (quarantine) requirements
  • A list of accommodation suggestions for the 14-day self isolation
  • Guidelines for obtaining groceries, necessities and essential services
  • Daily online check-in forms designed to give students the opportunity to ask questions and have a record of their compliance with the self-isolation requirements
  • Online information sessions and virtual activities
  • Virtual social events and activities designed to help students connect with their peers and build community
  • Information about identifying COVID-19 symptoms and accessing medical services
  • Mental health and wellness support information

If you have self-isolation (quarantine) specific questions, please contact For all other questions and inquiries, please contact International Student Services at