COVID-19 information for international students


As COVID-19 measures can change without notice, for the most current information, visit the Government of Canada website. After that, if you still have questions or need support, contact the . If you are a Gustavson School of Business student, please contact .

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

If you have further questions, please email .

On this page:


Immigration updates

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


Travel

All federal border testing, quarantine, and isolation requirements ended on October 1, 2022.

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


Application processing times

Study permit, visa, and work permit processing times may be delayed due to ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19 and other global events. 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. For detailed information, visit the IRCC website.


Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program

Visit the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students webpage “How your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility is affected” section for up-to-date considerations and special measures. 

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. 

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

  • time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2023
  • time spent studying outside Canada before you applied for a study permit

Official UVic letter regarding COVID-19 for your IRCC application

International students 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 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (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) yet, 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 the BC Medical Services Plan [BC MSP] as soon as possible after your arrival in BC if you will study here for more than six months).

If you are partially vaccinated or were vaccinated outside BC, see do I need another vaccine 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 International Centre for Students at  or +1 250 721 6361.

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


Proof of vaccination documents and requirements

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
    • In Canada, provinces are responsible for most public health 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 opt to 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.

Provincial and federal 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.
  • To get your document, go to and 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.
  • See About the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for more information.
BC Vaccine Card (proof of vaccination) 
  • As of April 8, 2022, there is no requirement for events, services or businesses to check proof of vaccination. Individual businesses and event organizers may opt to continue to require proof of vaccination for entry to their premises. For information about this program, see Proof of vaccination.

Updated October 2022Back to top