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COVID Updates

FAQs on Canada’s Travel Ban 

By April 8, 2020January 29th, 2021No Comments

This information has been taken after reviewing Immigration Canada (IRCC) guidelines, speaking with Canadian Border Agents, and the International Student Department at University of British Columbia on April 1, 2020.

Please be advised the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19 is changing rapidly, and current policies and procedures, as expressed here, are subject to change.

CIC has no control over these changes.

References: COVID-19 Travel Ban, IRCC Guidelines for Students


On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that, beginning March 18, 2020 the Government of Canada will bar foreign nationals from all countries entering Canada  until 12PM Eastern Daylight Time on June 30, 2020. 

International students who were approved for a Study Permit on March 18, 2020 or earlier are exempt from the ban. 

Please take caution that this date may be extended in response to the COVID-19 situation.


Students with Study Permit or the Letter of Introduction issued by Canada Immigration BEFORE or ON March 18, 2020 are exempt from the travel ban and can enter Canada. 

Students who are issued a Study Permit or Letter of Introduction AFTER March 18, 2020, must wait for the travel ban to be lifted before travelling to Canada.

Apply for your Study Permit

If you have plans to study in Canada, you should still begin your Study Permit application now.

If the Visa Application Center (VAC) in your country is open, they will still be processing and /or issuing Study Permits. Use this link to determine if the VAC in your country is open: Find a VAC

Please note if it is your first Study Permit you will not be able to travel to Canada until the travel ban is lifted. 


If your Study Permit is about to expire

As per Immigration Canada, you should apply to extend your Study Permit as soon as possible. You can find instructions on how to renew your Study Permit, and all the documents you need here:


If your Study Permit is about to expire

You should apply for your Study Permit if the VAC in your country is open. Find out if the VAC in your country is open here: Find a VAC.

You can find more information on how to apply for your Study Permit here: Applying Outside of Canada.

If the opportunity to renew your Study Permit is not available, please make sure you return to Canada at least two weeks prior to the expiry date in order to give yourself sufficient time to apply for renewal.

“Self-Identify” before boarding your flight

Immigration Canada is asking international students to “self-identify” to airlines. This means you must inform the airline that you are an international student when you are boarding your flight.

To do this you should:

  • Present your current Study Permit
  • Present the Study Permit you were issued before March 18, 2020
  • If you are a new student, your Letter of Introduction issued on/before March 18, 2020

What you need to enter Canada

  • Your Passport & Current Study Permit
  • Your Re-Entry Visa if needed
  • Your Study Permit or Letter of Introduction issued on/before March 18, 2020
  • Your CIC Acceptance Letter or Offer Letter from your College/University
  • An Enrollment Letter from CIC or your College/University showing you are enrolled
    • You can download a CIC Enrollment Letter from EZReport
  • A Bank Statement or Certificate of Deposit showing proof of funding for your tuition + $10,000 CAD;
  • A Letter of Financial Support from your parents. You can find an example here: ly/cicvisa.


Protect your health before boarding

As of April 2, 2020, Immigration Canada has recommended the following guidelines for international students travelling to Canada:

Before and during your trip:

  • avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas
  • avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
  • be aware of the local situation/ and follow local public health advice
  • be sure to monitor your health, and if you become sick before or during your trip, avoid contact with others except to see a healthcare professional

You will need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight.

Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel to Canada. 

Do not travel to Canada if you feel sick. If you are sick, delay your travel plans until you are feeling well.


Everyone entering Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. 

  • All students entering Canada must transport directly to the residence.  You are prohibited from making any stops or visits between the airport and residence during this time.
  • If you are returning to CIC your Liaison Officer and Residence Staff will be able to provide you with details regarding your quarantine.


Marina Rosas

Admissions Manager

Columbia International College

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