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International Students at BCIT

Travel to Canada Guide

COVID-19 updates

Latest travel restrictions and requirements

Travel restrictions and strict requirements for entering Canada continue to affect international students of all nationalities. We advise you to carefully review all of the following:

International Student Guide - Travel to Canada

Updated: July 29, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Government of Canada has implemented travel restrictions that limit the ability of foreign nationals to enter Canada which includes COVID-19 testing requirements as well as 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Whether you are new or returning to BCIT, make sure to follow all of the steps below if you are an international student planning to travel to Canada.

Do NOT travel to Canada if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

The 6 steps of the Travel to Canada Guide:

  1. Check your travel eligibility
  2. Plan for quarantine
  3. Submit a BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan
  4. Prepare for your trip
  5. Use ArriveCAN
  6. Complete your quarantine

Step 1: Check your travel eligibility

To assess whether you and any immediate family members may be permitted to enter Canada or not, review Travel exemptions and restrictions for international students on the IRCC website. Note that BCIT is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.

Use the Find out if you can enter Canada online self-assessment tool for more information.

You may contact Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) directly if you would like a confirmation before your trip. A border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

Be aware that some students have reported being denied from their flight by their airline due to traveling “too early” before their studies begin. If you are traveling more than 3-4 weeks before your program starts we suggest contacting your airline in advance for a confirmation from them that you will be able to board your flights without any issues.

Note: If you change your DLI before traveling to Canada and don’t inform IRCC, you won’t be allowed to board your flight. Make sure to follow the procedure to change your school or program if necessary.

Ban on direct flights from India extended

All direct flights from India are currently suspended until August 21, 2021. During this time, passengers who depart India to Canada, via an indirect route, will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Step 2: Plan for quarantine

Click on the topics below for information to help you create a successful quarantine plan.

Step 3: Submit a BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan

As part of BCIT’s COVID-19 readiness plan, all international students who plan to travel to Canada must submit a mandatory BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan at least one week prior to traveling. This includes new students as well as continuing students who left Canada temporarily.

Once you submit your plan, staff from the BCIT International Student Centre will be in touch to provide one-on-one support and to make sure that you will have medical insurance coverage when you plan to arrive in Canada.

If your travel plans change, you should either re-submit a new BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan or contact

Step 4: Prepare for your trip

Before traveling to Canada, you will need to submit your information through ArriveCAN and double check that you have all of your required documents and other important items.

See the Government of Canada’s Flying to Canada checklist or Driving to Canada checklist for detailed information.

If you required to bring medical exam results, check to make sure they don’t expire before you travel.

Step 5: Use ArriveCAN

The government of Canada requires international travelers to provide certain information through ArriveCAN both pre-departure and after arrival in Canada. For more details, see Use ArriveCAN if you are travelling to Canada by plane.

Fully vaccinated travelers who wish to be exempt from quarantine requirements must submit vaccination documentation through ArriveCAN.

Step 6: Complete your quarantine

Fully vaccinated travelers meeting specific requirements may be exempt from quarantine upon arrival to Canada.

You will receive an email with some important information from your International Student Centre (ISC) point of contact a few days before your planned arrival in Canada. Once you arrive at your initial quarantine accommodation, please confirm your arrival as instructed in that email.

During your quarantine, you will need to

  1. Comply with all government requirements stated at IRCC – How to quarantine (self-isolate) at home when you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have no symptoms,
  2. Assess yourself daily for any possible symptoms of COVID-19,
  3. Complete your Day-8 test kit, and
  4. Submit certain information through ArriveCAN.

It is important to understand that failure to comply with the federal Quarantine Act could result in serious punishments including a maximum fine of $1,000,000 and up to 3 years in prison.

Quarantine can feel isolating but know that you are not alone! If you need to talk to someone, your ISC point of contact is available to provide one-on-one support. We also encourage you to visit Mental Health at Home for important resources from BCIT Counselling & Student Development or to schedule a free and confidential appointment with a professional BCIT Counselor. Or you may access Here2Talk for free 24-hour mental health supports.

After you successfully complete your 14-day quarantine, we encourage you to continue to take all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when around other people.

If you need to visit BCIT campus for any reason, you must first complete the Student Awareness on COVID-19 and Pandemic Exposure Control Plan (see BCIT – COVID-19 Information for Students for details).