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International Students at BCIT

Travel to Canada Guide

International Student Guide - Travel to Canada

Updated: September 28, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and strict requirements for entering Canada continue to affect travelers of all nationalities. Whether you are a new student or returning to BCIT, we advise you to carefully review all of the information in this guide and at all of the links provided. Regulations may change with little notice, so continue to regularly check all of the relevant information until your departure.

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 or an exemption
  3. Submit a BCIT Travel & Self-Isolation Plan
  4. Prepare for your trip
  5. Use ArriveCAN
  6. Complete your quarantine (if required)

Step 1: Check your travel eligibility

Start with the Find out if you can enter Canada online self-assessment tool. Also make sure to review the information on IRCC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students and International students and travel to Canada.

Among other requirements for entering Canada, you will need to bring:

  • a valid study permit or study permit approval letter (also known as a “POE Letter of Introduction”) from IRCC, and
  • a valid Letter of Acceptance from BCIT. If your LOA has already expired, you will instead need a valid International Confirmation of Enrolment Letterwhich must be requested online and paid for at least 5 business days before you plan to travel.

Note that BCIT is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.

If you have questions about your eligibility to enter Canada, 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.

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.

Important Notice

All direct flights from Morocco are suspended until October 29, 2021. During this time, passengers who depart Morocco 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.

Review the new testing requirements for direct flights from India to Canada.


Step 2: Plan for quarantine or an exemption

Click on the topics below for information to help you understand if you may qualify for an exemption, and how to 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 isc_info@bcit.ca.

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 COVID-19 Travel: Checklists for requirements and exemption for detailed information.

If you are 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 (if required)

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 the International Student Centre (ISC)  before you travel to Canada. Once you arrive in Canada, please confirm your arrival as instructed in that email.

If you are required to 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. You may be selected to 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.

Quarantine can feel isolating but know that you are not alone! We 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.