Update on travel restriction exemptions for international students

Written by Ragini Joshi

Published on : October 2, 2020 5:47




Update on travel restriction exemptions for international students

Learning institutions whose COVID-19 readiness plans have been approved by their provincial or territorial government will soon be able to welcome more international students back to their schools.

Amended travel restrictions will take effect on October 20, allowing international students to enter Canada if their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. With primary responsibility for education and health care, provincial and territorial governments assess COVID-19 readiness plans that schools are putting in place. As part of their plans, DLIs are expected to provide specifics to their provincial or territorial government on how they will provide information to international students on health and travel requirements before they arrive in Canada, help students with their quarantine plans and provide guidance or assistance in acquiring the necessities of life, such as food and medication, during their quarantine. Readiness plans also need to establish protocols for the health of students in the event there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases at the school.

The Government of Canada works closely with provinces and territories on the attraction and hosting of international students in Canada and other issues related to international education. Provincial and territorial partners indicated they would like to see a process that allows international students to begin travelling to Canada again, as long as it is done safely and respects health requirements.

Taking a cautious approach, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked together in developing that process. The list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place will be posted on IRCC’s web page for international students affected by COVID-19 restrictions and updated regularly as provinces and territories identify additional schools.

This change to travel restrictions affects all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved. Travellers should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and received all necessary authorizations.

The travel of asymptomatic international students who have the appropriate documents to enter Canada and whose DLI is on the list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans in place will be considered to be non-discretionary and non-optional, unless there is evidence that they are clearly coming to Canada for a discretionary or optional purpose, such as tourism.

With the amended travel restrictions, immediate family members may be able to accompany an international student to Canada if their reason for travel is non-optional or non-discretionary, such as getting established in Canada in support of the principal applicant’s study program. This could include a spouse or common-law partner, a dependant, or in the case of a minor child who will be studying in Canada, a parent or legal guardian.

Like all travellers to Canada, international students and accompanying family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.