Is Canada’s Border Open To International Students?

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Canada is known as one of the best countries internationally for a multitude of reasons. We have beautiful mountains and landscapes, a culture of acceptance and diversity as well as vast possibilities and options for people of any nationality or gender. In particular, two of the most popular and visited cities are Vancouver, B.C, and Toronto, Ontario. Each has its own unique cityscapes and cultural attitudes, manners, and climates.

Since the hit of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, many Canadians have found themselves plunged into a life they were not prepared for. Businesses continue to be negatively affected and many have had to close their doors for good. With the borders being continually inundated with people trying to get into the country there is a lot of information to sift through to find what you may be looking for.


Can International Students Still Study in Canada?

In short, yes international students are more than welcome to come back or come for the first time to study in Canada. Unfortunately, each country has its own rules and regulations regarding the COVID-19 protocol; however, it has been over a year that we as a global community have been dealing with the ups and downs of the virus and trying to swim in the big ocean of uncertainty and fear.

Since October of 2020 there have been set travel exemptions and restrictions for international students, but it would seem that many industries in relation have not yet gotten back on their feet. Many professions related to ESL and ELL students as well as hospitality are still suffering and continuing to lose jobs.


What Are The New Travel Exemptions And Restrictions For International Students?

According to the government of Canada website –, “As of January 7th, 2021, air travelers 5 years of age or older will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada. As well, everyone entering Canada must follow mandatory isolation or quarantine requirements. Not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offense with consequences and penalties.”


Requirements To Enter Canada:

In order to be allowed into the country, there are two requirements that you must meet. Before even trying to get into Canada you must find, apply, and be accepted into a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan, which has been approved by its province or territory. Once you have determined that the school itself meets all the requirements and you have been accepted you then must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that proves you have been given the allowance to study in Canada.

These requirements are necessary no matter how little or long you plan on staying and study in Canada. Keep in mind as well, during these times of uncertainty and change, if you have been studying in Canada and you decide to leave, when you return you must verify again that the school you were/are studying with is still on the approved list of DLIs. Also, if you are a student, your travel to Canada will no longer be considered essential (non-discretionary) if your study program is canceled or suspended.


If you can enter Canada and you have no symptoms, you must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. This means that you need to quarantine even if you have tested negative for COVID-19, been vaccinated for COVID-19, and/or recovered from COVID-19

For travelers flying, especially international students, this includes a mandatory 3 night pre-paid booking at a government-authorized hotel at your own cost. After these 3 days, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test. In case you get a negative test result you need to stay in another place to finish your 11 days quarantine.

The Government of Canada provides a list of authorized hotels for quarantine and all details about how to book your accommodation here.