July 29, 2021

For international students: travel policy updates

CICan is pleased to provide this update related to recently announced changes to travel requirements. In addition to the news releases of July 5th and July 19th, and backgrounder (specific to international students), federal officials held a virtual news conference announcing upcoming changes. It is expected that the following changes will be confirmed in subsequent updates to existing Orders in Council.

  • As of July 5th, 2021, travelers who are eligible to enter Canada and who are fully vaccinated with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine are not required to quarantine, complete a day-8 test, or stay at a government-authorized accommodation (GAA) to await their on-arrival test result.
  • Beginning on August 9th, American citizens and permanent residents, currently residing in the U.S. who are fully vaccinated with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine will be authorized to travel to Canada for discretionary purposes. International flights will also be permitted to land at five additional airports: Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton. All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to stay at a government approved accommodation (GAA) but will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. A positive test result on a specimen taken 14 to 180 days prior to arrival will be accepted. At select airports, fully vaccinated travelers with a government of Canada accepted vaccine will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete one.
  • Until at least August 21st, direct flights from India remain suspended. We continue to work with federal officials to ensure that flight corridors between Canada and India open again as soon as possible.
  • Beginning on September 7th, provided that the Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiological situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders for discretionary travel to all travellers from any country who have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada-accepted vaccines. This will allow Post-Graduate Work Permit holders who do not have a job offer in hand and students taking short-term programs that do not require a study permit to travel to Canada. Please note that all travelers, including international students, must still present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, should they not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt.

Expanding the number of airports permitted to receive international arrivals and removing the mandatory stay at a GAA have been key advocacy points in recent months. CICan continues to monitor travel advisories closely, work with government officials to gain clarity on the evolving situation, and advocate for the interest of our members. We are, for example, aware of some inconsistencies with respect to airlines not allowing some international students to board their flights. We are in touch with relevant federal officials at CBSA and Transport Canada to ensure an effective communication with airlines and a consistent application of policies related to travel.