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Travel Exemptions for International Students Coming to Canada

Over the last week, in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has imposed numerous travel restrictions to limit entry into the country. On March 20, the Government of Canada announced important updates to previously imposed restrictions that will positively impact international students. 

Moving forward, exemptions will be made to air travel restrictions for certain foreign nationals, including international students, who have already committed to coming to Canada to work, study, or made it their permanent home. 

According to the Government of Canada, travel exemptions will apply to:

  • International students that already held a valid study permit when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
  • International students who had already been approved for a study permit when travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
  • Permanent resident applicants who had already been approved for permanent residence before travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but who had not travelled to Canada yet

All individuals entering Canada will need to abide by health screening protocols prior to travelling. Upon entry to the country, individuals are required to self-isolate for 14-days which includes not leaving home unless absolutely necessary, limiting contact with others, and monitoring for potential symptoms of COVID-19

IMPORTANT NOTE: The exemptions above have only been announced and are not currently in place. International students and approved residents that have not landed in Canada should not travel yet as restrictions are still in place for these individuals. Currently, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and some foreign nationals travelling from the United States are able to enter Canada by air. Individuals must have been in the United States for a minimum of 14 days and are symptom-free.

More information regarding these exemptions will be announced during the week of March 23, 2020.