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Before you travel

Planning and preparation

Some travellers – including international students – who are eligible to enter Canada and considered fully vaccinated may qualify for an exemption from quarantine requirements — provided they meet certain additional criteria. You will still need a quarantine plan in place even if you are seeking the exemption.

Look into the rules that apply to you before you make travel plans.

If you will need to quarantine, we recommend you carefully consider whether you can manage self-isolation. Failure to abide by the Quarantine Act involves serious consequences, including up to $1 million in fines and three years’ imprisonment. 

Before and during your quarantine, you will not be able to get a Social Insurance Number or cell phone, open a bank account, shop for anything in-person or allow any maintenance technicians to enter your living space to set up internet or other services. You will need to order groceries and any other necessities online, using a credit card.

While in quarantine, you will not be allowed to visit with anyone, or leave your living space, with the exception of private balconies or private yards that are not shared with others.

Please note: The final decision regarding your eligibility for a study permit and admissibility to Canada will be made by the immigration officer processing your application and Canadian Border Service Agents and Canadian Public Health Official.

Preparing for quarantine

Make sure you have confirmed your quarantine accommodations, either in an apartment you are leasing that will be equipped with internet, a private room in a friend’s home or a hotel room. (Remember you may first need to stay in a government-approved hotel on arrival if that rules applies to you.)

You will not be permitted to share your quarantine accommodations with another person. If you are interested in booking a hotel room, Concordia is providing options with Hotel Management International to provide discounted rates to students needing to quarantine. Request a booking here.

Remember, you will also need to arrange for post-quarantine accommodations, but you won’t be able to tour apartments until your quarantine ends. Should you wish to extend your hotel stay, please arrange this directly with the hotel. You can also consult our off-campus housing resources

Money and health insurance

  • Please arrive with either some cash or a credit card that can be used in Canada; you will need to have access to sufficient funds to last the 14-day quarantine and beyond.
  • Graduate students who have research funds deposited in your student accounts: You’ll only be able to access your funds once you complete your 14-day quarantine and have uploaded your immigration documents, including the Study Permit you were issued at the Port of Entry, to your Student Centre. Only then you will be able to acquire a Social Insurance Number (SIN) and open a bank account.


The border/airport agent will ask to see your supporting documents so do not pack these or other valuable papers in your checked luggage.

International students entering Canada will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows that you were approved for a study permit
  • Concordia Offer of Admission (new students only or any research-based student)
  • print-out of your unofficial transcripts from your student service centre (all students)

Depending on your situation, the airport/border agent may also request the following:

  • Any supporting documents to explain your 14-day quarantine plan
  • Copy of lease (if applicable)
  • Letter from your Canadian employer (if applicable)
  • Proof of local bank account (returning students only)
  • Proof of IT issues in your home country (if applicable, e.g. Zoom/Teams restrictions, limited internet access, etc.)
  • Contacts for roommates and/or those supporting quarantine (if applicable)
  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test (certain airlines only – please check with your airline)

As Concordia University is on the list of designated learning institutions(DLI) with a COVID-10 readiness plan, the university is not providing an additional letter of support.

Download the ArriveCAN app (on Android or iOS) which can help speed up your immigration process when you arrive in Canada. Submit your information through the app at least 48 hours before you travel.

On the day of your flight

  • Wear a mask or other face-covering on the way to the airport.
  • Be prepared to pass through health checks conducted by your airline, and by the Public Health Agency of Canada, once you arrive.
  • Be prepared to show documentation if requested by border and airline agents
  • Carry a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer (check with your airline to confirm what size travel bottles are permitted in your carry-on).
  • Make sure you pack any medication you will need for the next 14 days in your carry-on bag.

When you arrive in Canada

Please note that it is up to the discretion of the border agent to approve your entry into Canada.

Understand the rules that apply to you.

Failure to abide by the Quarantine Act involves serious consequence, including up to $1 million in fines and three years’ imprisonment.

Once you are cleared to circulate freely and if you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you will be able to take public transit (including bus, metro, taxi or Uber) directly to your place of quarantine. Wearing face coverings is mandatory on public transit.

  • Activate your health insurance two weeks prior to your departure by sending an email to  indicating that you wish to have your insurance reactivated and the date you plan to travel.
  • Download the Blue Cross App onto your smart phone. Here’s how.
  • Upload your immigration documents, including the Study Permit you were issued at the Port of Entry, to your Student Centre.
  • Update your phone number and address in your Student Centre. Be sure to repeat this step if your contact details change after your 14-day quarantine.
  • If you quarantine in temporary residence, begin your search for a place to live. Remember that you cannot visit any new residences or lodgings while in quarantine. Consult our off-campus housing resources.
  • Get to know the university and meet fellow students through virtual events:
    • Homeroom, an initiative for new undergraduate students. Make friends, navigate the university experience, co-develop new skills!
    • Many student clubs remain active during the pandemic. Learn more.
    • Grad Chat: Peer-led discussion group for graduate students looking to connect with other students and discuss a concern they are having. Meeting time: Mondays, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • The Multi-Faith and Spirituality Centre’s weekly Virtual Lounge for students to share resources, stories and strategies.
    • Group activities and events exist to help new students successfully transition to life at university. These include everything from interactive online workshops to live group chats with mentors.

While you are in quarantine

  • In quarantine, you will not be able to:
    • Receive visitors, including maintenance workers
    • Open a bank account (be sure to have a valid credit card available with which to order groceries while you are in quarantine)
    • Buy a cellphone plan (so be sure your existing plan will allow you to make calls from within Canada during quarantine)
    • Take neighbourhood walks. You will need to remain in your yard/balcony area if you are getting fresh air.
  • Here are the complete Canada Public Health instructions on how to quarantine.
  • Know that you may be contacted by the federal government throughout your quarantine, by email, phone, or in-person.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever/chills, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.
  • Be aware of the penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you’re in Canada.
    • A fine of up to $750,000 CAD.
    • Six months of jail time in Canada.
    • Being found inadmissible, removed from Canada and banned from entering for one year.
  • Be sure to take care of your physical and mental well-being during quarantine.

Resources and contact information

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