Travelling to Canada & Self-Isolation Planning

Recent Travel Restriction Updates - January 15, 2022

The Government of Canada announced that as of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:
- individuals travelling to reunite with family (unvaccinated children under 18 years of age will retain exemption if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is a Canadian, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act);
- international students who are 18 years old and older;
- professional and amateur athletes;
- individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers (outside of those in agriculture and food processing); and
- essential service providers, including truck drivers.

Exempt unvaccinated travelers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.
News Release

Updated November 29, 2021

  • Until January 31, 2022, the Government of Canada is implementing a travel ban for all travellers who have been in the Southern Africa region — including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia— within the last 14 days before arriving in Canada. Click here for more information.
  • Effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing. Click here for more information.
  • Starting November 30, 2021 vaccination will be required for travel within and out of Canada. A valid COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless travellers are eligible for one of the limited exemptions, such as a medical inability to be vaccinated. Travellers should contact their airline or railway company to obtain the necessary form and submit it in accordance with their carrier's approval process as of November 30, 2021. 
  • Effective September 28, 2021, direct flights from India to Canada have resumed. Passengers eligible to enter Canada and travelling on those flights must obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport within 18 hours before their scheduled departure present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding.
  • All international students planning on traveling to Canada to study at Douglas College MUST submit their quarantine plans to Douglas College International (see below to do so).
  • Visit the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students page to determine your eligibility for travel to Canada. 
  • A pre-departure negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours is required for all travel from outside of Canada. 
  • Arrival testing is still required for unvaccinated travellers and vaccinated travellers may be selected for mandatory randomized arrival testing. Click here for more information.  
  • For unvaccinated travellers, if your arrival test is negative you must continue your 14 day quarantine according to your quarantine plan. If positive, you must isolate yourself from others immediately for a period of 10 days beginning on the day you tested positive for COVID-19, a government representative will call you to provide additional instructions. See here for more information.
  • To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine, or combination of vaccines, accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days before entering Canada. 
  • B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan is designed to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19.­­ Register to get vaccinated.
  • Starting Sept. 13, 2021, proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events. Click here for more information. To submit your COVID-19 Vaccination record to the B.C. government, click here for more information.  

The ultimate authority allowing students into the country rests with the Canadian Border Services Agency. If you choose to travel to Canada, it is your responsibility to provide proof that you are eligible.

Travel Eligibility Requirements:

  1. For fully vaccinated travellers, proof of vaccination in English/French must be presented at the Port of Entry. Click here for more information. 
  2. You have a valid study permit or a study permit approval. Note: An Approval in Principle or AIP does not permit students to travel.
  3. You have completed an immigration medical examination if required and the results are still valid.
  4. You have a self-isolation plan and documents prepared in advance and submitted to Douglas College. Your self-isolation plan has to be submitted on the ArriveCAN (required) app within 72 hours of your arrival to Canada. 
  5. A negative COVID test result within 72 hours of travel will be required for all air travellers coming to Canada starting on January 7th, 2021. 
  6. Starting September 7, the border is now open to non-essential travel for fully vaccinated travellers. Here is the information you need to know. We can't wait to meet you!
  7. Effective November 3rd, 2021, international students may be able to enter Canada more than 4 weeks prior to the start of their program provided they meet all other entry requirements and the time between their arrival and the start of their program of study is considered reasonable as determined by a CBSA official at the port of entry. 

Resources for Students

Douglas College is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment that allows for full and free participation of all members of the College Community who are to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity. During the global pandemic, conduct related to College and community safety includes complying with federal and provincial quarantine requirements upon arrival to Canada. Students who mislead or lie about their quarantine will be considered in breach of Douglas College student conduct standards. When misconduct is found to have occurred, sanctions for violations of this Policy may be imposed up to and including student suspension.


Self-isolation plan submission & Travel Letter Request

Submit your self-isolation plan to Douglas College here. After verifying your eligibility, we will process your request within 5 -10 business days and email a letter of support for travelling to Canada, to the email address provided.

  1. Confirm you have a study permit approval (aka Letter of Introduction) or valid study permit. Note: Approval in Principle or AIP does not permit students to travel. 
  2. Review the ArriveCAN requirements and download the app.
  3. Confirm with your airline availability and book your flights to Vancouver.
  4. Submit your self-isolation plans to Douglas College here. Upon verification, we will be able to provide a letter of support for travelling to Canada. Submit your plan and request your letter here: DCI Quarantine Plan Submission & Travel Support Request
  5. Complete requirements or additions to your plan requested by Douglas College International.
  6. Submit your self-isolation plan to the Government of Canada through ArriveCAN (required).  
  7. Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
  8. On arrival to Canada, take a COVID-19 PCR test (if required).

Students should bring the following documents while travelling to enter Canada:

  • Letter of Acceptance from the College (for new students)
  • Verification of Enrollment (VOE) from the College
  • A letter from the College supporting to travel to Canada.
    This can be requested here: DCI Quarantine Plan Submission & Travel Support Request
  • A Valid Passport
  • Valid Temporary Resident Visa or eTA
  • Valid Study Permit or study permit approval (Note: Approval in Principal or AIP does now allow students to travel)
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • Negative COVID-19 test result
  • Proof of vaccination in English/French. If your proof of vaccination is not in English or French, you need a certified translation in English or French. Keep both the original proof of vaccination and the certified translation with you while you travel. Click here for more information.
  • Proof of Medical Insurance

To print a VOE online:

  1. Log-in to your secure registration area
  2. Select “Student Records”
  3. Select “View/Print Documents & Letters”
  4. Select the Verification of Enrolment document type (with or without fees)
  5. Select a term
  6. Click “continue”
  7. On the window toolbar select “file” and then “print”

Students should plan to arrive in Canada with enough time to complete the 14- day quarantine before classes begin. However, when students arrive too early to Canada, their purpose could be considered optional and discretionary travel, and therefore not be allowed to enter the country. Please carefully time your arrival in Canada.

When booking your flight to Canada, please make sure you book a flights with the least amount of connections. Direct to Vancouver is ideal.

All students should have a valid medical insurance plan before your date of Travel. New DCI students will be enrolled in Guard.Me for 90 days starting from the first day of class during the waiting period for MSP. If you arrive before the first day of class, you may purchase additional coverage directly through Guard.Me. Upon arrival in BC you must apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).

Returning students, please make sure your MSP coverage is active and valid.

See also our Medical Insurance page for more information.

Avoid stops and contact with others while in transit to quarantine:

  • Use a private vehicle if possible
  • You will be required to wear a mask and maintain 6 ft of physical distance at all times.

Note: Public transit including bus, skytrain, and Canada Line is not permitted for travelling from the airport to your address of self-isolation.

Options for Self-isolation Accommodations 

  • If you are self-isolating with family members, be sure to read through this guide from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
  • As a group of international specialists, Vanmates has helped hundreds of customers find the right home at the best rates to fit their needs. We house international students and young professionals exclusively, creating a like-minded community.
  • Finding a place is hard enough. Keep it easy with fully furnished and move-in ready student housing apartments around Vancouver. GEC Student Residences


Options for Eating

Skip the Dishes / DoorDash / Save-on-foods / Uber Eats / SPUD.CA  / Fresh Prep / Hello Fresh