Canada International Students travel exemption starts today, October 20 - Canada Visa & Immigration
international students travel exemption

Canada International Students travel exemption starts today, October 20

Coronavirus travel exemption for Canada International Students becomes effective today, October 20, 2020. Designated learning institutions (DLIs) whose COVID-19 readiness plans (Canada DLI COVID-19 readiness plans) have been approved by their provincial or territorial government begin to welcome international students back to their schools. DLIs are universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that are approved by federal and provincial government to admit international students.

The new international students travel exemption applies to all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from. It does not affect those already in Canada.


If you plan to come to Canada as an international student, your designated learning institutions must be on the list of government-approved COVID19 readiness plans before you travel. Please be reminded that all travellers must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.


Find out if your DLI is approved as coronavirus-ready at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) List of DLIs with approved coronavirus readiness plan. IRCC will regularly update the list as more DLIs get their plans approved.

DLIs COVID-19 readiness – specifics

As part of their plans, DLIs are expected to provide specifics to their provincial or territorial government on how they will provide information to international students on health and travel requirements before they arrive in Canada, help students with their quarantine plans and provide guidance or assistance in acquiring the necessities of life, such as food and medication, during their quarantine.

Readiness plans also need to establish protocols for the health of students in the event there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases at the school.


Canada’s provincial and territorial governments bear the primary responsibility for education and health care in their provinces/territories, and are therefore mandated to assess COVID-19 readiness plans that schools are putting in place. The federal government of Canada works closely with provinces and territories on the admission, hosting and other issues related to international students in Canada.

International students’ accompanying family members

Under the international students travel exemption, immediate family members may be able to accompany an international student to Canada if their reason for travel is non-optional or non-discretionary, such as getting established in Canada in support of the principal applicant’s study program. This could include a spouse or common-law partner, a dependant, or in the case of a minor child who will be studying in Canada, a parent or legal guardian.

Self-isolation upon arrival in Canada

Like all travellers to Canada, international students and accompanying family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) List of Designated Learning Institutions.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.