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International Students: All you need to know

Université Laval is pleased to be able to welcome international students and to be on the list of designated learning institutions (DLIs) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. A welcome program has been set up to help you with the steps you need to take to come to Canada and Québec, in keeping with all Canadian public health requirements. It supplements Université Laval’s emergency protocol for the COVID-19 pandemic and our ordinary welcome activities for international students.

We invite all international students to closely follow the steps listed here before coming to study at Université Laval during the pandemic.

Before you plan your trip to Canada

Immigration eligibility and procedures

Before you plan your trip to Canada, learn about entry requirements and immigration procedures you must complete. Carefully review the Impacts of COVID-19 on international students to understand the pandemic’s effects on immigration procedures and requirements for authorization to travel to Canada.

Family members

If you plan to travel with members of your family, make sure they also are eligible to come to Canada. The requirements differ depending on whether they are travelling with you or whether they are joining you afterwards.

Also, see the section about “Your family” on the Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page.

Current health situation

Find out about the current health situation in Québec before you book your trip. Due to the pandemic, certain services and businesses may be closed, public and private gatherings may be banned or limited, and travel between regions may be restricted. 

Université Laval campus health guidelines designed to slow the spread of the pandemic follow government directives and conditions in the Capitale-Nationale region shown on the Québec government’s map of COVID-19 alert levels by region.

Teaching activities at Université Laval

We are ready to welcome you back in large numbers and foster campus life in the Fall 2021 semester.

See the COVID-19 page for more details.

Prepare for your arrival in Canada

We encourage you to take a look at the steps involved in entering Canada by air and land during COVID-19 as well as the requirements checklists for flying and driving to Canada.

We strongly recommend that Montréal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport or Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport be where you first land in Canada so that you can complete your entire quarantine in Québec, if required.

Important: Flights from India and Morocco are suspended. Passengers who travel to Canada from those countries via an indirect route will need to obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test (PCR test)result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada (antigen tests are not recognized).

Documents required to enter Canada

To enter Canada, you must have these documents with you in your carry-on baggage (not in your checked baggage):

  • Passport
  • Letter of introduction from IRCC confirming the approval of your study permit or your study permit, unless you are exempt
  • Valid Québec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ), unless you have an exemption
  • Valid Temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), except for American nationals
  • Letter of acceptance from Université Laval (printed copy of the email or PDF version)
  • Proof of enrolment for the upcoming semester and, if you are currently enrolled through distance learning, for the current and/or previous semester (available in monPortail)
  • Quarantine plan (even if you believe you are exempted) and all of the related documents. We suggest that you use this template; be sure to adapt it to your situation.
  • Recent financial proofs for your studies and other documents used to obtain your study permit, if applicable
  • ArriveCAN receipt: Get an ArriveCAN confirmation receipt, or take a screenshot or print your confirmation if you sign in online
  • Valid proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test (PCR test) that was taken in a lab at least 72 hours before boarding and that meets Canadian government criteria (antigen tests are not recognized).

If applicable in your case:

  • Proof of vaccination against COVID19 (for all vaccines, even those not currently recognized by Canada)
  • If an Immigration Medical Exam was required for you to obtain your study permit; proof that it is still valid (done within the last 12 months or confirmation that IRCC has extended its validity). Bring e-medical form, if possible.
  • If you arrive after the semester starts (after August 30, 2021); the letter sent to your @ulaval.ca email address showing that you are allowed to start your classes from outside Canada and to continue them online from Canada. If you have not received this document or if you are taking in-person classes, contact your program director.

In addition of the electronic versions of these documents on your phone or computer, we strongly recommend that you carry with you printed copies of all of them.

Do not forget that waring a non-medical masks or face coverings is mandatory to enter Canada.

Your quarantine plan

Before you arrive in Canada, prepare a quarantine plan, even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To learn what requirements to follow when preparing your plan, visit the mandatory quarantine page. 

There you’ll find:

  • links to quarantine requirements published by the governments of Canada and Québec 
  • a quarantine plan template that takes into account all directives from the governments of Canada and Québec
  • various options for transportation, affordable hotel accommodation, and delivery of prepared meals, groceries, and basic items (medicines, personal hygiene products, etc.).

Without a quarantine plan, you will not be allowed to come to Canada.

Confirming your arrival on campus and safety commitments

You must complete the form Entering Canada as a Université Laval International Student as soon as possible. This requirement applies to international students arriving in Canada for the first time, those returning after staying in another country, as well as regular international students and international students on exchange.

Before you complete this form, have the following documents on hand:

  • Flight information
  • Quarantine plan
  • Confirmation of quarantine location(s)
  • Valid study permit or letter of introduction from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirming approval of your study permit, unless you are exempt

In this form, you must also agree to certain obligations, such as obeying directives and requirements of the governments of Québec and Canada, plus those of Université Laval, and to assume risks pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insurance

Before you arrive, it’s also important that you review information pertaining to health and hospitalization insurance for your stay in Canada on the page Enrolling in the health and hospitalization insurance plan for international students and Impacts of COVID-19 on international students.

Please note that the group health and hospitalization insurance plan through Desjardins Insurance (the one for international students and foreign interns) and coverage with the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) [Québec’s public health insurance plan] (the one for students covered under reciprocal social security agreements with certain countries) begin only when you arrive in Québec.

If you have to complete part or all of your quarantine outside the province of Québec, we strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel-health insurance and emergency medical insurance that covers the costs related to COVID-19. Doing this is your responsibility. The insurance would need to cover you for the duration of your journey until you arrive in the province of Québec and for the entire period of your quarantine outside the province of Québec. It would also need to be able to be extended in case you contract COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Quarantine relief bursary

Université Laval wants to support students who have to pay for hotel accommodation to self-quarantine upon their arrival in Canada. A bursary program has been created to provide some relief. Subject to certain conditions, you could be awarded a bursary of $750.

This bursary is open to international students who are registered in regular study programs and who are moving to Canada for the first time to study at Université Laval. Because of this, international students returning from a stay abroad as well as visiting international students (those on exchange) are not eligible. Students who left Canada between March and May 2020 due to the pandemic are eligible for the bursary.

To learn more about the program and apply for financial aid, see Quarantine relief bursary.

ArriveCAN

Air and land travellers must submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN within 72 hours before coming into Canada.

For more details, see the section ArriveCAN on our Mandatory quarantine page.

COVID-19 testing

All travellers entering Canada will be required to undergo COVID-19 molecular tests (PCR test) at their own expense (antigen tests are not recognized).

For more details, see the section on COVID-19 testing on our Mandatory quarantine page.

Vaccination and proof of vaccination

You can get vaccinated against COVID-19 when you arrive in Québec, and/or you can get electronic proof of vaccination from Québec (a QR code).

For more details, see the section Vaccination and proof of vaccination on our Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page.

During your trip to Canada

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms as you travel to Canada

If you start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms as you travel to Canada, speak to a flight attendant right away. They will be able to give you the necessary recommendations for the rest of the flight. When you arrive in Canada, notify the border services officers and notify Université Laval by email at covid19@ulaval.ca.

When you arrive in Canada

Arrival at the first Canadian airport

There will probably be 2 identity checks when you arrive in Canada.

Primary inspection

This first step is normally carried out using automated kiosks. At these kiosks, you will have to answer a series of questions. Once you are done, you will receive a receipt that you will have to take to a border services officer when you leave the secure area.

If you had to provide your fingerprints to obtain your Canadian immigration document, you will have to have them verified at the inspection kiosk.

For more information on primary inspection kiosks, go to: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pik-bip-eng.html

Secondary inspection

You will need to show your letter of introduction to get your study permit (unless you are exempt from this) when you first arrive at a Canadian airport regardless of whether it is a stopover airport or your final destination. When you exit the security area, the border services officer will direct you to secondary inspection where your documents will be examined and where your study permit will be issued. You will also be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt as well as your quarantine plan or your COVID-19 proof of vaccination.

The time it takes to clear customs and immigration to have your study permit issued can vary from 1 to 3 hours. It depends on the time of day and the airport.

Tip for the study permit

You must ensure to have obtained your study permit before leaving the Canada Border Services Agency area. Please verify that your personal information appearing on the study permit is accurate and that the mention/comment regarding your right to work is clearly indicated, in case you plan on working here during your stay.

For more information, see the following page: Study permit: Prepare for arrival.

Going to your place of quarantine

If you are not exempt from mandatory quarantine, once you arrive on Canadian soil:

  • Go directly to your place of quarantine without delay and follow your quarantine plan.
  • To get to your place of quarantine, use private transportation (shuttle service, taxi, etc.) or intercity transport (bus, train) and follow federal government and Québec government instructions.
  • Report your arrival within 48 hours using ArriveCAN (iOS, Android or online) or by calling 1-833-641-0343.

During your quarantine

If you are not exempt from mandatory quarantine, during your quarantine, you must follow carefully the measures that federal government and Québec government authorities, as well as Université Laval, have put in place.

Visit the Mandatory quarantine page - During your quarantine that contains important information and reminders as well as guidelines to follow if you present with COVID-19 symptoms, plus important emergency contacts.

Follow up and support from Université Laval

If you are moving to Canada for the first time as part of your studies to study at Université Laval and if you completed the Entering Canada as a Université Laval International Student, the university will contact you a few times after your arrival to:

  • follow up with you and guide you to any assistance you may need and
  • ensure quarantine rules are being followed if applicable.

We will first contact you within 48 hours of your arrival. Please ensure that the contact information submitted to Université Laval in the Entering Canada as a Université Laval International Student form before your arrival is correct.  

Psychosocial counselling

If you suffer from stress, anxiety, panic, or any other emotional reaction related to the pandemic or your quarantine, don’t hesitate to make use of the services available to you.

As a member of Université Laval’s student community, you have access to services at the Student Assistance Centre (French only). If you would like to speak with a counsellor, please complete the assistance request form (French only).

Both you and members of your family can call Info-Social 811. Just dial 811. You may also refer to the COVID-19 section of the government of Québec website where you can find information and advice such as Protecting your well-being in the COVID-19 pandemic and Stress, anxiety and depression associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 disease.
 

After quarantine

Once your quarantine period (if applicable) comes to an end, you can safely study at Université Laval while following campus health guidelines and government directives; those directives change according to the Québec government’s COVID-19 alert level for the Capitale-Nationale.

Our priority is to make sure that you can study at Université Laval in the safest and most comfortable environment possible under the current circumstances.

For information on housing, Québec City, the values of Québec society, the weather, and more, visit the Living in Québec City section on the Student Life Office (BVE) website. For information on vaccination and proof of vaccination from Québec (a QR code), visit our Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page.

Relevant websites

Before leaving for Canada, it is your responsibility to regularly check information about the measures that federal government and Québec government authorities, as well as Université Laval, have put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, so that you can comply with them and prepare for your arrival.