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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, 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

At Université Laval, a significant number of teaching activities are taking place through distance learning to follow government guidelines, and only students and university staff who have to be on campus are allowed there. Because of this, for winter 2021, most courses will be given through distance learning, hybrid teaching, or concurrent teaching.

While an increasing number of in-person learning activities will be offered on campus as a result of the Québec government granting permission during the semester, if you are offered in-person teaching activities that were initially arranged to take place through distance learning, you have the choice to attend in person or not. You can continue to take your courses through distance learning because the method of teaching that was set up at the beginning of the semester must be maintained.

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.

We strongly recommend that Montréal be where you first land in Canada so that you can complete your entire quarantine, including the mandatory three days in a government-authorized hotel, in Québec.

Your quarantine plan

Before you arrive in Canada, prepare a quarantine plan for your first 14 days here. It must include the prepaid booking confirmation for a mandatory three-day stay in a government-authorized hotel in the Canadian city you first arrive in. 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

If you are moving to Canada for the first time as part of your studies at Université Laval, you must complete the form Entering Canada as a Université Laval International Student.

Complete this form as soon as possible, and at least one week before you arrive in Canada.

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

  • Flight information
  • Quarantine plan
  • Confirmation of quarantine locations
  • Letter of introduction from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirming approval of your study permit (IRCC)

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 up to $1,500.

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 before coming into Canada. ArriveCAN is available as a mobile app (iOS and Android) as well as online. (The site is supported by all recent versions of browsers other than Internet Explorer.) Before you travel, you must submit your travel and contact information, your quarantine plan (address where you are quarantining, whether vulnerable individuals will be at that same location, etc.), as well as a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. When you arrive in Canada, you must show your ArriveCAN receipt to the border services officer (an ArriveCAN confirmation receipt, or take a screenshot or print your confirmation if you sign in online).

Once in Canada, you must use ArriveCAN or call 1-833-641-0343 to confirm that you have arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine and to complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments during your quarantine period.

COVID-19 testing

Before boarding an international flight to Canada, you will have to provide results from a laboratory-based COVID-19 molecular test that meets Canadian government criteria. The test must be within 72 hours before your scheduled departure. You must keep these test results for the duration of your quarantine in Canada.

When you arrive in Canada, you will be required to take a second COVID-19 molecular test, and then a third toward the end of your quarantine.

For more details, see the section on COVID-19 testing on our Mandatory quarantine page as well as this Government of Canada webpage.

During your trip to Canada

Have these important documents and items ready

You must have these items with you in your carry-on baggage (not in your checked baggage):

  • Passport
  • Letter of introduction from the IRCC confirming approval of your study permit
  • Québec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ), unless you have an exemption
  • Temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), except for American nationals
  • Letter of acceptance from Université Laval and proof of registration if you’re currently enrolled in distance learning (available in monPortail)
  • Quarantine plan
  • A prepaid booking confirmation for a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel in the Canadian city you first arrive in.
  • Non-medical masks and face coverings
  • Proof of financing for your studies and other documents used to obtain your study permit
  • ArriveCAN receipt: Get an ArriveCAN confirmation receipt, or take a screenshot or print your confirmation if you sign in online
  • A valid proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test that was taken in a lab at least 72 hours before boarding and that meets Canadian government criteria.

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 have to show a letter of introduction to obtain your study permit, the border services officer at the end of the secure area will send you to secondary inspection where your documents will be examined and you will be given your study permit. You will also be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt as well as your quarantine plan.

You may also be sent to secondary inspection even if you do not have a permit to print. Waiting time at immigration can be anywhere between 1 to 3 hours.

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 pages: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Information for non-Canadians and Study permit: Prepare for arrival.

Going to your place of quarantine

Once you arrive on Canadian soil:

  • Go directly to your place of quarantine without delay and follow your quarantine plan. A curfew is in effect in Québec between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.. No one is allowed to leave their home between these hours. However, exemptions are allowed for people arriving from abroad on a night flight and who must get to where they will be quarantining. Make sure you have a copy of your plane ticket with you.
  • To get to your place of quarantine, use your hotel’s transportation services 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

When you arrive in Canada, 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 during your quarantine

If you completed the Entering Canada as a Université Laval International Student, the university will contact you a few times during your quarantine to:

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

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 and 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 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.

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.