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COVID-19 coronavirus information and KPU's response [Read more]

KPU Surrey Campus

Due to COVID-19, KPU International has transitioned to providing all our services remotely.

Are you applying to KPU? kpu.ca/international/future-students

Are you a current student? kpu.ca/international/advising

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COVID-19: Information for International Students

This page will be revised regularly with updates as they arise. Learn more about COVID-19 and KPU’s response at kpu.ca/covid19.

General Questions

Are KPU campuses open?

Yes, all KPU campuses are open. However, in an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the University has closed certain floors, zones, and buildings across campuses. Signage will be posted at every locked door and if relevant, will mention the doors that have remained open. Additionally, many services are closed or only operating remotely. For newest updates, please check the main KPU COVID-19 page.

OPEN

  • Assessment and Testing Services: On-campus and virtual/remote admissions testing available
  • KPU Library (all locations): Reduced hours. Computer and study space usage only. Seating and capacity are limited to ensure proper social distancing
  • KSA Student Food Bank: You can pick-up a pre-requested food hamper every Wednesday afternoon from an outdoor location at KPU Surrey, KPU Richmond, or KPU Langley. Place your request by 12PM on Tuesdays.
  • KPU Shuttle Bus: Reduced service

OPERATING REMOTELY

CLOSED

  • Grassroots Cafe
  • Campus Cafes (all locations)
  • Tim Hortons (all locations)

Last Updated: June 12, 2020

How do the expanded travel restrictions affect international students? Can I leave Canada?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

Please visit the following links for more information on how travel restrictions may affect you. 

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

Do I need to self-isolate if I travel to British Columbia from abroad?

Yes. All international travellers returning to British Columbia are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan. You must submit a self-isolation plan for approval prior to coming to BC, or upon arrival. Please note that KPU cannot provide self-isolation support for students. Note: Travel restrictions and exemptions still remain in place to stop all non-essential travel to Canada by foreign nationals. You must check to see if you are exempt from the travel restrictions before considering travel to Canada. 

Your self-isolation plan must consider:

  • The location of your 14-day self isolation
  • How you will travel to your isolation location
  • Arranging the necessary supports:
    • Food
    • Medications
    • Child care
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Pet care
    • Social or family support

A self-isolation plan is a legal commitment to self-isolation, enforceable under the Public Health Act. Maximum penalties for breaking self-isolation orders include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. For more information on self-isolation and details on how to submit your self-isolation plan, please visit the Self-Isolation on Return to BC page on the Government of British Columbia website.

Last Updated: April 16, 2020

My study permit is expiring soon. What should I do? 

You can apply to extend your study permit. Please consult the IRCC website; they have posted guidelines on this webpage

Last Updated: April 4, 2020

Are all KPU International Student Life events and field trips cancelled?

Yes, all on- and off-campus events organized by International Student Life have unfortunately been cancelled until further notice.  

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

Can I continue to work even though all KPU courses have moved online? 

Your eligibility to work on or off-campus has not changed, so if you were eligible to work before courses moved online, you can continue to do so now. The authorized number of hours you're allowed to work remains the same*.

*You may temporarily be allowed to work more than 20 hours if you are an international student providing an essential service. According to the IRCC website, you are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if you are:

  • a study permit holder in an academic session
  • eligible to work off-campus, and
  • providing an essential service

This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020. Before considering working more hours, please consult the IRCC website and the following webpages to verify if this is applicable to you. 

Last Updated: April 24, 2020

Financial Aid and Medical Insurance Questions

Does KPU have any financial aid available for international students?

If you are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency or unmet financial need, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the KPU International Emergency Fund. Please note, the amount of funding per student is limited, and there are a limited number of funds available overall. Please contact internationalstudents@kpu.ca for an application form and further details. 

More aid opportunities through Student Awards and Financial Assistance are listed on the COVID-19 Student Resources page.

Last Updated: April 3, 2020

Do international students qualify for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?

Unfortunately, you must be a Canadian citizen, registered Indian, permanent resident, or protected person to qualify for the CESB.

However, international students are eligible to apply for other aid programs, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers, and the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program (BC-TRS). See "What other financial aid is available for international students?" below, or the COVID-19 Student Resources page by Student Awards and Financial Assistance for more details. 

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

What other financial aid is available for international students?

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
International students are eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), so long as they meet the eligibility requirements. CERB will begin to accept applications starting April 6, 2020. 

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.

For more information, please visit the following pages:

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 to BC residents whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • Have been approved for the CERB, even if you haven't received a federal benefit payment yet
  • Be at least 15 years old on the date you apply
  • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 BC income tax return
  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance

You can apply for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers here. 

BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program
As part of the province’s $5 billion action plan, the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program (BC-TRS) gives tenants and landlords temporary support towards rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19. Payments are made directly to the landlords of eligible households. This new program will provide a temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month for April, May and June 2020.

International students who are renters are eligible to apply for the BC-TRS, so long as they meet the eligibility requirements:

  1. Have a 2019 gross household income of less than:
    • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
    • $113,040 for households with dependents
  2. As a result of COVID-19:
    • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; or
    • Be receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
    • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
  3. Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent

Tenants must be renting a primary residence in British Columbia and the unit must be covered under the Residential Tenancy Act, the Manufactured Home Act, or the Cooperative Association Act. Tenants are not eligible if their rent is subsidized by any other government program. Other government programs include: subsidized housing; rent supplements such as Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) or the Rental Assistance Program (RAP); Income Assistance; and Disability Assistance. Members of housing co-ops can get the benefit if they meet all other eligibility criteria. This criteria includes paying the full market housing charge, and the co-op cannot be getting any ongoing operating funding from the government.

For more information, please visit the following pages:

KPU's Student Awards and Financial Services department has also compiled a list of available financial resources for KPU students.

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

I'm experiencing food insecurity. Are there services that can help me?

Absolutely. We encourage you to reach out to your KSA and to a local food bank if you would benefit from accessing free food and other grocery items at this time.

KSA Student Food Bank

  • You can pick-up a pre-requested food hamper every Wednesday afternoon from an outdoor location at KPU Surrey, KPU Richmond, or KPU Langley. Place your request by 12PM on Tuesdays.
  • Available for all current KPU students
  • Students are eligible for 2 food hampers per month

Richmond Food Bank

  • You must be a resident of Richmond in order to access the Richmond Food Bank
  • You can pick up groceries once a week 
  • Food pick-up is at 5800 Cedarbridge Way Unit #100, Richmond, Monday - Saturday 10AM - 3PM
  • In order to pick up, you must bring ID for everyone in your household who needs food and proof that you live in Richmond

Surrey Food Bank

  • You must be a resident of Surrey*, North Delta, or Cloverdale in order to access the Surrey Food Bank. (*You must live north of 40 Avenue in Surrey—if you live south of 40 Avenue, please go to the Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank.)
  • You must book an appointment time to register before you can come. Contact the Surrey Food Bank at 604.581.5443 for an appointment time. 
  • Registered clients may visit the Surrey Food Bank and receive a nutritious supply of food every 14 days. The quantity of food provided is based on the household size. Their goal is to provide sufficient food for 3 to 4 days. 
  • Food pick-up is Mondays - Fridays (except Wednesdays) from 9:30AM - 1PM

Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank

  • You must be a resident of White Rock or South Surrey (from 0 Ave to 40 Ave; from 120 St. to 196 St.) in order to access the Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank
  • Food pick-up is at 2343 156 Street, Surrey, on Tuesdays (9AM-6PM) and Wednesdays (10AM-2PM)

Sources Langley Food Bank

  • You must live in the Langley area (0 Ave. to the Fraser River, east of 196th St. and west of 276th St.) in order to access the Sources Langley Food Bank
  • Food pick-up is at Unit 208 - 20445 62 Ave, Langley, on Wednesdays (10AM-3PM) and Thursdays (10AM-2PM)

Greater Vancouver Food Bank

  • You must be a resident of Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, or the North Shore, in order to access the Greater Vancouver Food Bank
  • To start registration as a new client with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, please bring ID with you on your first visit to one of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank locations. You will receive food on your first visit.
  • You will have to complete your registration within 30 days after your first visit by going to the Burnaby warehouse location (8345 Winston St.) where they will print your GVFB client card.
  • More registration info here
  • Food pick-up is at various locations. Please check the website. 

Muslim Food Bank

  • For individuals living in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley who have special dietary needs (halal, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan)
  • Visit the website and call the food bank at (866) 248-3868 for further details on accessing the Muslim Food Bank

Abbotsford Food Bank

  • You must be a resident of Abbotsford in order to access the Abbotsford Food Bank. 
  • Bring picture ID, proof of address in Abbotsford, and medical cards for everyone in your household on your first visit to the Abbotsford Food Bank. You will receive a food hamper on your first visit.
  • Delivery of food items may be available for those in self-isolation or quarantine. Please visit the website for details.
  • Food pick-up times depend on your household makeup. Please visit the website for details.

Last Updated: June 12, 2020

Does my temporary health insurance from guard.me cover me for COVID-19?

You can find more information about your guard.me insurance and how it applies to COVID-19 on the guard.me KPU portal.

Additionally, you can contact internationalevents@kpu.ca or book an appointment with a Student Life Coordinator (Waheed Taiwo/Silvia Serpas-Hidalgo) on Advisor Connect if you require support in navigating questions about medical insurance.

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

I'll be studying from outside of Canada for the Summer 2020 semester. Can I opt out of guard.me International Insurance coverage?

If you are a new international student at KPU, you are automatically enrolled in the mandatory temporary health insurance coverage from guard.me International Insurance. This insurance covers students' necessary medical costs, but can only be used in Canada. We are providing an exception to the mandatory health coverage due to COVID-19, and will resume automatic enrollments once campus operations return to normal.  If you are studying remotely from outside of Canada for the duration of the Summer 2020 semester, our International Student Life team will contact you at the start of the semester regarding your insurance coverage. For any questions, please contact internationalevents@kpu.ca or book an appointment with a Student Life Coordinator (Waheed Taiwo/Silvia Serpas-Hidalgo) on Advisor Connect.

Last Updated: April 28, 2020

I'm new to BC. When will I start to be covered by the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP)? 

Generally, there is a three-month MSP coverage wait period after you apply. However, Health Insurance BC has stated that the three-month MSP coverage wait period will be waived for eligible individuals effective March 1, 2020, onwards, due to COVID-19. Determine if you are eligible. It is each individuals' responsibility to meet and maintain the residency requirements for MSP coverage.

Please book an appointment with a Student Life Coordinator (Waheed Taiwo/Silvia Serpas-Hidalgo) on Advisor Connect if you require support in navigating this process.

Last Updated: April 30, 2020

If my study permit renewal is delayed due to COVID-19 and my study permit expires as a result, will I still be covered by BC MSP medical insurance at that time?

Your medical coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP) typically expires once your study permit expires (check your MSP card to view the expiration date of your coverage).

For those who are in the province with an expired work or study permit, a period of temporary MSP coverage may be provided until July 31. However, please note that you MUST contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage. We highly recommend that you make arrangements to acquire alternative medical insurance if you do not have MSP coverage. For example, guard.me international insurance is available to you for purchase if you had a guard.me policy in the last 60 days and you have a KPU student ID number. 

Please book an appointment with a Student Life Coordinator (Waheed Taiwo/Silvia Serpas-Hidalgo) on Advisor Connect if you require support in navigating this process.

Last Updated: April 16, 2020

Where can I learn more about the KSA Student Health & Dental Plan?

Please find information about your benefits on the MyStudentPlan website

Last Updated: March 26, 2020

Who can I contact at KPU if I have a question about medical insurance as an international student?

Please contact internationalevents@kpu.ca or book an appointment with a Student Life Coordinator (Waheed Taiwo/Silvia Serpas-Hidalgo) on Advisor Connect if you require support in navigating questions about medical insurance.

Last Updated: March 23, 2020

COVID-19 is really stressing me out. What resources are available to help me take care of my mental wellbeing?

You're not alone—it's a difficult and challenging time for many. We encourage you to explore the supports and resources here, and to reach out to those in your community to do the same. As our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as aptly stated, "This is our time to be kind, to be calm, and to be safe." 

  • My SSP - KPU has collaborated with keep.meSAFE to provide a 24/7 Mental Health Student Support Program! All KPU students have 24/7 access to multilingual counsellors who can provide immediate support and referral to address a range of concerns. Download the app or call 1.844.451.9700
  • Here2Talk — The Government of British Columbia has launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. Chat sessions with a trained counsellor can be accessed by downloading the Here2Talk app or visiting here2talk.ca. Students can also speak to a counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1 877 857-3397 or direct 604 642-5212. Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply). Read more about Here2Talk on the Government of BC's news release.
  • myWellness - Visit for mental health resources, including video counselling and text chat support
  • Managing COVID-19 Stress, Anxiety, and Depression (Government of BC)
  • Coping with stress during the 2019-nCOV outbreak (WHO)

KPU Counselling Services are available to support you as well.

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

Academic Questions

What resources are available to help me with online learning?

KPU has a number of fantastic resources to help you with online learning.

Last Updated: April 14, 2020

I don't have a computer at home. Does KPU loan laptops to students?

You may be able to borrow a laptop from KPU Library services (see "Laptop Request Form", under "Our Services"). They are loaned out on a first come, first served basis.

Last Updated: March 30, 2020

Do I need a study permit if I am studying from outside of Canada?

We highly recommend that you have a valid study permit (or are approved for a valid study permit) even while studying from outside of Canada, as it will be mandatory for you to have a study permit as soon as classes are moved back to in-person instruction and you arrive in Canada. Additionally, any time that you spend studying online without a study permit may not count towards your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). Please consult the IRCC website for further details.

Last Updated: May 7, 2020

Will my Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) eligibility be affected by taking online courses?

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), your eligibility for the PGWP program won't be affected by distance learning. Here is what is stated on their website: 

Online courses won’t affect your PGWPP eligibility

If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, you’re still eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

If you have a study permit, or been approved for a study permit for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, you’re also still eligible for the PGWPP.

If you’re in this situation, you may

  • begin your classes while outside Canada, and
  • complete up to 50% of your program while outside Canada, if you can’t travel to Canada sooner.

If you start your studies in fall 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada between fall 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Please consult the IRCC website for further details.

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

How will COVID-19 affect my co-op work terms?

The Co-operative Education department has published a Co-op COVID-19 FAQ page for all questions pertaining to co-op. Please refer to that page for information.

Last Updated: April 14, 2020

Summer 2020

Is KPU proceeding with the Summer 2020 semester?

Yes, but there won't be any in-person classes for the summer term. KPU will deliver all its Summer 2020 classes remotely. For more information, check out Important Information - Summer 2020 Academic Term.

Last Updated: April 29, 2020

Should I come to Canada for the Summer 2020 semester? 

As in-person classes will not be delivered at KPU for the Summer 2020 semester, we highly recommend that any students currently outside of Canada (both new and returning) do not travel to come to KPU for the Summer 2020 semester. 

Last Updated: May 7, 2020

I'm a new international student. What do I need to know to prepare for the Summer 2020 semester? 

First and foremost, congratulations and welcome to KPU! Take the time to prepare for your semester of remote learning by going through the checklist below.

☐ Prepare for Online Learning
You're required to have a tablet or computer and access to stable Internet to complete courses and access KPU services. If you can't meet these requirements, you should not be enrolled in the Summer 2020 semester. We recommend that you withdraw from all courses by May 10 in order to receive a full refund of their tuition fees (view all Dates & Deadlines here).

☐ Take the International Student Online Orientation
All students must complete the International Student Online Orientation prior to the start of classes.

☐ Update Your Contact Information
In order to better support you as you learn online this semester, KPU needs to know where you will be studying from. Update your contact information on Online Self-Service. Find instructions here. Updating your contact information on OSS will help us ensure that you receive relevant information regarding the submission of study permits, health insurance, textbooks, and more. You will miss out on important information from KPU if you do not update us on your current location, so don’t delay. 

☐ Submit Your Study Permit
If you will be located in Canada this semester, you must submit a copy of your study permit to KPU by May 10, 2020. Find detailed instructions here.

If you are located outside of Canada this semester, you should apply for a study permit as soon as possible. You will have to provide KPU with a copy of your study permit as soon as classes are moved back to in-person instruction and you arrive in Canada. Additionally, any time that you spend studying online before you have been approved for a study permit may not count towards your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). 

Last Updated: May 13, 2020

How do I register for the online courses offered in the Summer 2020 semester? Do I have to drop the in-person classes I've already registered for?

You can continue to register for your courses on One.KPU. You do not have to drop any courses you still wish to take, as all classes that were originally scheduled for in-person instruction will be delivered remotely. (If a course you are registered for cannot be offered remotely, the course will be cancelled.)

Please monitor the following pages for more information about registration. 

Last Updated: April 14, 2020

Fall 2020

Is KPU proceeding with the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, but the majority of classes will be delivered online (with a very limited number of courses in a blended format). Learn more here.

Last Updated: July 7, 2020

How can I tell which classes will be delivered online?

Course delivery format is noted on the Fall 2020 Timetable. You can access the Fall 2020 Timetable by going to Browse Classes via ONE.KPU.ca and choosing the Register for Classes – New Look icon or through your Online Self-Service account>Student Menu>Registration – New. For more instructions on browsing classes, visit this page. Additionally, the Faculty of Science and Horticulture has published a list of courses in the faculty that will be offered in a blended format. 

Last Updated: July 7, 2020

Should I come to Canada for the Fall 2020 semester? 

If the courses you are taking will be delivered online, you can study from anywhere in the world during the fall semester. Therefore, it is up to you whether you would like to travel to Canada. However, please be aware that travel to Canada is currently restricted and remains as such until further notice. 

Please visit the following links for more information on how travel restrictions may affect you. 

Other Considerations

PGWPP Eligibility 
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, if you have a study permit, or been approved for a study permit for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, you’re also still eligible for the PGWPP.

If you’re in this situation, you may

  • begin your classes while outside Canada, and
  • complete up to 50% of your program while outside Canada, if you can’t travel to Canada sooner.

If you start your studies in fall 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada between fall 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

I'm a new international student. What do I need to know to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester? 

Welcome to KPU! Prepare for your semester of remote learning by going through the checklist below.

☐ Register for Classes & Prepare for Online Learning
Registration for the Fall 2020 semester begins on July 13. Before registering, you should make sure that you have a tablet or computer with stable access to internet—these are the minimum technological requirements to complete courses and access KPU services. If you can't meet these requirements, you should not enroll in the Fall 2020 semester. If you are in this situation, contact us at international@kpu.ca to connect with an advisor and discuss your options.

  • Additionally, students outside of Metro Vancouver should make sure that the courses they're registering for don't include an on-campus component. Course delivery format is noted on the Fall 2020 Timetable. You can access the Fall 2020 Timetable by going to Browse Classes via ONE.KPU.ca and choosing the Register for Classes – New Look icon or through your Online Self-Service account>Student Menu>Registration – New. For more instructions on browsing classes, visit this page
  • Registration Information

☐ Take the International Student Online Orientation
All students must complete the International Student Online Orientation prior to the start of classes.

☐ Update Your Contact Information
In order to better support you as you learn online this semester, KPU needs to know where you will be studying from. Update your contact information on Online Self-Service. Find instructions here. Updating your contact information on OSS will help us ensure that you receive relevant information regarding the submission of study permits, health insurance, textbooks, and more. You will miss out on important information from KPU if you do not update us on your current location, so don’t delay. 

☐ Submit Your Study Permit
If you will be located in Canada this semester, you must submit a copy of your study permit to KPU by August 15, 2020. Find detailed instructions here.

If you are located outside of Canada this semester, you should apply for a study permit as soon as possible. You will have to provide KPU with a copy of your study permit as soon as classes are moved back to in-person instruction and you arrive in Canada. Additionally, any time that you spend studying online before you have been approved for a study permit may not count towards your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). 

Last Updated: July 7, 2020

Have more questions? You can get in touch with KPU International at internationalstudents@kpu.ca