Skip to main content

For updates on Fall 2021 Return to Campus [Read more]

KPU Surrey Campus

You are here

Information for International Students Travelling to Canada

The following information is for all new and current KPU students who are currently outside of Canada and who wish to travel to Canada. This page was last updated on September 27, 2021.

ANNOUNCEMENT (Oct 05, 2021): Flights from Morocco Suspended Until October 29, 2021
The Government of Canada has suspended direct flights from Morocco until October 29, 2021. This may impact your ability to travel to Canada.

KPU is following Orders declared by Provincial Health Officer. Regular monitoring of Orders and public health guidance is part of KPU’s routine operations. Plans, protocols, and processes are updated routinely to reflect the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel Exemptions and Restrictions for International Students

You need to be eligible to travel to Canada at this time if:

  • you want to come to Canada to study
  • you’re returning to Canada as an international student
  • you’re coming to Canada as a family member or support person for an international student

You can find out if you're eligible to travel to Canada by:

Keep in mind:

  • Even if you are eligible to travel, you should aim to enter Canada not more than four weeks prior of the start of classes. If you try to arrive in Canada more than four weeks before the start of classes, you may be turned away at the border. 
  • You will need to quarantine upon entry to Canada unless you meet the fully vaccinated traveller exemption

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Pre-entry test requirements

All air passengers 5 years of age and older must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result in order to travel to Canada. There are no exemptions to pre-entry testing for fully vaccinated travellers. See the Getting tested to enter Canada page for full details about accepted test types, what you must bring to provide proof of your test result, where to get tested, and more. 

Arrival testing

You will be required to take a COVID-19 test before leaving the airport. Learn more about arrival testing and how you can register in advance with the airport test provider to speed up the process. 

When You Travel to Canada

When the Border Services Officer greets you upon your arrival in Canada, they will look at several factors, including:

  • Your reason for travelling to Canada
  • Your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period (unless exempt)
  • If you either
    • Have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or
    • Can study online during your quarantine
You must bring:
  • A valid study permit or a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit
  • A valid letter of acceptance (LOA) from KPU
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. 
  • Your ArriveCAN receipt

You may also request a Travel Support Letter from KPU to bring with you to support your travel. We also recommend that you bring a copy of your Confirmation of Enrolment, as some countries may require this as an exit requirement. 
Finally, we strongly recommend that you bring paper copies of all documents so that technological difficulties do not affect you. 

All travellers must have a valid 14-day quarantine plan, even if they may be exempt from quarantine. Before travelling, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information. A border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada and whether you qualify as exempt from quarantine when you arrive.

More Information

You must clearly understand the laws and regulations of the Government of Canada and the Government of BC prior to making travel plans. Always visit the following websites for the most up-to-date information.

Read Next: Quarantine


Unless exempt, you must quarantine for 14 days, provide contact information, and monitor yourself for signs and symptoms upon arrival in Canada. 

Your Quarantine Plan

All travellers, even those exempt from quarantine, must demonstrate that they have an adequate plan for quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.. You're expected to make plans, within your own means, before travelling to Canada. Foreign nationals who do not have an adequate plan may be denied entry into Canada.

  • Assess your quarantine plan 
  • Use ArriveCAN to submit your travel/contact information, quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Public Health Authority of Canada before travelling.

How to Quarantine

The government of Canada has created a guide on how to quarantine. Please read through the guide fully for information about: 

  • When your quarantine starts and ends
  • How to get to your place of quarantine 
  • How to report after you've entered Canada
  • What to do while in quarantine
  • Calls, emails, and visits from the Government of Canada

☎️ Quarantine Reporting Requirements

You must report upon daily to the Public Health Authority of Canada during quarantine. You will receive phone calls or public health follow-ups upon your arrival in Canada. If you don’t complete your reports after you’ve entered Canada, you will be in violation of the Emergency Order. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines. Find out how to report via ArriveCan or phone.

You will also be required to report daily to KPU International through the iCent app. Learn more in the What to Do Upon Arrival in Canada section.

Read Next: What to Do Prior to Travelling to Canada

What to Do Prior to Travelling to Canada

If you want to travel to Canada as an international student, you must first: 

  1. Meet all the requirements of the Travel Requirements Checklist
  2. Download the iCent App
  3. Fill out the ArriveCAN app/online portal
  4. Fill out the CBSA Voluntary Compliance Portal (if your first port of entry in Canada is at YVR Vancouver International Airport)

Please remember that a border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

Travel Requirements Checklist

Only students who can meet all the requirements on this checklist should consider travelling to Canada.

Travel Requirements Checklist
☐ I am eligible to travel to Canada based on the current travel restrictions

☐ I have arranged to get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of my departure to Canada*
*You are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented at the airport prior to boarding a flight to Canada. Click here for more information.

☐ I have read the latest guidelines on arrival to Canada and quarantine. I understand that unless I am exempt, I must quarantine upon arrival in Canada. I understand that even if I am exempt, I must have an adequate quarantine plan.
☐ I have secured a suitable place of quarantine for the 14-day quarantine period 
Please refer to the "Accommodation" section under "Resources for Your Arrival" for guidelines on accommodations
☐ I have secured medical insurance coverage for the duration of my stay in Canada prior to the start of classes
If you are arriving for the Fall 2021 term, your temporary medical insurance coverage with KPU does not begin until Sep 1, 2021. You must secure medical insurance to cover you for any time you are in Canada before this date.

iCent App

The KPU International iCent app helps new international students stay connected to KPU International. You will need access to iCent in order to check-in with KPU International upon arrival in Canada and throughout your quarantine period if you are required to quarantine. Please install the app on your mobile device before you travel to Canada. iCent is free and available for download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.


The Government of Canada requires all travellers flying to Canada to submit their COVID-related information digitally through ArriveCAN, and to use ArriveCAN upon arrival in Canada to check in with the Public Health Authority of Canada. Before you board your flight, you must use ArriveCAN to provide your:

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment

You must be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a border services officer will verify that you have submitted your information digitally. Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to $1,000 fine.

Download ArriveCAN

CBSA Voluntary Compliance Portal

Decrease Your Wait Time at YVR—Use the VC Portal Before Arrival!

The Voluntary Compliance Portal (VC Portal) is an expedited processing online form that new international students can fill out before travelling to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to notify the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that you’re coming. This helps the CBSA review and prepare your study permit documents before your arrival to Canada, which decreases the time you need to spend at the airport. If you are eligible, we highly recommend that you use the VC Portal.

If you meet the following criteria, you should use the VC Portal:

  • Your initial entry into Canada will be at YVR (If you are landing at a different airport in Canada, e.g. Toronto Pearson International Airport, and coming to Vancouver International Airport on a connecting flight, you won’t be eligible to use the VC Portal)
  • You have a pre-approved study permit application from IRCC
  • You are able to fill out the VC Portal at least 72 hours in advance of your arrival at YVR


  • At least 72 hours in advance of your arrival to YVR, go to the VC Portal and submit your information
    • It is only mandatory to include your Unique Client Identifier (UCI), Last Name, Planned Date of Arrival to Vancouver, and Arriving Flight Number. All other fields are optional, but it’s recommended that you fill out as many fields as possible.

Do you need a custodian in Canada?

According to the IRCC webpage on Studying in Canada as a minor, minor students under the age of 17 must either:

  • come to Canada with their parent or legal guardian or
  • have a custodian in Candada

A custodian is optional for minors who are 17 years of age or older, but an officer can request one on a case-by-case basis. KPU does not provide custodianship services. However, many homestay agencies can and do provide this service. Learn more about homestay on the Living in Metro Vancouver webpage. 

Read Next: What to Do Upon Arrival in Canada

What to Do Upon Arrival in Canada

If you do not qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption

1. Check-in with the Public Health Agency of Canada through ArriveCAN 

  • Within 48 hours of your entry into Canada, confirm that you've arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine or isolation location by using ArriveCAN or calling 1-833-641-0343.
  • During your quarantine, complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments by using ArriveCAN or calling 1-833-641-0343.

2. Check-in with KPU International

  • Immediately upon arrival, submit the "Confirmation of Arrival" form, available through the iCent app, to inform KPU International that you have arrived in Canada. 
  • During your quarantine, check-in on a daily basis with KPU International by using the "Daily Check-In" form, available through the iCent app. These daily check-ins help us to confirm that you are remaining in your place of isolation and to inform us of any symptoms you may be facing.

3. Quarantine for 14 Days 

5. After Quarantine

If you qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption, you won't need to quarantine. However, you must:

  • Follow the Government of Canada's guidelines for fully vaccinated travellers
  • Submit the "Confirmation of Arrival" form, available through the iCent app, to inform KPU International that you have arrived in Canada. 

Read Next: Resources for Your Arrival in Canada

Resources for Your Arrival in Canada

In this section, you'll find valuable resources to help you navigate your arrival to Canada and your first few weeks in quarantine.

Scroll down or click to navigate to a specific section.


All travellers need to make arrangements to safely quarantine, even if they are exempt from the quarantine requirement.  A suitable place of quarantine is one where you: 

  • Can stay for 14 days or possibly longer
  • Have access to the necessities of life without leaving that place 
    • Food, water, washing facilities, etc.
  • Can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you
  • Have no visits from family or guests

There are more guidelines on the website. You must read through the following pages for full details:

If you do not yet have a place to safely quarantine, visit the Housing page for more information and a list of quarantine accommodation providers.

Insurance Coverage

You will have medical insurance coverage in Canada starting Sep 1, provided that you are registered for classes for Fall 2021. New international students are automatically enrolled in KPU's Temporary Medical Insurance Plan, administered by

However, if you are planning to arrive in Canada before Sep 1, you must purchase additional early arrival coverage. We recommend that you purchase the additional early arrival coverage through for seamless comprehensive coverage. Purchase this additional coverage through directly: Having the right medical and travel insurance is critical to avoid unnecessary financial burdens. Without insurance, medical and emergency care in Canada and abroad can be extremely expensive.

Please note: Your medical insurance coverage does not cover costs associated with self-isolation or quarantine, such as accommodation, food, and entertainment. For a full overview of what is covered under your plan, visit the website directly.

Packing List

It's important to prepare your essentials for quarantine as much as possible prior to travelling to Canada—remember, you have to go straight to your place of quarantine upon arrival in Canada, and you cannot leave it except for urgent medical attention. Here's a 14-day quarantine packing list to help you get started. Add on or customize as needed.

Documents* Essentials Clothing Nice to Haves

☐ Airline ticket

☐ Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, floss, as needed) ☐ 2 weeks' worth of tops (include long and short sleeve options) ☐ A book to read
☐ Passport ☐ Menstrual products (pads/tampons as needed) ☐ 2 weeks' worth of bottoms (include pants, shorts, and/or skirt options) ☐ Deck of cards if you enjoy playing solo card games
☐ Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if applicable ☐ Hand sanitizer (pack at least 1 travel-size bottle in your carry-on luggage) ☐ 2 weeks' worth of undergarments, socks, and pyjamas ☐ A journal to keep your thoughts in
☐ Valid study permit or or a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit ☐ Shampoo, conditioner, and soap (pack in checked luggage if over 100ml) ☐ Sweaters or hoodies ☐ Pre-downloaded movies/tv-shows on your tablet/laptop in case WiFi stops working at your place of quarantine
☐ Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada ☐ Shaving products (pack in checked luggage if sharp/bladed) ☐ Jacket ☐ Pictures of home and your family
☐ Letter of Acceptance/Confirmation of Enrollment from KPU ☐ Laptop/tablet + charger ☐ Exercise clothes ☐ Favourite non-perishable foods
☐ Contact information for your host institution (KPU) ☐ Cellphone + charger ☐ Belts/accessories as needed  

☐ Printed copy of your quarantine plan indicating that

  • you have a place to stay
  • how you’ll
    • get to your destination
    • get your groceries
    • access essential services and medical care
☐ Adaptor for Canadian electrical outlets (120V) ☐ Shoes (include formal, athletic, and casual options)  
☐ Documentation of a negative laboratory COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of departure to Canada ☐ Credit card that works in Canada (cash is not accepted for online orders of take-out food or grocery delivery)    
☐ Printed ArriveCAN confirmation receipt ☐ Thermometer    
  ☐ 1 box of disposable gloves, with several pairs packed in your carry-on luggage (nitrile is preferred)    
  ☐ Credit card that works in Canada (cash is not accepted for online orders of take-out food or grocery delivery)    
  ☐ 60 disposable facemasks or 30 disposable face masks + 1 reusable cloth face mask (pack at least 2 masks in your carry-on luggage)     
  ☐ Minimum 1 month's worth of any prescribed medications or vitamins you need to take    
  ☐ Disinfectant wipes (pack several in your carry-on luggage)    

*Make sure you have these documents available when you arrive in your carry-on luggage. You will be required to present these to a Canada Border Services Agent when going through Canadian customs and immigration.

Important Contacts


Call 9-1-1 if you require emergency assistance from ambulance, fire, or police.

COVID-19 Support (non-medical)

Get information and non-medical COVID-19 support from the BC CDC.

Phone: Call the BC CDC at 1-888-268-4219 (7:30AM - 8PM daily)


Self-Assessment Tool and BC COVID-19 App:

Medical Information and Advice

Call 8-1-1 to reach HealthLink BC. For deaf or hearing impaired (TTY), call 7-1-1. HealthLink BC provides free, confidential health information and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Poison Control

Call Poison Control immediately at 1-800-567-8911 toll-free in B.C. or 604-682-5050 in Greater Vancouver if you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance.


Alcohol & Drug Information

Call 1-800-663-1441 toll-free in BC or 604-660-9382 in Greater Vancouver for free, confidential information and referral services for substance use issues (alcohol or other drugs). Multilingual services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 


Suicide Prevention

The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC provides confidential, non-judgemental, free emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.

Call 1-800-734-2433 if you considering suicide or are concerned about someone who is.

Call 310-6789 for mental health support, emotional support, and mental health information and resources


KPU International

You can contact KPU International for non-emergency travel and study related support (contact 9-1-1 for emergencies). 

Phone: +1-604-599-2866 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri 1PM-4PM) 

Mental Health Support & KPU Student Resources

Travelling to a different country and staying quarantined for 14 days can be challenging, so don't hesitate to reach out and take care of your mental health. There are many resources available to you as a KPU student.

KPU Student Resources - Quick Guide
Due to COVID-19, services for students have transitioned online. The following webpage lists links to connect you with online resources throughout KPU. 

KPU Counselling Services
Phone: 604-599-2828

Keep.meSAFE provides all KPU students with 24/7 professional counselling in multiple languages. You can access Keep.meSAFE anytime by calling or using the app.
Learn more:

KPU Peer Support Program
The Kwantlen Student Association (KUSA) can help connect you with support from a trained volunteer who is a student just like you.
Learn more:

Crisis Centre of BC
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC provides confidential, non-judgemental, free emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.
Phone: 604-872-3311 or 1-800-784-2433
Online Chat:

Free, confidential 24/7 counselling and community referral services for BC's post-secondary students.
Phone: 604-642-5212 or 1-877-857-3397

The Quarantine Student Connection
The Quarantine Student Connection is a professionally monitored, weekly student support group via videoconferencing. Students lead the 30-minute session with support from a mental health professional by sharing experiences and coping strategies, while also educating each other on ways to improve their overall health and wellnesss. Students gain the mental health benefit from virtual “check-ups” and staying socially connected. Sessions are in English, and registration is required.
Registration Link:

Anti-Racism Resources and COVID-19 Stigma Support

If you experience racism, stigma because of COVID-19, or other discrimination, there is support available to help you, and actions that you can take. Please remember that you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. You have the right to be safe. 

Learn More About Anti-Racism and COVID-19 Stigma

Where You Can Get Support

  • Hate Crimes in BC by ResilienceBC
    • Learn how to take action if you are a victim of racism or hate, or if you witness a racist or hate incident. Available in Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French, Arabic, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  • Student Rights & Responsibilities Office at KPU
    • The Student Rights and Responsibilities Office helps foster a respectful, engaging, and collaborative environment at KPU. SRRO can help with Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Dialogues. 
  • Here2Talk by the Province of British Columbia  
    • Here2Talk connects students with mental health support when they need it. Through this program, all students currently registered in a B.C. post-secondary institution have access to free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web.

Internet and Bandwidth

If pursuing your studies online is not possible from your home country due to internet restrictions or bandwidth limitations, we recommend that you have documentation to support this. Here are some websites you can use to test your internet and bandwith:

Please note: this information is being provided as a courtesy to students. The listed services are not subject to any form of University inspection. KPU does not take responsibility for off-campus services.

Technological Requirements to Support Online Delivery of Classes

All students registered in online or blended format classes for the Fall 2021 semester at KPU must meet the minimum technological requirements for online course delivery. If you can't meet the requirements listed below, you should only be enrolled in in-person format calsses.

Technological Requirements

  • Access to a laptop, personal computer, or tablet (a cellphone is not sufficient)
  • Access to reliable internet 

Please visit the Registration Guide for more information regarding the Fall 2021 academic term.

Meal Plans and Grocery Delivery Options

Even if your place of quarantine doesn't offer meal plans, you cannot leave your place of quarantine to buy groceries or go eat at a restaurant. Luckily, there are many meal and grocery options in Greater Vancouver that now offer contactless delivery. We recommend that you browse the following list to explore your options. You will need a credit card that works in Canada to use these services as they will not accept cash. 
Please note: this information is being provided as a courtesy to students. The listed services are not subject to any form of University inspection. KPU does not take responsibility for off-campus services.

Service Provider Type Website Notes
Uber Eats Takeout Food Delivery  
Skip the Dishes Takeout Food Delivery  
Door Dash Takeout Food Delivery  
Fantuan Takeout Food Delivery Website/app also available in Chinese
Instacart Grocery Delivery  
Save-On-Foods Grocery Delivery Minimum order of $40 for delivery
T&T Supermarket Grocery Delivery Website/service also available in Chinese
Spud Grocery Delivery Each delivery area has free delivery once a week. Delivery is also free for most orders over $35
Stong's Market Grocery Delivery Delivery available to Bowen Island, Vancouver, and North and West Vancouver only
Yogi's Kitchen Meal Delivery Ready-to-eat Indian-style meals
Fresh Prep Meal Kit Delivery Ready-to-cook meal kits with pre-measured ingredients. You will need access to a kitchen to prepare these meals.
Chef's Plate Meal Kit Delivery Ready-to-cook meal kits with pre-measured ingredients. You will need access to a kitchen to prepare these meals.
Hello Fresh Meal Kit Delivery Ready-to-cook meal kits with pre-measured ingredients. You will need access to a kitchen to prepare these meals.
Good Food Meal Kit Delivery Ready-to-cook meal kits with pre-measured ingredients. You will need access to a kitchen to prepare these meals.