The future is looking up for international students as Canada eases up border restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers who meet specific conditions starting 11:59 pm ET on July 5, 2021.

Over a year into the pandemic, the pace of vaccine roll-out worldwide continues to accelerate, paving the way for many countries to recommence stalled initiatives and growth strategies. In Canada, 30.68% of the population have been fully vaccinated and more than 37,423,481 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada as of the 1st of July.

With the increase in vaccination rate, it doesn’t come as a surprise when the country announced that it would be reopening its borders for those who are fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine and meet other conditions. Beginning July 5, 2021, eligible fully vaccinated travellers including permanent residents and some members of their family, international students, and temporary foreign workers may qualify for exemptions from some of the quarantine and testing requirements.

Who is considered fully vaccinated?

  • Individuals eligible to enter Canada
  • Individuals who have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines
  • Individuals have received their last dose at least 14 days before entering Canada
  • Individuals who have uploaded proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN

Accepted vaccines:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, AZD1222, Covishield)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) – single dose

Once you tick all the boxes of a fully vaccinated individual and meet all other entry requirements including entering your information in ArriveCAN before arrival, you may be exempt from:

  • quarantine
  • hotel stopover (for air travellers)
  • day-8 testing requirement

DLI to Welcome International Students

Some Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) open to international students who aren’t currently in Canada and who have or have been approved for a study permit or are travelling to Canada for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose. DLIs are schools approved by the government to host international students.

DLIs must have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory to ensure the health and safety of students and the community. Included in the readiness plan are the steps the institution will take to manage the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international students, including arrangements for transportation to the students’ quarantine location.

Only DLIs with COVID-19 readiness plans that have been approved by their provincial or territorial government will be eligible to welcome international students to travel to Canada. For aspiring students, it is essential to know about your prospective school’s readiness plan.

Students can check if their institution is listed as a DLI here.