FAQs for International Students about COVID-19

Check the latest information and updates about COVID-19 and York University, visit https://coronavirus.info.yorku.ca/ for more information.

Quarantine and Entry to Canada

I'm in Canada now and studying for the Fall 2020/Winter 2021 semesters. Can I travel internationally and come back during the Winter break or at any other time?

Please avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada

As you probably know, the Government of Canada has a global travel advisory against all non-essential travel until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19. We understand that this is a difficult time for many students who are missing home and their families, however, we recommend you avoid travel if at all possible.

Your decision to travel must also factor in that travel restrictions are changing quickly and may be imposed by countries with little advance notice. This means that you run the risk of remaining outside of Canada longer than expected.

IRCC offers the following reminders and suggestions concerning travellers departing Canada at this time:

It's important to remember that if you choose to travel abroad:

  • your trip may become much longer than you planned
  • you may have reduced access to quality health care
  • you could be subject to the measures of other countries

If you're still considering travel outside of Canada, you should:

  • understand the risks to your safety and security abroad
  • check the pandemic travel health notice before travelling
  • know the health risks and travel restrictions and requirements for your destination
  • make sure you have enough money and necessities, including medication, in case your travel is disrupted

If you must travel abroad and return please take note of the following

  1. York University does not issue any documentation to students seeking to depart the country. It is your responsibility to check with your airline(s) and the country you are traveling to regarding any required documentation or other actions necessary for travel and entry to your destination.
  2. Check the travel restrictions again before you plan to return to Canada as they may change at any time. Please keep yourself up to date on relevant news on the coronavirus and travel advisories and restrictions both in Canada and in your home country.
  3. Decide where you will quarantine when you return to Canada.Whether you stay in the accommodations organized by York or organize your own, please complete and submit the required paperwork at least two weeks before you travel or as soon as possible.  
    • For off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, please fill out the Quarantine Accommodation Form.
      York will help students returning from international travel over the break to make arrangements for quarantine.  Students will be responsible for paying for these accommodations.  The cost for the 14-day quarantine in an off-campus hotel will be roughly $1220 including taxes and includes a room with an individual bathroom and three meals each day.  Any additional meals/food/water and supplies will be an additional cost.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice, please prepare a quarantine plan that explains how your quarantine accommodations meet all federal requirements and submit it when you fill out the Self-arranged Quarantine Plan Form. Keep a copy of this plan for yourself as you will be required to present it to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at your port of entry.  Click here for more detailed information about Canadian quarantine requirements.
  4. Download the ArriveCan mobile app. According to IRCCas of November 21, 2020 travellers entering Canada by air are required to provide mandatory travel and quarantine information using the ArriveCAN app, which includes:
    • Travel and contact information
    • Quarantine plan (you will need to answer 4 yes/no questions)
    • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment (both before you board your plane and each day of your 14 day quarantine)
    • IMPORTANT: You must submit the ArriveCAN information before you board your flight to Canada (we recommend at least 48 hours in advance) and you must confirm you’ve arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine location with 48 hours of your entry to Canada. Travellers who fail to submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. 
    • Please review this website carefully to follow all instructions related to using the ArriveCAN app.
  5. Gather documents in preparation for your arrival to Toronto
    • If you choose to quarantine at off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, we are providing the required documentation for student entry to Canada in order of arrival dates, and usually about one week before travel.
      • We will send you a copy of your quarantine plan to present at the airport, along with a list of recommended and required documentation.
      •   You can request an entry support letter to Canada when you complete the Quarantine Accommodation Form.  
      • If you do not receive an e-mail from us within one week of your arrival date, please contact iadvisor@yorku.ca and mark the subject line “Urgent – Traveling to Toronto on [DATE]”.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice

ARRIVAL INFORMATION  

According to IRCC, when the border services officer greets you, they look at several factors, including:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • If traveling on or after November 21, 2020, you will be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry to Canada
  • 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
  • Either  letter of acceptance (new students only) and/or a letter of enrolment,
  • Proof of financial support (as  many documents as possible) - that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Your quarantine plan information
    • **If your quarantine accommodations are being arranged by York University, you will receive an electronic copy of the plan before your travel date.
    • **If you are arranging your own quarantine accommodations, you need to file your copy with the University through the self-arranged quarantine plan form. Please note that it is up to the student to ensure that their plan meets Canadian quarantine requirements.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

A border services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.

If you are not permitted entry to Canada, the quarantine documentation provided to you by York will contain an emergency contact number to speak with a designated member of York International to determine what, if anything, can be done. That said, please note that the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada lies with the border services officer.

For questions regarding international travel and general international student well-being, please email iadvisor@yorku.ca. 

I am outside of Canada, can I travel to Canada right now?

Beginning October 20, 2020, Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international students are exempt from travel restrictions and are able to travel to Canada for their studies if they meet all requirements and have all authorizations for travel.

According to these current travel restrictions, to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.*
  2. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.**

*Stage 1 approval/AIP does not count as final approval.

**York University is very pleased to let you know that our plan has been approved by provincial authorities and that we may now begin to welcome new and returning international students to the York community. For the Winter 2021 term, the University is offering a full selection of academic programming using primarily online/remote learning, with select in-person instruction. 

CURRENT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS AND AUTHORIZATIONS 

If the current travel restrictions remain in place, please note the following information and steps before you make your travel plans.

  1. Travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine for 14 days and comply with all requirements of the quarantine measures under the Quarantine Act.  
  2. You must have a valid study permit or final study permit approval to travel to Canada.  If you only have an approval in principal/first-stage approval, you cannot yet travel. There is no longer a date requirement for your study permit approval for travel. Please check IRCC for eligibility to travel and your local Visa Application Centre.  Your ability to travel will also be dependent on your local/regional/national requirements.
  3. In order to travel to Canada, you must not have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO 

  1. Read the Government of Canada’s quarantine requirements and information.   
  2. Ensure you are eligible to travel to Canada under the current Canadian travel restrictions.     
  3. Tell us what your travel plans are once your flight is booked via the International Student Travel to Canada form. Please submit this at least 2 weeks prior to your departure date.
  4. Decide where you will quarantine. Whether you stay in the accommodations organized by York or organize your own, please complete and submit the required paperwork at least two weeks before you travel or as soon as possible.  
    • For off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, please fill out the Quarantine Accommodation Form. Please note that for newly arriving students, the University is covering the costs associated with the quarantine accommodations. If you are a returning student, meaning you are currently in Canada, and then traveling abroad at your discretion, York can still help you arrange your accommodations, however, you will be responsible for all costs associated with this.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice, please prepare a quarantine plan that explains how your quarantine accommodations meet all federal requirements and submit it when you fill out the Self-arranged Quarantine Plan Form. Keep a copy of this plan for yourself as you will be required to present it to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at your port of entry.  Click here for more detailed information about Canadian quarantine requirements.
  5. Download the ArriveCan mobile app. According to IRCC, as of November 21, 2020 travellers entering Canada by air are required to provide mandatory travel and quarantine information using the ArriveCAN app, which includes:
    • Travel and contact information
    • Quarantine plan (you will need to answer 4 yes/no questions)
    • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment (both before you board your plane and each day of your 14 day quarantine)
    • IMPORTANT: You must submit the ArriveCAN information before you board your flight to Canada (we recommend at least 48 hours in advance) and you must confirm you’ve arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine location with 48 hours of your entry to Canada. Travellers who fail to submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. 
    • Please review this website carefully to follow all instructions related to using the ArriveCAN app.
  6. Gather documents in preparation for your arrival to Toronto
    • If you choose to quarantine at off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, we are providing the required documentation for student entry to Canada in order of arrival dates.
      • We will send you a copy of your quarantine plan to present at the airport, along with a list of recommended and required documentation.
      •   You can request an entry support letter to Canada when you complete the Quarantine Accommodation Form.  
      • If you do not receive an e-mail from us within one week of your arrival date, please contact iadvisor@yorku.ca and mark the subject line “Urgent – Traveling to Toronto on [DATE]”.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice

ARRIVAL INFORMATION  

According to IRCC, when the border services officer greets you, they look at several factors, including:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • If traveling on or after November 21, 2020, you will be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry to Canada
  • 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
  • Either  letter of acceptance (new students only) and/or a letter of enrolment,
  • Proof of financial support (as  many documents as possible) - that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Your quarantine plan information
    • **If your quarantine accommodations are being arranged by York University, you will receive an electronic copy of the plan before your travel date.
    • **If you are arranging your own quarantine accommodations, you need to file your copy with the University through the self-arranged quarantine plan form. Please note that it is up to the student to ensure that their plan meets Canadian quarantine requirements.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

A border services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.

If you are not permitted entry to Canada, the quarantine documentation provided to you by York will contain an emergency contact number to speak with a designated member of York International to determine what, if anything, can be done. That said, please note that the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada lies with the border services officer.

Even if you are exempt as of the date of reading this information, please check the travel restrictions again before you plan to return to Canada as they may change at any time. 

Please keep yourself up to date on relevant news on the coronavirus and travel advisories and restrictions both in Canada and in your home country.

If you have any questions, you can contact one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students.

I am outside of Canada, can I travel to Canada even though all my courses are online?

Yes. The fact that your studies are online do not prevent your entry to Canada. However, you must ensure that you meet the requirements indicated in the current travel restrictions, as explained below.

Beginning October 20, 2020, Immigration, Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international students are exempt from travel restrictions and are able to travel to Canada for their studies if they meet all requirements and have all authorizations for travel.

According to these current travel restrictions, to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.*
  2. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.**

*Stage 1 approval/AIP does not count as final approval.

**York University is very pleased to let you know that our plan has been approved by provincial authorities and that we may now begin to welcome new and returning international students to the York community. For the Winter 2021 term, the University is offering a full selection of academic programming using primarily online/remote learning, with select in-person instruction. 

CURRENT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS AND AUTHORIZATIONS 

If the current travel restrictions remain in place, please note the following information and steps before you make your travel plans.

  1. Travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine for 14 days and comply with all requirements of the quarantine measures under the Quarantine Act.  
  2. You must have a valid study permit or final study permit approval to travel to Canada.  If you only have an approval in principal/first-stage approval, you cannot yet travel. There is no longer a date requirement for your study permit approval for travel. Please check IRCC for eligibility to travel and your local Visa Application Centre.  Your ability to travel will also be dependent on your local/regional/national requirements.
  3. In order to travel to Canada, you must not have any symptoms of COVID-19. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO 

  1. Read the Government of Canada’s quarantine requirements and information.   
  2. Ensure you are eligible to travel to Canada under the current Canadian travel restrictions.     
  3. Tell us what your travel plans are once your flight is booked via the International Student Travel to Canada form. Please submit this at least 2 weeks prior to your departure date.
  4. Decide where you will quarantine. Whether you stay in the accommodations organized by York or organize your own, please complete and submit the required paperwork at least two weeks before you travel or as soon as possible.  
    • For off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, please fill out the Quarantine Accommodation Form. Please note that for newly arriving students, the University is covering the costs associated with the quarantine accommodations. If you are a returning student, meaning you are currently in Canada, and then traveling abroad at your discretion, York can still help you arrange your accommodations, however, you will be responsible for all costs associated with this.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice, please prepare a quarantine plan that explains how your quarantine accommodations meet all federal requirements and submit it when you fill out the Self-arranged Quarantine Plan Form. Keep a copy of this plan for yourself as you will be required to present it to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at your port of entry.  Click here for more detailed information about Canadian quarantine requirements.
  5. Download the ArriveCan mobile app. According to IRCC, as of November 21, 2020 travellers entering Canada by air are required to provide mandatory travel and quarantine information using the ArriveCAN app, which includes:
    • Travel and contact information
    • Quarantine plan (you will need to answer 4 yes/no questions)
    • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment (both before you board your plane and each day of your 14 day quarantine)
    • IMPORTANT: You must submit the ArriveCAN information before you board your flight to Canada (we recommend at least 48 hours in advance) and you must confirm you’ve arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine location with 48 hours of your entry to Canada. Travellers who fail to submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. 
    • Please review this website carefully to follow all instructions related to using the ArriveCAN app.
  6. Gather documents in preparation for your arrival to Toronto
    • If you choose to quarantine at off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, we are providing the required documentation for student entry to Canada in order of arrival dates.
      • We will send you a copy of your quarantine plan to present at the airport, along with a list of recommended and required documentation.
      •   You can request an entry support letter to Canada when you complete the Quarantine Accommodation Form.  
      • If you do not receive an e-mail from us within one week of your arrival date, please contact iadvisor@yorku.ca and mark the subject line “Urgent – Traveling to Toronto on [DATE]”.
    • If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice

ARRIVAL INFORMATION  

According to IRCC, when the border services officer greets you, they look at several factors, including:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • If traveling on or after November 21, 2020, you will be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry to Canada
  • 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
  • Either  letter of acceptance (new students only) and/or a letter of enrolment,
  • Proof of financial support (as  many documents as possible) - that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Your quarantine plan information
    • **If your quarantine accommodations are being arranged by York University, you will receive an electronic copy of the plan before your travel date.
    • **If you are arranging your own quarantine accommodations, you need to file your copy with the University through the self-arranged quarantine plan form. Please note that it is up to the student to ensure that their plan meets Canadian quarantine requirements.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

A border services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.

If you are not permitted entry to Canada, the quarantine documentation provided to you by York will contain an emergency contact number to speak with a designated member of York International to determine what, if anything, can be done. That said, please note that the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada lies with the border services officer.

Even if you are exempt as of the date of reading this information, please check the travel restrictions again before you plan to return to Canada as they may change at any time. 

Please keep yourself up to date on relevant news on the coronavirus and travel advisories and restrictions both in Canada and in your home country.

If you have any questions, you can contact one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students.

What do I need to know if I am planning to travel to Canada in December 2020?

York has quarantine accommodations available for students arriving in Canada from international locations, as noted above. If you will be arriving in Canada and are looking to quarantine in our designated York location between December 24, 2020 – January 9, 2021, you must make your request by December 1, 2020.

Can I quarantine at York when I enter Canada?

Yes, York has arranged off-campus hotel quarantine accommodation for York students arriving in Canada for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters.

You must be able to travel to Canada according to IRCC’s guidelines for exemptions to travel restrictions. If you do not meet these guidelines, you should not travel to Canada right now.

According to these current travel restrictions, to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.*
  2. You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.**

*Stage 1 approval/AIP does not count as final approval.

**York University is very pleased to let you know that our plan has been approved by provincial authorities and that we may now begin to welcome new and returning international students to the York community. For the Winter 2021 term, the University is offering a full selection of academic programming using primarily online/remote learning, with select in-person instruction.

Upon entry to Canada, you must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine. For more information on quarantine requirements, please read IRCC’s guidelines.

For off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, please fill out the Quarantine Accommodation Form at least two weeks before your travel or as soon as possible.

For students who were not in Canada in the fall term and are coming/returning to their studies, York is covering the costs associated with the quarantine accommodations.

For students who were in Canada in the fall term, and then left at your own discretion, York can still help you arrange your accommodations, however, you will be responsible for all costs associated with this. The cost for the 14-day quarantine in an off-campus hotel will be roughly $1220 including taxes and includes a room with an individual bathroom and three meals each day.  Any additional meals/food/water and supplies will be an additional cost. Note that if you are living in York Undergraduate Residences, York Apartments or the Quad, you will not be able to quarantine in your on-campus residence.

York will help students returning from international travel over the break to make arrangements for quarantine.  Students will be responsible for paying for these accommodations.  The cost for the 14-day quarantine in an off-campus hotel will be roughly $1220 including taxes and includes a room with an individual bathroom and three meals each day.  Any additional meals/food/water and supplies will be an additional cost.

If you are in the School of Continuing Studies, please contact them directly at regscs@yorku.ca.

PREPARING FOR YOUR TRAVELS

  1. Download the ArriveCan mobile app. According to IRCCas of November 21, 2020 travellers entering Canada by air are required to provide mandatory travel and quarantine information using the ArriveCAN app, which includes:
    • Travel and contact information
    • Quarantine plan (you will need to answer 4 yes/no questions)
    • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment (both before you board your plane and each day of your 14 day quarantine)
    • ***You must submit this information before you board your flight to Canada. Travellers who fail to submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. 
    • Please review this website carefully to follow all instructions related to using the ArriveCAN app.
  2. Gather documents in preparation for your arrival to Toronto
    • If you choose to quarantine at off-campus accommodations arranged by York University, we are providing the required documentation for student entry to Canada in order of arrival dates.
      • We will send you a copy of your quarantine plan to present at the airport, along with a list of recommended and required documentation.
      •   You can request an entry support letter to Canada when you complete the Quarantine Accommodation Form.  
      • If you do not receive an e-mail from us within one week of your arrival date, please contact iadvisor@yorku.ca and mark the subject line “Urgent – Traveling to Toronto on [DATE]”.

ARRIVAL INFORMATION  

According to IRCC, when the border services officer greets you, they look at several factors, including:

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • If traveling on or after November 21, 2020, you will be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry to Canada
  • 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
  • Either  letter of acceptance (new students only) and/or a letter of enrolment,
  • Proof of financial support (as  many documents as possible) - that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Your quarantine plan information
    • **If your quarantine accommodations are being arranged by York University, you will receive an electronic copy of the plan approximately one week before your travel date.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

A border services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.

If you are not permitted entry to Canada, the quarantine documentation provided to you by York will contain an emergency contact number to speak with a designated member of York International to determine what, if anything, can be done. That said, please note that the final decision on whether you're eligible to enter Canada lies with the border services officer.

What are the requirements for quarantine?

For full details on what is required of international travellers arriving in Canada for the mandatory 14-day quarantine, please read IRCC’s guidelines on quarantine.


New International Students

I am a new student and my program starts Fall 2020 or Winter 2021. Can I take courses online from my home country?

International students do not need a study permit to legally start a program from outside of Canada, however, you will need one to begin studying in Canada once you are able to travel. We strongly recommend that you begin your study permit application process as soon as you can.

On August 26, 2020, IRCC updated their information for international during COVID-19.

The new measures allow students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they submit a study permit application before the program starts and they cannot travel to Canada. To remain eligible for a PGWP, you may complete up to 50% of your studies online for most programs. The rest of your program must be completed in Canada. Students in programs that are 8-12 months starting in May or September 2020 may be eligible to complete more than 50% online. For full details, see how your PGWPP eligibility is affected.

Our International Student Advisors can help review your initial study permit application or support you if your application has been refused.  Please connect with one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students

I’m a new international student starting York in Fall 2020. What happens if I can’t get a study permit before Winter term starts?

New international students do not need a study permit to take online courses. You can have the time spent studying online towards your post-graduation work permit if you submit an application before your program starts, and complete no more than 50% of your program online from outside Canada.

If you are starting in Fall 2020 and your study permit is denied, you are eligible for a refund. Learn more about the New International Student tuition refund process.

I am a new student and I have a visa. Can I come to Canada?

To come to Canada as a student, you must have a study permit or a letter of introduction (LOI) as well as a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Due to COVID-19, only international students who meet the travel restriction exemptions set forth by IRCC can travel. Do not make travel plans until you know you are exempt.

Starting October 20th, 2020 students attending an institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan and have a valid study permit or a final approval (not an AIP/first-stage approval) may travel to Canada. York University has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. See the full list of approved institutions. If you do not meet these guidelines, you are not exempted from the current travel restrictions and should not travel to Canada at this time.

Before planning to travel, see IRCC’s information for international students about COVID. If you have any questions, you can contact one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students.

In addition to health screening protocols before travel, all individuals entering from abroad must wear a mask to enter Canada and have a concrete plan to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.

Please refer to the IRCC website for more details.

I am a new student and my study permit application has just been refused. Can I take online courses instead?

International students do not need a study permit to legally start a program from outside of Canada, however, you will need one to begin studying in Canada once you are able to travel.

If you are unsuccessful in receiving a study permit approval, you can book an appointment with one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students, to help you review a second application submission. If your application is still refused, you will be eligible for a tuition refund if you apply by the deadline.  Learn more about the New International Student tuition refund process.

I am a new student and my study permit application is still in process. What should I do?

IRCC continues to process applications submitted online, even if the Visa Application Centre in your country may be closed.  On July 14, 2020, IRCC announced temporary policy changes to facilitate online learning for international students.

Check with your local Visa Application Centre for details on your application and make sure to keep up to date on COVID-19 updates in your country and in Canada. Visit the York University Coronavirus Information and Update frequently.

A study permit is not required to take online courses from abroad. Students can count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they submit a study permit before the program starts. For full details, see how your PGWPP eligibility is affected.

You may also be able to request to defer your admission. Not sure if you should defer? Please connect with our immigration advisors to via email iadvisor@yorku.ca or book an online appointment.


Immigration

I am a current student in Canada, do I need a study permit to take courses that have been moved online due to COVID-19?

You are required to have a valid study permit throughout the duration of your program while you are in Canada, regardless of the format classes are delivered. During academic sessions, you are still required to comply with your study permit conditions.

I am a current student in Canada, how can I extend my status if my study permit will soon expire?

You must apply online to extend your stay in Canada. If you’re a student, you have 3 options:

  1. If you want to continue studying, you may be able to extend your study permit if you’re eligible. If you are a current student at York, you should be providing proof of enrolment as opposed to letter of acceptance for study permit extension application, and the proof of enrolment should show your enrolment for the next academic sessionTo obtain an enrolment letter, please click here and choose “Standard Confirmation”, then choose the session you enrolled in, and log in with your Passport York to print/save the “Detailed” version. 
  2. If you’re no longer studying and not applying for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), you can apply to change your status to visitor, as long as your study permit has not expired.
  3. If you completed your program of study, you may be eligible to apply for a PGWP.

I am a current student in Canada, what if my study permit has already expired?

If you are inside Canada and your study permit has expired, you have lost your status. You cannot study or work until you have restored your status. IRCC announced a temporary extension for temporary residents to restore their status. If your status expired after January 30, 2020, you now have until December 31, 2020 to submit your application instead of the normal 90 days.

If your status has expired, please book an appointment to receive advice from an international student advisor before submitting your application.

Will there be any processing delays in my application (study or work permit, permanent residence application, etc.) during COVID-19?

IRCC continues to process applications submitted online, however, disruptions due to COVID-19 may affect processing times. You can check the current processing times to find out how long it will take to process your application.

I need to give biometrics but the collection locations are temporarily closed. What should I do?

Applicants in Canada

On July 15, 2020, IRCC announced a temporary biometrics exemption for temporary residence applicants from within Canada, until further notice. You would qualify for the temporary exemption if you are applying for one of the following:

  • an extension of a work permit
  • a new work permit
  • an extension of a study permit
  • a new study permit
  • a visitor visa
  • a visitor record to allow you to stay in Canada as a temporary resident
  • restoration (extension) of temporary resident status
  • a temporary resident permit

If you have not yet submitted your application, do not pay the $85 biometrics fee even if the system asks you to pay for it.

If you have a pending application for which you have paid the biometrics fee, you do not need to give biometrics and will receive a refund of $85 once your application is processed.

Applicants outside Canada

If the site closest to you is closed, you will receive an automatic extension of time to give your biometrics. You don’t have to give your biometrics until the sites start offering collection services again. This applies to you, even if your biometrics instruction letter (BIL) says you have 30 or 90 days.

You don’t have to contact IRCC for this extension, and you don’t need a new BIL to make another appointment when sites reopen. Bring your original BIL to your new appointment to show proof of payment.

Can I submit visa and immigration applications (study or work permit, permanent residence application, etc.) during COVID-19?

Due to service disruptions, IRCC is experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in person at a VAC. At this time, if you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit, work permit or permanent residence, apply online.

I'm waiting for a decision on my study permit extension. Can I return home?

Your study permit will be mailed to the Canadian address that you indicated on your application form. Make sure that someone you trust is checking the mail there.

Once your new study permit is approved, you can apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) (if required) from outside Canada.

How can I get a study permit if my study permit will expire while I am outside Canada, and I did not apply for an extension before I left Canada?

We recommend you apply for a new study permit online, even if your local Canadian visa office/embassy is open. To apply online, please click here to register for an IRCC account, and follow the steps as instructed. If you cannot apply online and your local visa office/embassy is open, you may apply with a paper application. The instructions and the entire application package for paper applications can be found here, and you can click here for the specific visa office you should send your application to.

If I leave Canada, will I be able to return?

International students who meet the travel restriction exemptions set forth by IRCC can travel. Do not make travel plans until you know you are exempt.

Starting October 20th, 2020 students attending an institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan and have a valid study permit or a final approval (not an AIP/first-stage approval) may travel to Canada. York University has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. See the full list of approved institutions.

Before planning to travel, see IRCC’s information for international students about COVID. If you have any questions, you can contact one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students.

If you do not meet these guidelines, you are not exempted from the current travel restrictions and should not travel to Canada at this time.

In addition to health screening protocols before travel, all individuals entering from abroad must wear a mask to enter Canada and have a concrete plan to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.

Please refer to the IRCC website for more details.

Can I work during the Summer 2020 if I was a part-time student during the Winter semester?

Normally, international students would have to have full-time status in the semesters before and after the scheduled break in order to work full-time in the Summer (if Summer is a scheduled break for your program). However, you can continue to work if COVID-19 has forced you to become part-time or take a break in studies if you began the Winter session as a full-time student, and if you are authorized to work on- or off-campus while studying.

If an officer asks you for more information about your time studying in Canada on an application in the future, your designated learning institution should provide you with a letter of support to explain how your studies were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Can I work more hours as an international student during COVID-19?

This change was only in effect until August 31, 2020.

In Summer 2020, international students providing essential services were temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if they were a study permit holder in an academic session, eligible to work off campus, and providing an essential service.

Will taking online courses affect my eligibility to apply for a work permit after I graduate?

Current students in and outside Canada:

If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19 and if you hold a valid study permit, you’re still eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). Your online studies will not impact your eligibility for PGWP as long as the online portion weighs less than 50% of your program.

New incoming students outside Canada:

If you are a new student, you may complete up to 50% of your program online abroad towards a post-graduation work permit (some exceptions) if:

  • You have a valid study permit or final approval and are exempt from travel restrictions, however, you decide to take courses online from your home country;
  • You've received an approval-in-principle (which includes showing that you have been accepted at a Canadian learning institution, have the available funds and are otherwise eligible for the study permit), but not a final approval, and can't travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions; or
  • You have submit a study permit application before your program starts.

For more information and updates, visit the IRCC website.


Travel

Should I go home?

All in-person courses and exams have now either moved to alternative formats or have been cancelled. This means students can now leave campus if they choose to.

Where can I find out more information about travel restrictions and IRCC operations during COVID-19?

For more information, please refer to the IRCC website.

Canada just announced that non-residents can’t enter the country. I’m an international student on exchange/international placement and want to return to Canada. What should I do?

International students who meet the travel restriction exemptions set forth by IRCC can travel. Do not make travel plans until you know you are exempt.

Starting October 20th, 2020 students attending an institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan and have a valid study permit or a final approval (not an AIP/first-stage approval) may travel to Canada. York University has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. See the full list of approved institutions. If you do not meet these guidelines, you are not exempted from the current travel restrictions and should not travel to Canada at this time.

Before planning to travel, see IRCC’s information for international students about COVID. If you have any questions, you can contact one of our immigration specialists at York International, or through Schulich School of Business International Relations for Schulich students.

Like all travellers, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, international students who are exempt from the travel restrictions must undergo the necessary health checks, wear a mask to enter Canada and have a concrete plan to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

If you are currently out of Canada and wanting to return, you should check the current travel restrictions and advisories from Global Affairs Canada and IRCC. If you are an international student who is abroad on exchange or international placement and are not able to return to Canada, we advise you to consider returning to your home country if possible. If you need any assistance in this matter, please email goglobal@yorku.ca.


Health

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

If you think you have 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment.

Does UHIP cover COVID-19 testing?

Students should do a self assessment first following the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment. Students who need to visit an assessment centre for testing should take a paper copy of their UHIP card and a copy of a claim form with them. The claim form can be found here: https://uhip.ca/Content/Assets/_Uploads/en_UHIP_ClaimForm.pdf. If you do not have your UHIP card, please email uhip@yorku.ca with your student number.
UHIP coverage remains the same for all students covered, i.e., UHIP covers doctor’s fees in clinics and hospitals as well as lab tests such as X-rays and blood tests. For more information regarding UHIP coverage, please visit: https://uhip.ca/.

Does UHIP cover COVID-19 treatment?

As per https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-7, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 yet. UHIP will cover emergency fees at hospitals and hospitalization fees, if needed. Drugs dispensed during hospitalization are also covered under UHIP. For more information, please visit: https://uhip.ca/Enrollment/PlanDetails. However, prescription drugs, which you get from a pharmacy, are not covered under UHIP. These are covered through your extended health plan, which is administered by your student union. For more information regarding your extended health plan, please visit: http://www.yfs.ca/health-dental-plan (if you are an undergrad student) or http://yugsa.ca/services/health-plan/ (if you are grad student).

How will the UHIP enrollment process work for Fall 2020?

If you are a new international student starting in September 2020 and studying from outside of Canada, you do not need to be enrolled in UHIP.  If you are a new international student starting in September 2020 and studying in Canada, you are required to be enrolled in UHIP.  Please fill out our UHIP Survey here to let us know where you are studying from this Fall 2020.  Once you have submitted your survey, you will be enrolled in UHIP.  You’ll receive an email with further information and your UHIP Card.

 

If you are unsure if you are enrolled in UHIP, do not have access to your UHIP Card or have any other questions, please email uhip@yorku.ca and include your student number.

I am a Canadian citizen or PR arriving in Canada from abroad. How do I get health insurance?

Normally, there is a three-month waiting period for OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) eligibility. However, due to COVID, as per https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-ohip-and-get-health-card,

Ontario is waiving the three-month waiting period for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) coverage. We will also cover the cost of COVID-19 services if you are uninsured and do not meet the criteria for OHIP coverage.”

If you are self-isolating and cannot go to ServiceOntario to register for coverage, please contact ServiceOntario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161. INFOline staff will advise on next steps as appropriate.”

For information regarding where to apply for OHIP and which documents you will need to take, click here.

I have decided to stay in Canada. Am I still covered under UHIP? How can I get my UHIP card? Where can I get more information?

If you are staying in Canada for the Fall term, please fill out our UHIP Survey here to let us know where you are studying from this Fall 2020.  Once you have submitted your survey, you will be enrolled in UHIP.  You’ll receive an email with further information and your UHIP Card.

I am leaving the country. Will UHIP cover fees for COVID-19 testing and treatment outside Canada?

UHIP covers very minimal costs out of country and you will likely not be covered under UHIP if you are not in Canada. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you purchase a travel plan for the duration of your stay in the other country. Your extended health and dental plan most likely has a travel component. You may check with them to see if that is sufficient or purchase a private travel plan for additional coverage. For more information regarding your extended health plan, please visit: http://www.yfs.ca/health-dental-plan (if you are an undergrad student) or http://yugsa.ca/services/health-plan/ (if you are grad student).

I graduated in June 2020 and my UHIP expired on August 31, 2020. Can I extend my UHIP?

You can extend your UHIP for two more months after August (Sept and Oct) if your convocation was in June 2020. You will need to fill out an application form and make a payment via debit or credit. You may send a completed and signed copy of the UHIP application form to uhip@yorku.ca.

Once application form is received, you will be sent an instruction sheet for the payment within about two weeks.

Please note that after October, you will need to look into a private health plan.

I will be graduating in October 2020 and my UHIP expired on August 31, 2020. Can I extend my UHIP?

You can extend your UHIP for six more months after August (Sept 2020 to Feb 2021) if your convocation will be in October 2020. You will need to fill out an application form and make a payment via debit or credit. You may send a completed and signed copy of the UHIP application form to uhip@yorku.ca.

Once application form is received, you will be sent an instruction sheet for the payment within about two weeks.

Please note that after February, you will need to look into a private health plan.


Academics & Financial Support

How will courses be offered in Fall 2020 and Winter 2021?

The York Courses website has been updated with course offerings for Fall/Winter 2020-2021. Fall and Winter term courses will be offered, for the most part, through online/remote delivery. To the extent possible and in accordance with expert guidance from our public health authorities, we may be able to offer selected in-person smaller classes and tutorials, experiential activities such as studio and labs, and re-establish access to our research facilities. When you are looking at a course in the York Courses website, assume that it is being offered online and that you do not need to commute to campus unless you see a notation otherwise in the Notes section.

Please visit the York University's Response to COVID-19 page for more updates regarding the fall and winter academic terms.

I heard there is a new International student award to help with my tuition fees. How does it work? Do I have to apply for it?

We’ve introduced three financial awards for international students in the 2020-21 academic year.  All international students enrolled in courses for Fall/Winter 2020 will receive one of these financial awards of $2,000.  With all international students receiving one of these awards based on academic achievement, York hopes to alleviate some of the financial pressures that many international students face, so you can focus your academic and personal success. 

You won’t need to apply for this award.  If you have enrolled in Fall courses, it will be automatically applied to your account near the end of the summer or early in the Fall term.  If you don't see the award on your account by early September, please contact Student Financial Services at rscheck@yorku.ca. 


Support

I feel alone, how can I connect with others?

York International is hosting daily Coffee Breaks where you can meet domestic and international students on Zoom. Every day there are different topics and themes, you can find out by visiting the York International Events Calendar for virtual events and workshops. Currently, public health officials are recommending we take social distancing measures. They recommend that everyone stay home when possible. You may want to connect with friends and family online or over the phone more frequently.

If you need support for mental health or would like to talk to a counsellor, Student Counselling and Development is available to support over the phone. Please call 416-736-5297.

You can also access a variety of supports online and over the phone:

  • Good2Talk: Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868
  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 416-863-0511
  • Burlington Distress Centre: 905-681-1488
  • Distress Centers of Greater Toronto: 416-408-HELP (4357)
  • Durham Crisis and Mental Health Line: 905-666-0483
  • Gerstein Centre Crisis Line: 416-929-5200
  • Oakville Distress Centre: 905-849-4541
    Scarborough Health Network Community Crisis Line: 416-495-2891
  • Spectra Distress Line: 905-459-7777
    York Community Crisis Response Services: 1-855-310-COPE (2673)
  • 24/7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin: 905-278-9036

How can I contact the Office of the University Registrar?

Contact email Questions

study@yorku.ca

Live Chat also available 10am-noon and 1-3pm at https://futurestudents.yorku.ca/contact-admissions

Prospective or new students
rscheck@yorku.ca Registrarial services, Student Financial Services

Yorknow@yorku.ca

This email is monitored M-F 8:30am-4:30pm

Anything to do with Student Records (enrolment, grades, program changes, immigration changes, reactivations, etc)

 

As an international student do I qualify for any benefits from the Government of Canada?

International students may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If you are living in Canada and lost your job due to COVID-19, see https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html for full details.

We encourage you to look for support through your home country as well.

I’m not receiving email updates from York. How can I fix this?

Make sure your contact information is up to date on your student account. Check that your email is correct as this will be one of the main ways we contact students.


Graduate Students

What information and support is available for graduate students?

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is committed to completing the term and will support faculty and graduate students through the transition related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the regular functions of the Faculty of Graduate Studies are fully operational. 

  1. Information about Grad Studies matters relevant to COVID-19 can be found on their page here.
  2. Information about how to book a wellness consultation available to graduate students can be found on the wellness page here.  The Wellness Consultation Service continues to be available to graduate students through phone and videoconferencing options.