Travelling to Canada

International students at the University of Saskatchewan are permitted to travel to Canada if they possess the required documentation.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that Canadian universities (Designated Learning institutions or DLI)  approved by their province or territory will be able to reopen to international students who are currently outside Canada.

USask has been approved by the Government of Saskatchewan. All final decisions regarding a student's entry to Canada are made by the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA).

International students traveling to Canada are responsible for ensuring they meet the current travel exemptions , have the necessary documents for travel and entry to Canada and use ArriveCAN app to provide mandatory travel information on and after entering Canada.

When the border services officer greets you, they assess several factors including

  • your reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete quarantine as soon as you arrive at your final destination (if necessary)
  • if you either (if necessary)
    • have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or
    • can study online during your quarantine

You must possess the below listed and where applicable upload it to ArriveCAN 72 hours before your arrival to Canada:

  • Proof of double vaccination with Canadian government-approved vaccines
    • Starting January 15, 2022
  • a valid passport
  • a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
    • Americans do not require either a TRV or ETA
  • a valid study permit or a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit
    • Students studying in a program that is less than 6-months in duration should read below under "Studying in Canada for less than 6 months"
  • a valid letter of acceptance from the University of Saskatchewan 
  • a confirmation of enrolment from PAWS demonstrating course registration for current and future semesters
    • Please note that a Confirmation of Enrolment can only be generated once you have registered for courses in PAWS
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • quarantine plan (If necessary)
  • students are recommended to have emergency contact information while traveling

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.

All travellers, whether entering Canada by air or land, must use ArriveCAN. You’ll need to submit your information within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada.  

Whether you're entering Canada by air, land or marine, follow the Government of Canada information on what to submit in the ArriveCAN here.   

For more information on how to get the ArriveCAN app, go here 

For technical help, troubleshooting, common questions and how to enter information in the ArriveCAN, please see this extensive and detailed guide.   

In addition, students should consider downloading the COVID Alert app which provides updates on all possible COVID-19 exposures in Canada. 

If you’re fully vaccinated

If you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you may now enter Canada for study for 6 months or less with a valid travel document (temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization [eTA]). However, there are advantages to getting a study permit for study for 6 months or less, including facilitating re-entry to Canada if you travel during your studies, working on or off campus during your studies, or applying for the Saskatchewan Health Card.

A border services officer will make the final decision about whether you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

If you required a medical exam as a part of your study permit application or went back to a designated country for 6 months or more, you will need to have valid medical exam records when attempting to return to Canada. Medical exam results may expire after a specificed period of time.

Students should contact their responsible visa office via Webform to find out how to proceed to have valid results.

All international students starting their studies in Canada should obtain permanent housing before travelling to Canada.

Please visit the Residence Services office's website for more detailed information about on-campus housing, and read the COVID-19 FAQ page about Residence's services during the pandemic. Please contact the Residence Services Office at residence@usask.ca if you have questions.

USask has an extensive guide to off-campus housing as well.

Options for temporary housing near the USask campus can be found online under “temporary accommodation.”

Submit arrival information & taxi request

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all incoming international students planning to travel to Canada must confirm your exact travel date, your flight details as well as your intended location for quarantine (if necessary) with the University of Saskatchewan. This information is required so that USask can provide necessary support to students upon arrival and during quarantine.

New students and those requiring to quarantine may be eligibile for free taxi transportation from the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker Airport. Please read and submit your information below.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask), offers free taxi transportation to
  • new international degree-seeking students,
  • new international students registered in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program,
  • new international students on an exchange program
  • International students who are required to quarantine.
Returning students not required to quarantine, and visiting research students are NOT eligible for the taxi service.

The free taxi transportation is from the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (Saskatoon Airport) to a location in Saskatoon

Submit your arrival information and apply for a taxi ride

A USask NSID is required to acces the form.

All students who submit information through this form will receive a separate confirmation email within 1-2 business days. There will NOT be an auto-response email upon submission. 

All taxi requests will be processed within 3-4 business days. Questions regarding your taxi request should be sent to peer.support@usask.ca.

All questions regarding Canadian travel and quarantine regulations should be sent to international.students@usask.ca.

COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for travellers

Starting January 15, 2022, only travelers who are fully vaccinated with Canadian-approved vaccines will be able to board international flights traveling to Canada. International students will not be exempt from this regulation.

To learn more about vaccinations and arrival testing, please visit IRCC.

Exceptions are allowed for students age of 17 and younger. Please read below.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated youth 12 to 17 years of age can still travel to Canada, but must complete the 14-day quarantine, and all testing requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day-8 tests, even when they are accompanied by travellers who qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

Follow the checklist of testing and quarantine requirements

ArriveCAN: If your submission includes travellers who are not exempt from the requirement to quarantine (for example, unvaccinated 12 to 17 year-olds or unvaccinated dependent adults), you will receive ArriveCAN notifications and will be asked to complete daily reporting for the unvaccinated travellers.

Quarantine plans and locations

If you didn’t qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, or you are an unvaccinated foreign national who is eligible to enter Canada in specific situations, you must quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers who meet the criteria as a fully-vaccinated traveler are not required to quarantine.

It is the responsibility of each traveler to draft their own quarantine plan to their travel to Canada. The plan must be uploaded through the ArriveCAN app. We encourage students to keep a paper or digital copy available as well. 

Failure to develop your own quarantine plan will result in completion of your quarantine in a government facility. 

Each quarantine plan must demonstrate you can quarantine when you arrive in Canada. Information to include: 

  • a place to stay
  • detailed information regarding how you will:
    • get to your destination
    • get your groceries/food while in quarantine
    • access essential services and medical care 

For detailed information on how to successfully prepare your own quarantine plan, visit the Government of Canada website. The Government of Canada also has this helpful Quarantine Assessment Tool. 

The penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you're in the country can include 

  • a fine of up to $750,000 
  • 6 months of jail time 
  • being found inadmissible, removed from Canada and banned from entering for 1 year 

If the student develops symptoms during their flight to Canada, they must tell a CBSA officer when they arrive in Canada. If they fail to do so they may face consequences under the Quarantine Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. 

If they do not have symptoms but believe they were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, under the Quarantine Act, they must report this to a CBSA officer when they get to Canada. The CBSA officer will give them instructions to follow. 

Please read below to learn about USask supported quarantine options. International students are strongly advised to arrange their quarantine through the university. 

Self-funded quarantine options are available through the University of Saskatchewan for international students arriving to Canada. 

Please note that the below options are self-funded and all applications and arrangements must be made before students begin their travel to Canada/Saskatoon. 

*Note: All students must prepare their own quarantine plan, even if you conduct your quarantine through USask option. Any booking confirmations received could be used as a supplementary evidence to your personally-prepared quarantine plan. 

1) Park Town Hotel 

Location: 924 Spadina Cres E, S7K 3H5

The Park Town Hotel is a full-service hotel located in downtown Saskatoon along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The hotel is about 1.9 miles (15 to 20-minute walk) from the University of Saskatchewan. 

For information on room rates, available amenities, etc., please see the attached Park Town information sheet

Please note that all payments can be made either at time of reservation (booking) or upon arrival at the Park Town hotel. Acceptable payment methods are credit card and cash. 

All questions can be directed to heather@parktownhotel.com.

Instructions: 

To request for off-campus quarantine, email heather@parktownhotel.com. When making your reservation, indicate that you are a University of Saskatchewan student. 


2) Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre 

Location: 2002 Airport Dr, S7L 6M4

The Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre is located near the Saskatoon Airport. A 1 King or 2 Queen room is available to book. To learn about the rates and other information, please view their  information sheet. 

Instructions: 

The  information sheet also contains a booking form that can be submitted via email to alexf@saskatooninn.com 


3) Staybridge Suites

Location: 1838 College Dr, S1N 2Z8

Our Staybridge Suites Saskatoon University has designated rooms for international students that have been directed to self isolate after arriving to Saskatoon. Staybridge Suites Saskatoon – University
King Studio Suite.

Instructions: 

International Students can book online using the preferred booking link. For online bookings students must have a credit card to confirm the reservation. If students do not have a credit card, the student will have to contact our Hotel Sales Department and ask for Anahi Soria at: salescq@prhotels.ca or Phone: 306.954.1250 ext.2004 to secure the room.

Please use the information sheet to learn more about the booking procedure.

We encourage all students to consider using USask quarantine arrangements listed above. If you choose to arrange for your own quarantine, please keep in mind that incoming travelers will be asked to show proof of their quarantine plan at the port of entry. Students who make their own arrangements for where to quarantine are advised to inform ISSAC at international.students@usask.ca or +1-306-966-4573 so that ISSAC can offer them the necessary supports. 

Students arranging an independently organized quarantine are responsible for ensuring that their quarantine plan satisfies the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) upon entry to Canada. Failure to comply could result in denial of entry to Canada. Please review the "Mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival" tab above this section. 

Regardless of where you choose to quarantine, the International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) cannot confirm, review or edit your quarantine plan. If you have questions about your quarantine plan, you can contact CBSA directly. 

If you have any concerns about your health or possible exposure to COVID-19 call the Healthline at 811. 

If you are sick, it is imperative that you stay home and do not spread your illness. Even if it is not COVID-19, please stay home and monitor your symptoms. It is mandatory that you should be symptom-free for 48 hours prior to returning to campus/work. 

If you meet the criteria for testing: 

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic can cause us stress and anxiety. 

Coping with loneliness that self-isolation can cause or fear about the health of loved ones can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. It's OK to reach out and ask for help in these trying times. Here are some mental health resources to help during this difficult time. 

If you are a University of Saskatchewan student in crisis or distress, or if you just need to talk with someone, please call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca and we will connect you with a member of the Student Affairs and Outreach team. 

Expect calls, emails and visits from the Government of Canada 

The Government of Canada uses the information you provided in ArriveCAN to verify that you: 

  • arrived at your place of quarantine 
  • are providing daily symptom reports 

You will receive live or automated calls. You must answer calls from 1-888-336-7735 and answer all questions truthfully to demonstrate your compliance with the law. 

You will receive email reminders of your quarantine requirements. 

Visits from screening officers 

You may also receive in-person visits from a screening officer at your place of quarantine. 

Designated screening officers are contracted and trained to conduct on-site visits on behalf of the Government of Canada. 

To protect your health and safety, screening officers wear personal protective equipment and will practice physical distancing. 

Screening officers will: 

  • ask to speak to you by name 
  • show their company identification 
  • show their authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which may be signed by hand or electronically 
  • ask you for Government-issued identification, such as passport or driver’s license, to confirm your identity 
  • ask questions to verify you are following the quarantine requirements 

Screening officers will not: 

  • ask to enter your home 
  • copy or retain your identification 
  • issue fines 
  • request or accept payment of any kind, including cash, for outstanding fines 

 

Health coverage in Saskatchewan and Covid-19 vaccination information

All students should have adequate health coverage for their time in Canada. In-Canada students may be eligible to apply for the Saskatchewan Health Card to access the Saskatchewan public health care system. Learn more here.

Any questions regarding health coverage can be directed to ISSAC at international.students@usask.ca.

 

Eligiblity:

The Government of Saskatchewan has recently issued information about the Covid-19 vaccination eligibility for international students. Please review the attached document and visit www.saskatchewan.ca for further details.

COVID -19 Vaccination Information for International Students

 

Vaccinations available at USask Student Wellness

University of Saskatchewan students can book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (first or second dose) at the Student Wellness Centre. Due to high demand, book your appointment well in advance by phoning +1-306-966-5768 or emailing student.wellness@usask.ca. Vaccines at this location are only available to those 18 years old and older. The second dose of the vaccine should be administered at least 28 days after receiving the first dose. 

If you arrive in Saskatoon from outside of the country, you must complete your 14-day quarantine before coming to campus to receive the vaccine. You do not need a Saskatchewan Health Card to be vaccinated and there is no cost associated with receiving a vaccine.

Post-graduate work permit eligibility

Whether you're studying in Canada or online from back home, all international students should be aware how COVID-19 may be impacting their post-graduate work permit eligibility.

Distance learning from outside of Canada

You can complete up to 100% of your studies online from outside Canada between spring 2020 and August 31, 2022, because of a temporary COVID-19 policy. This policy is in place until August 31, 2022.

You’re eligible for this temporary policy if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You’re enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program.
  • You were outside Canada and unable to travel to Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic but were still able to take online courses.
  • You began a program in any semester from spring 2020 to summer 2022, or your program was already in progress in March 2020.
  • You have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or you have applied for a study permit for which you are eventually approved prior to starting your program.
  • You meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria.

If you’re inside Canada

If your courses were moved online due to the pandemic, the time you spend studying online from within Canada still counts toward the length of your PGWP. However, it’s highly recommended that you attend in-class options when offered.

There is no specific end date to the temporary policy changes for in-Canada students.

Students in or outside of Canada may have been required to put their studies on hold or become part-time students due to course cancellations as a result of public health measures at DLIs. For the winter, spring and summer 2020 semesters only, when a student’s status changed from full time to part time due to changes in course delivery at a DLI, their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit will not be impacted.

Graduates in Canada

Students graduating in Canada or who apply at the port of entry are still required to apply for the PGWP within 180 days of holding a valid study permit, and within 180 days of receiving written notification of program completion from their DLI.

Graduates outside of Canada

Students who graduate from outside of Canada and meet the eligibility requirements of the temporary PGWP policy changes described above do not need to hold or have held a valid study permit within 180 days of applying for the PGWP. In order to be eligible to apply, these graduates must either have a study permit or have received a study permit approval, and they must still apply within 180 days of receiving written notification of program completion from their DLI.

Due to school closures, many international students may be unable to obtain a letter of completion or final transcript from their DLI. As a temporary facilitation measure, applicants who apply for a PGWP will be allowed to submit an application without their letter of completion or final transcript. When IRCC processes the application, the documents will be requested by the processing officer as per the procedures for Requests for additional documents on open applications.

Applicants who need to restore their status will also be eligible to apply without their letter of completion or final transcript.

Eligible students who graduate from more than one eligible program of study may be able to both

  • complete 100% of both programs from outside of Canada (if both programs were either in progress in March 2020 or began between spring 2020 and fall 2021)
  • combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future

Each program needs to be a minimum of 8 months in duration, and the programs need to be completed from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI) within 2 years as per current instructions on determining the length of the post-graduation work permit.

Co-op work permits

Co-op work placements during COVID-19

Students who are outside of Canada can work while their study permit and co-op work permit are being processed. If their school and employer agree, they can either

  • accept a Canadian work placement and begin working remotely from their home country
  • work for a company in their home country

Note: There are issues with the IRCC application portal that make it impossible to create a co-op work permit application from outside of Canada if you already have a study permit. There is currently no work around for this glitch. Please contact ISSAC for further assistance at international.students@usask.ca.

Students who are already in Canada, and have applied for a co-op work permit, may begin their co-op placement using their on-campus and off-campus work authorization, provided they meet all the eligibility requirements.

Students may work full-time on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student per [R186(f)]. For off-campus work authorization per [R186(v)], students can work a total of 20 hours per week during an academic term/semester, including both the hours for co-op and the hours for their regular paid job (if they have one). They can work full-time during scheduled breaks in the school year.

Learn more online from IRCC.

Extending your stay in Canada

If you want to stay in Canada longer you must apply to legally extend your status in Canada before the expiry date. You must apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If you're a student, you have 3 options:

  • you may be able to extend your study permit, if you want to continue studying
  • you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), if you completed your study program
  • you can apply to change your status to visitor, if you're not studying or applying for a PGWP

You must submit an application for 1 of these options before your study permit expires, or you may need to leave Canada.

If it's been more than 90 days since your status expired you have until August 31, 2021, to apply to restore your status if

  • you had valid status on or after January 30, 2020, and your status expired on or before May 31, 2021
  • you're still in Canada

This applies even if it’s been more than 90 days since your status expired.

To learn more please visit the IRCC page on Restoration of Status.

You can apply online for a study permit if you're already in Canada as a visitor.

When you apply, you must follow the instructions for applying from outside of Canada. IRCC will process your application in the same amount of time as though you'd applied from your home country, outside of Canada.

If IRCC approves your application and sends you a port of entry letter of introduction, you need to contact IRCC to have your study permit sent to you in Canada.

You can't start studying until you receive your study permit.

International Student and Study Abroad Centre

The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) is closed but offering remote services. Visit the ISSAC page for more information.

International student guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at the University of Saskatchewan including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.