for international students

Dear International Students,

The following important information relates to COVID-19 and the mandatory requirements for international travel to Canada. Please read the entire information below and prepare yourself accordingly. Please ensure all mandatory requirements have been addressed BEFORE boarding your flight to Canada to prevent any issues upon arrival. 

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

COVID-19 is a viral infectious disease that can vary in severity, with some individuals having no, or very mild symptoms, others may develop respiratory symptoms, including pneumonia, and some may develop severe and life-threatening multi-system disease.

COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning it is circulating globally, and there is little to no population immunity to the disease. Most people who are infected with COVID-19 will have a mild illness and will recover on their own. Some people who have more severe cases of COVID-19 will require care from a health care provider or hospitalization.

COVID-19 may be diagnosed by a health care provider based on signs and symptoms, and/or confirmed through laboratory tests.

For more information about COVID-19 and its signs and symptoms, consult the Government of Canada’s website at

What you need to know BEFORE LEAVING your country:

Any international student with COVID-19 symptoms WILL NOT be allowed to board their flight to Canada. If symptoms occur upon arrival, a health assessment will be performed by a Public Health Agency of Canada Officer (PHAC) and the individual may not be allowed to enter Canada, or if necessary, the individual may be transported to a hospital for a medical examination. 

Among other requirements to be granted entry to Canada, the international student will be required to demonstrate to a Canada Border Services Officer, or PHAC Officer, that they have a suitable plan for quarantine in place; otherwise, they may be refused entry. 

Any international student who is found to be in violation of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period may be penalized under Canadian law. 

Currently, international students may enter Canada for the purposes of pursuing a program of post-secondary study, for which they have secured a study permit or approval, subject to conditions set out in the Quarantine Act, and Emergency Orders made under the Quarantine Act.

ALL TRAVELERS entering Canada, including international students, are required to undergo the following:

  • Necessary health checks – Self-Assessment Tool
  • MUST wear a non-medical mask or face-covering during travel, including to their place of quarantine
  • MUST quarantine (if asymptomatic) or isolate (if symptomatic) for a mandatory 14-day period upon arrival in Canada
  • Demonstrate that they have a plan in place to support their initial 14-day mandatory quarantine or isolation period in Canada

International students MUST enter Canada with a plan for quarantining for the mandatory 14-days prior to the first day of the program of study. 

International Students are REQUIRED to submit the following form: “SELF-QUARANTINE PLAN & STUDENT SCREENING” to HARRIS INSTITUTE PRIOR to arrival to Canada.

Preparing your accommodation:

Upon arrival in Canada, all international students will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, as per government regulations.

Harris Institute highly recommends that students use the CASA Toronto services for their 14 days self-isolation in Toronto. They offer two options, which you can review in the “self-isolation options” brochure below. 

The quarantine period is MANDATORY as per the existing Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act.

Failure to comply with this Order is an offense under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or to imprisonment of up to three years, or to both. Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.

In addition to the offenses under the Quarantine Act, international students and their dependents, as Temporary Residents or Foreign Nationals authorized entry, may face consequences under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, such as being deemed inadmissible and subject to a removal order, for any non-compliance with quarantine requirements under the Quarantine Act.

International students must be reminded that a student permit alone is not a travel authorization. IRCC will communicate to international students once travel authorization has been granted and remind them that this authorization may be canceled if the circumstances in their destined institution or province change.

Information about exiting your quarantine:

  • On or after day 14 of your quarantine period, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test. Visit the COVID-19 Testing in TORONTO
  • After taking the COVID-19 test, you must remain in quarantine until you get a negative test result unless public health advises otherwise.
  • You must then send your test result to Harris Institute, via email. If it is negative, you can exit your quarantine. If it is not negative you must await further direction from Toronto Public Health.
  • Read City of Toronto’s information on how to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Limit your close contacts (the people you can hug and touch without physical distancing) to only those people within your own household and maintain two meters (six feet) physical distancing from everyone else.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a non-medical mask, in all indoor public spaces such as businesses, organizations, or riding on public transit. Also, wear it when physical distancing is not possible. Make sure it fits. Learn how to wear it properly and follow the do’s and don’ts.
  • Read Ontario’s protocol for the prevention of COVID-19 and adhere to it at all times.
  • Make sure to stay safe and healthy by reviewing Ontario’s FAQ about COVID-19.

Monitor your health for signs of COVID-19

You must monitor your own health, both during and after your quarantine, and follow the recommendations. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or know or suspect that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you must follow the requirements of public health authorities including those set out at the following websites:

Physical and Mental Health supports

During COVID, mental health issues such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, self-image, relationships, stress or addiction can become magnified. Here are some links that may help:

More resources:

In addition, during their stay in Canada, international students must continue to comply with the federal, provincial, and territorial laws and regulations, as well as the guidelines established by local authorities and their respective institutions.

We look forward to hosting international students at HARRIS INSTITUTE, but also feel responsible towards the community at large, hence we request students to strictly follow these guidelines and adhere to the updated policies issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

You can download the PDF version of the information on this page HERE