Travelling to Canada: Restrictions and Self-Isolation Plan 

The current travel restrictions and quarantine requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic have required the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) to consider options for students to quarantine (self-isolate) for a minimum of 14 days on arrival in Canada.

This webpage outlines JIBC’s expectations and requirements for students to manage this quarantine period safely and smoothly. If you are making plans to come to Canada please let us know by emailing

JIBC’s priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff and the local community. JIBC is also obligated to follow the regulations and recommendations of various authorities, including the Government of Canada, and provincial and local public health authorities. Please note these guidelines are subject to change based on updated government regulations and recommendations.

Government of Canada - Laws and Regulations 

To be able to enter Canada as an international student after October 20, 2020, you must meet both of the following 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.
    • As a student at JIBC, you meet this requirement. JIBC is on the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 readiness plans.

Your travel to Canada must be deemed essential (non-discretionary) in order for you to enter Canada. As an international student, your travel to Canada will be considered essential (non-discretionary) if you have all of the required documents and your DLI is on the approved list. Your travel to Canada won't be considered essential (non-discretionary) if:

  • Your study program has been cancelled or suspended
  • You're entering Canada for any reason other than to study
COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Before Travelling

Effective January 7, 2021, all air passengers over the age of five are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. It's important to know that:

  • The COVID-19 test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test
  • The test must be taken within 72 hours before departure to Canada (Please note: All arrangements for testing must be made by the traveller, and any costs associated with testing are the responsibility of the traveller as well)
  • Documentation of the negative laboratory result must be presented to the airline before boarding a flight to Canada

Not sure where to get tested? The Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories page contains testing facilities information for some countries (scroll down to select a country, then click the "Health" tab for any information). You are also advised to contact your local health authority to find out where you can get a test. 

Upon Arrival

Starting February 21, 2021, at 11:59PM ET, travellers will be required to:

  • Reserve a government-authorized hotel for 3 nights prior to departure to Canada
  • Take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada
  • Stay in the government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken on arrival
  • Pay for the cost of the hotel stay, as well as all associated costs for:
    • Food
    • Security
    • Transportation
    • Infection prevention and control measures

Travellers will still be required to complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine after their mandatory hotel stopover.

At-home testing

Travellers will also be required to take another COVID-19 molecular test later during their 14-day quarantine. Travellers will be provided with a COVID-19 test kit and instructions before leaving the airport.

This PHAC Infographic will help you visualize and understand these new requirements.

When the border services officer greets you, they will look at several factors, including:

  • Your reason for travelling to Canada.
  • Proof of 3-day hotel stop over booking
  • Your ability to complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period after their mandatory hotel stopover
  • If you either
    • Have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or
    • Can study online during your quarantine.

For Government of Canada information for travellers arriving in Canada please visit Mandatory Quarantine - Government of Canada.  Additionally, on March 17, 2020, the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer issued a self-isolation order directing people returning to, or arriving in, B.C. from international destinations to self-isolate. For information about the B.C. Government order please visit Self-Isolation - BC Government. Both levels of government set out requirements for a quarantine plan (also called a self-isolation plan), including:

  • A place to stay
  • How you will:
    • Get to your destination
    • Get your groceries
    • Access essential services and medical care

This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you do not have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Following your quarantine plan is your own responsibility. JIBC can only provide information to help you develop your plan, and direct you to assistance if you have questions.
The penalties for not following your quarantine plan once you are in the country can include:

  • A fine of up to $750,000
  • Six months of jail time
  • Being found inadmissible, removed from Canada and banned from entering for one year

Stay up-to-date on current travel requirements, restrictions and immigration-related updates through the Canadian government.

The Public Health Agency of Canada distinguishes the need to quarantine (self-isolate) and isolate. We know terminology can be confusing, so we encourage you to review the following terms. 

Quarantine (self-isolate): Quarantining is necessary for 14 days if any of the following apply:

  • You are returning from travel outside of Canada or entering Canada from outside Canada (mandatory quarantine);
  • You had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19; or
  • You have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed to the virus and need to quarantine. 

Isolate: You must isolate if any of the following apply:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild
  • You have been in contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19
  • You have been told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or
  • You have returned from travel outside Canada with symptoms of COVID-19 (mandatory)

Canadian government Information about terms and definitions can be found here.

These guidelines and planning resources assume that students will meet the requirements of quarantine (self-isolation).

International Student Checklist

  • Find out if you are allowed to travel to Canada
  • Send an email to JIBC International to tell us you are planning to travel to Canada.
  • Submit your quarantine plan to the Government of Canada. 
    • Download the ArriveCAN app (iOS, Android, or web format). Use this mobile app to speed up your arrival process in Canada and spend less time with border and public health officers. Submit your information easily and securely via the app within a 48-hour window before arriving in Canada. The app helps you to:
      • provide mandatory information that is required for entry into Canada
      • avoid lineups and reduce points of contact at the border
      • provide updates on your quarantine compliance and the development of any symptoms during the 14 days after arriving in Canada
  • Submit your BC Self-Isolation Plan to the Government of Canada.  
  • Submit the PDF copy of your BC Self-Isolation Plan to JIBC International.
  • Have documentation of a negative COVID-19 laboratory result taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada to be presented to the airline before boarding a flight to Canada.
  • Quarantine at a Hotel While Awaiting COVID-19 Testing Results
    • If you are arriving on or after February 22, 2021, you will be required to quarantine at a Government of Canada approved hotel for up to 3 nights while awaiting results from the COVID-19 test you took upon arrival in Canada. Reserve a government-authorized hotel for 3 nights prior to departure to Canada. Book your hotel here
    • Be aware that all costs associated with both testing and hotel (up to $2000 CAD or more) are your responsibility. 
  • This PHAC Infographic will help you visualize and understand these new requirements
  • New students: You must be enrolled with temporary medical insurance. Once you have informed us about your arrival date, we will enroll you with and provide you with a confirmation. You must apply for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) as soon as you arrive in Canada.
  • Returning/current students: Make sure your Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage is active and valid.
  • Fill out the CBSA Voluntary Compliance Portal if you are eligible to do so.
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.
  • Read the latest guidelines on mandatory quarantine.
  • Make a plan for your physical and emotional health and wellness during the quarantine period which needs to include checking in with your international advisor twice a week (more if needed).  You can book virtual appointments with our advisors through our online booking system.
  • Confirm your quarantine location has access to phone and/or internet so you can stay in touch with family, friends, JIBC International and public health authorities if needed.
  • Have a credit card that will work in Canada. You will need a credit card that works in Canada to order food and groceries online.
  • Ensure that you have secured medical insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in Canada prior to the start of classes. 
  • Ensure that you can meet the technology requirements for online delivery of JIBC classes (tablet/computer with internet connection) once you are in Canada. Classes and services might continue to be online for the entire duration of the semester.
  • In addition to regular packing requirements, you should plan to bring
    • Numerous face masks including disposable and reusable cloth face masks
    • A box of plastic disposable gloves
    • Travel-size hand sanitizer
    • Sanitizing wipes, and
    • A thermometer
  • Be sure to have some of these items in your carry-on luggage to access during travel.
  • Be sure you have the following documents available when you arrive at the port of entry. Make sure you pack them in your carry-on luggage. You will be required to present these to the Canada Border Services agents when you go through customs and immigration:
    • Passport
    • Study permit or letter of confirmation from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada
    • Letter of acceptance from JIBC
    • Copy of your BC Self-Isolation Plan, PDF Version
    • Have the ArriveCAN app installed on your phone
    • Proof of medical coverage by or MSP
    • Quarantine site information including the address and contact information
    • Contact number for the transportation company
    • JIBC International contact information (1.604.528.5636)

You will be required to declare on your quarantine plan how you will be travelling from the YVR Vancouver International Airport to your quarantine destination

  • You must travel straight to your Metro Vancouver home from the airport by personal car, taxi or ridesharing.  Do not take public transportation, such as buses or the metro system, upon your arrival. You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling to the place you will quarantine (self-isolate). Please ensure that your mode of transportation from the airport to your home is as safe as possible. 
    • Taxis are available at taxi stands located at the international arrival areas at the Vancouver International Airport. You can find a list of taxi companies available on YVR Taxis.
    • Rideshare options: Uber and Lyft are available in Vancouver
    • Meet and Greet companies: Beaton or Language Limousine.
  • Send an email to JIBC once you are settled to let us know you have arrived safely and are at your quarantine location.

Follow the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act carefully. This means that you must stay in your own room for 14 days and avoid contact with others. 

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Stay connected with your JIBC International advisors
  • Stay connected with family and friends
  • Arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you
  • Do not have visitors
  • Stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air
  • Keep a distance of at least two arms lengths (approximately two metres) from others
  • Monitor your physical and mental well-being. If you are not feeling well, use the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if you need further assessment or testing.
  • The Office of International Affairs will check-in with you over the phone twice a week for 14 days to monitor your health situation. It is your responsibility to answer the calls or call us back as soon as possible in case you miss it. Make sure to provide a Canadian phone number to JIBC International.
  • If you are not feeling well, consider using the mobileDOCTOR service provided by You will be able to book an appointment with a Canadian doctor on Maple, a telemedicine company, as a part of your health benefits. Maple provides access to doctors, Canada-wide, on your phone, tablet or computer anytime, anywhere. Seeing a doctor on Maple is safe and reliable, and can help prevent the need to go to a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room.
  • If you need immediate medical attention call 9-1-1 for an ambulance.

If you develop symptoms within 14 days:

  • Isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and
    • Describe your symptoms and travel history
    • Follow their instructions carefully
  • Extend your quarantine to 14 days following the appearance of symptoms

Continue to be mindful of the public health directives and continue to practice proper hygiene, physical distancing rules and social gathering limits. 

JIBC is here for you! If you have any questions during your preparations please do not hesitate to contact us.

Resources to support you in your quarantine planning

Starting February 21, 2021, at 11:59PM ET, travellers will be required to:

  • Reserve a government-authorized hotel for 3 nights prior to departure to Canada
  • Stay in the government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken on arrival
  • Pay for the cost of the hotel stay.

Travellers will still be required to complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine after their mandatory hotel stopover.

The list below includes options for accommodations to consider for the remainder of your quarantine plan. Rates and availability are subject to change, plan smart and ahead and contact these options with time in advance. 

Hotels near Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Richmond Conference Centre
Three hotels on one property: Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Marriott Vancouver Airport and Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel

Address: 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC, V6X 1A3 

Rates: Standard Room at all 3 properties: CAD $100 per room per night, plus 17.16% tax. 

Add breakfast for $12.50 per day, lunch for $14.50 per day and dinner for $25 per day, plus 5% tax and 15% service charge. 

Features: Price includes complimentary high-speed internet access, complimentary airport shuttle,  complimentary parking and 25% discount on laundry. Rooms feature in-room safe, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. Microwave available upon request 
*48-hour cancellation policy in effect. Minimum 14-night stay

For Reservations:
Hilton Vancouver Airport Suites: call +1 (604) 273-6336 
Marriott Vancouver Airport: Call +1 (604) 276-2112 
Sheraton Vancouver Airport: Call +1 (604) 273-7878 
You can also email and quote “Languages Canada”


Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport 
Address: 7311 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC, V6X 1A3 

Rates: Courtyard Junior Suite: $89 per room per night, plus 17.16% tax. 

*Upgrade to One-Bedroom Suite for $30 more per night, plus tax. Add breakfast, lunch and dinner for $39 per day, plus 5% tax and 15% service charge. 

Features: Price includes complimentary local calls, complimentary parking, complimentary high-speed internet access, complimentary airport shuttle. Junior Suites feature separate living room area, in-room safe, microwave, mini-fridge and in-room coffee maker. 

*24-hour cancellation policy in effect. Minimum 14-night stay. Guests must be 18+ years to stay in a room on their own.

For Reservations: Call +1 (604) 278-5555 or email and quote “Languages Canada Self-Isolation Rates”

Sandman Vancouver Airport Hotel
Address: 3233 St Edwards Drive, Richmond, BC, V6X 3K4 

Rates: Standard Room: $55 per room per night plus 16% tax. 

Add breakfast for $10 per day, lunch for $15 per day or dinner for $20 per day, plus 12% tax and 15% service charge 

Features: Price includes complimentary high-speed internet access and complimentary airport shuttle. Rooms feature microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. 

*24-hour cancellation policy in effect. Minimum 14-night stay. Guests must be 18+ years to stay in a room on their own.

For Reservations: Call +1 (604) 303-8888 or email and quote Corporate Code “898537


Holiday Inn Burnaby
Address: 4405 Central Blvd., Burnaby, BC V5H 4M3

Rates: $99/night plus taxes.

Features: Microwave and mini-fridge in all rooms, large 42” LCD TV with streaming capability, hot continental breakfast included and proximity to Metropolis mall complex.

For reservations: Call 604.629.5173 or email


Accent Inn Burnaby
Address: 3777 Henning Dr., Burnaby, BC V5C 6N5

Rates: $85/night plus taxes

Features: All-suite hotel with kitchenette in most rooms, located near central Brentwood Mall area, continental breakfast included and in-house daily meal option.

For reservations: Call 604.297.2111 or email 

You will be required to declare on your quarantine plan how you plan to get food and necessities. These options are available for you to plan and declare it on your quarantine plan. 

Travellers to Canada who are in quarantine may not go out to purchase food and basic necessities. Students should arrange for someone to deliver groceries and basic necessities. 

Many grocery stores and pharmacies in Metro Vancouver offer online shopping and deliveries for a wide variety of food and healthcare products.

There are many options in Metro Vancouver for take-out restaurant meals and delivery services including the following: 


Since JIBC does not provide on-campus housing facilities, all students arriving from outside of the Metro Vancouver region will need to find a place to live. We are pleased to provide some suggestions to help you locate comfortable accommodation that best meets your needs.

Off-Campus Housing 101: Off-Campus Housing 101 provides a free website for students who are looking to find off-campus housing. Visit to check the current listings around JIBC or to find a roommate.

Global Education City (GEC): GEC provides fully furnished, safe, and comfortable accommodations to foreign and domestic students at affordable rates. 
Tel: +1.604.669.6686

Liane's Vancouver Homestay
Tel: +1.604.540.4434

First Choice International Placement Inc.
Tel: +1.604.984.0868

Homadorma: Homadorma collects and qualifies homestay hosts throughout Metro Vancouver.

Cypress Accommodations: Students looking for more independent options and who want to stay in downtown Vancouver can choose from the apartments, residences and hotels also offered by Cypress.
Tel: +1.604.568.5108 or +1.604.568.7190

Harmony Homestay: Harmony Homestay has a large database of homestay families to provide a variety of options when choosing a homestay family.
Tel: +1.778.232.1003

Disclaimer: The web links above are provided as a courtesy to students. JIBC does not verify the information in these listings and websites, nor are the listed properties subject to any form of inspection by the Institute. JIBC does not take responsibility for off-campus rental accommodation. The following organizations provide information and support to tenants in B.C.: 


Contact the Office of International Affairs
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