Travelling to Canada: Restrictions and Self-Isolation Plan 

This webpage outlines JIBC’s expectations and requirements for students to manage their transition to Canada 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.


Before Travelling

  1. 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. 


September 22, 2021: Flights from India

The Government of Canada has suspended direct flights from India until September 26, 2021.

After the restriction on direct flights expires, passengers eligible to enter Canada and travelling on those flights will need to:

  • Obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Perform this test within 18 hours before their scheduled departure
  • present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding

Read more on Official Global Travel Advisories.

October 6, 2021: Changes to Proof of Vaccination to travel within Canada Effective October 30th, 2021

The Government of Canada has announced that travelers will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board domestic flights, international flights departing from a Canadian airport and Via Rail. This may impact your ability to travel to British Columbia if not taking a direct flight.

November 19, 2021: Government of Canada announces adjustments to Canada’s border measures

Effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travelers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing.

Also, as of January 15, 2022, international students will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. 

Exempt unvaccinated travelers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.

November 30, 2021 - Government of Canada introduces additional measures to address COVID-19 Omicron variant of concern

Effective December 1st, foreign nationals who have been in any of these countries within the previous 14 days will not be permitted entry into Canada: Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

In the coming days, all fully vaccinated travelers arriving by air from departure points other than the United States will be subject to arrival testing. Fully vaccinated travelers will be required to quarantine while they await the results of their arrival test.

Read more in the Government of Canada News Release.

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. 
  • 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. 

  • 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

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