COVID-19 Information for Incoming International Students

Last updated: June 3, 2022 at 4:16pm

If you have been offered admission to a uLethbridge program, we understand that you may have questions. Please review these FAQs for answers to the most common questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please let us know.

For general information for the uLethbridge community, please review the uLethbridge COVID-19 Response page.

If you are a current international student, you'll find more answers here: COVID-19 Information for International Students


Upcoming Webinars and Drop-in Sessions

Drop-in Session

9 - 10 a.m. MT | Every Wednesday starting March 2

If you are planning to begin your studies in an upcoming term, join this weekly drop-in session to have your questions answered by the International Student Advisors.

Applying for a Study Permit

Yes, we recommend that you apply online for your study permit as soon as possible. There are still backlogs caused by the global pandemic, and IRCC is currently unable to provide accurate processing times. The global processing time is 12 weeks for a study permit, however, we are experiencing times closer to 16 weeks.

There may also be delays in your ability to provide biometrics or send/receive your passport to Visa Application Centres because of delays and backlogs due to COVID-19.

You may also experience delays due to the availability of an IRCC panel physician to conduct your medical exam, if required. 

You can submit your application for a study permit prior to completing a medical exam. Please note, you are required to provide biometrics after you submit your study permit application online. 

If you have any questions regarding the study permit application process, please contact us.

If you have a valid Letter of Acceptance from uLethbridge, you should apply for your study permit immediately.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is recommending that you apply as soon as possible for your study permit, even if you are not able to provide all required and/or recommended documents.

If your offer of admission is for Fall 2022 but will be unable to arrive to begin in September, you may be able to defer your admission to the Spring 2023 semester (if possible). If you have questions or concerns regarding your ability to arrive for Fall 2022, please contact us.

All students (except U.S. citizens) who apply for a study permit are required to provide biometrics (i.e. fingerprints and photo). Usually, this is done at a Visa Application Centre abroad. Please be prepared for delays or longer than usual wait times for appointments due to the backlog still remaining from the pandemic.

 

 

 

University of Lethbridge students will need to be present in-person in Lethbridge or Calgary for Fall 2022 semester. Unless there are changes to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and/or advice given from our public health authority, Fall 2022 is being offered in-person. This means that if you do not receive your study permit in time to make travel plans and/or complete a quarantine (if necessary at that time) by the  add/drop deadline for your first term of study,  you may want to consider a deferral of your studies to the next available term. Please contact us for more information.

We do not recommend beginning your program from outside Canada prior to receiving final approval of your study permit application. If you have not received a positive response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) by the add/drop deadline for your first term of study, you will want to consider a deferral of your admission to the next possible intake.

A reminder that IRCC has permitted online studies from outside Canada (without risk to Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility) until August 2022. We do ask that our students plan to be in Lethbridge for the start of classes in September 2022.

If you have recently completed another post-secondary program in Canada, please make sure to apply to extend your stay in Canada as a student within 90 days of completing your previous program or prior to expiry of your current permit (if it is sooner).  This applies to students completing high school as well.  Please reach out to us for advice on the application to extend your stay in Canada as a student.

If you are transferring to uLethbridge, but haven’t completed a program at another institution, you must notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the change in your institution.  You can find instructions here

If you haven’t already done so, please send a copy of your current study permit (and if applicable, proof of your application to extend) to us for our records at international.new@uleth.caIt is important that you register for your first term classes when registration opens. For the Fall 2022 semester, registration is open for all students.

Travelling to Canada

As an international student, you are permitted to travel if:

  • You are fully vaccinated
  • Your Designated Learning Institution has a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the provincial authority (you can find uLethbridge here)
  • Your study permit is valid, or your application to study in Canada has been approved, and you have a valid Letter of Introduction indicating that approval, along with the required entry document (TRV or eTA). U.S. citizens do not require an entry document.

Additional Requirements and Documentation for Travellers:

  • Completing a quarantine plan and providing this information in the ArriveCan app
  • Proof of vaccination
  • A Verification of Enrollment from the Bridge showing your registration at uLethbridge, for the current or upcoming term, as applicable
  • valid medical exam (Please note: medical exams are valid for twelve months from the date of the medical assessment. If your medical exam has expired, please undergo a new medical exam prior to your travel. If you have any questions regarding medical exam validity, you may contact our office for assistance. When emailing our office, please include your student ID#, copy of your medical exam assessment receipt and your question.) 
  • Proof of finances, demonstrating that you have sufficient resources to support yourself and any family members accompanying you to Canada
  • ArriveCan app receipt confirming submission of your travel and quarantine plan information. You can show this receipt on your phone or bring a printout. 

We only recommend booking your flight if you meet the requirements to be able to travel to Canada (see above). If you have not received final approval of your study permit application, you should not book flights.

We ask that you please contact our office so we can review your quarantine plan/proof of vaccination and provide a support letter before you make plans to travel to Canada.

We would advise that you do not travel more than 4-6 weeks prior to the start of your classes in Fall 2022 term as there is a possibility that a Border Services officer may not allow you entry into Canada if you are travelling months prior to the start of your classes.

 

 

As of January 15, all travellers to and within Canada are required to be fully vaccinated

Travellers may be selected at random for a PCR test at the port-of-entry. As of February 28, 2022, isolation while waiting for a test result is no longer necessary and isolation/quarantine is only necessary if symptoms develop during your travels or after arrival.

More information regarding testing upon arrival can be found here

For more information, please visit our Quarantine Requirements page.

COVID-19 testing is no longer required for travel.

Additional details can be found on the Government of Canada website.

 

  • Your valid study permit or letter of introduction from IRCC indicating approval your study permit application
  • Your valid passport that you used to apply for your study permit (and temporary resident visa, if applicable)
  • Your quarantine plan
  • Your Letter of Acceptance to uLethbridge 
  • A Verification of Enrolment from the Bridge showing your registration at uLethbridge, for the current or upcoming term, as applicable
  • valid medical exam (Please note: medical exams are valid for twelve months from the date of the medical assessment). If your medical exam has expired, please undergo a new medical exam prior to your travel. If you have any questions regarding medical exam validity, you may contact our office for assistance. When emailing our office, please include your student ID#, copy of your medical exam assessment receipt and your question.)
  • Proof of finances, demonstrating that you have sufficient resources to support yourself and any family members accompanying you to Canada
  • Proof of vaccinations (if applicable), in English or a certified translation
  • ArriveCan app receipt confirming submission of your travel and quarantine plan information. You can show this receipt on your phone or bring a printout. 

If you do not have a valid study permit or final approval of your application for a study permit, you cannot travel to Canada at this time. 

Please note the Canada Border Services Agency officer makes the final decision on who is permitted to enter Canada.

  • They may be able to travel as long as they have the necessary travel requirements: either a TRV or eTA
  • They may be able to travel to Canada to join you if you are already here, but may need to have authorization from IRCC.
  • They should not travel to Canada before you do.

In all cases, your accompanying family members will need to have their applications to come to Canada (either as a worker, student or visitor) approved by IRCC before they travel.

See here for additional details. Contact your International Student Advisors if you have any questions.

Once you have determined that you are eligible to travel to Canada, you should consider your arrival date.

You should plan to arrive anytime between two to four weeks prior to the start of your classes as this will allow for sufficient time to take care of essential settlement tasks such as finding a place to live, opening a bank account, registering for Alberta Health Care, etc. 

Remember that all travellers to Canada are required to be fully vaccinated. If you do not meet the vaccination requirements but hope to travel to Canada, please contact an International Student Advisor. 

A travel support letter is not required for your entry to Canada, but it may help you assure the Canadian Border Officer that the reason for your travel to Canada is essential and that you have a detailed quarantine plan that has been approved by our office.

To receive a letter of support for your travel, you must submit your quarantine plan to the International Centre for review. Once approved, you will receive further instructions and a Letter of Support for your travel.

Travellers may be tested at random upon arrival to Canada at the port-of-entry.

Should you arrive with symptoms or develop symptoms after arrival, an isolation period of 10 days will be required. This is why we still require a quarantine plan (and why it is still necessary for upload to the ArriveCan app as well) - in the event that you get sick and need to isolate upon arrival in Canada.

More information regarding testing upon arrival can be found here. 

Campus Questions

Yes!  You’ll find lots of valuable information and the online application at the Housing Services website.  On-campus housing is in-demand and we recommend applying as soon as possible. 

If you would like to live off-campus, please review the information on International Student Guide here. 

The University’s vaccine mandate for students and employees accessing campus is no longer in effect. Vaccination will not be a requirement for registration in the Summer or Fall 2022 semesters. Both the Lethbridge (main) and Calgary campuses are mask-friendly but masking is also no longer required.

 

What to Expect

uLethbridge intends to be fully in-person for Fall 2022. Registration is now open and we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Registration is done via the Bridge. We encourage you to begin familiarizing yourself with the registration process. View the recording of our Registration Support Webinar for support with the registration process!  

According to IRCC, studying outside Canada online is permitted until August 31, 2022. After this date, studying online from outside Canada may not be included in the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. 

Since uLethbridge will be offering in-person classes for Fall 2022, we do not recommend planning to begin from outside Canada for the Fall 2022 semester.

For detailed information, please visit this page.

New Student Orientation (NSO) for Fall 2022 will be held over September 5 and 6. The first day of classes is September 7. More details about NSO will be posted here once those details are finalized. 

You may choose to register as a part-time student. However, we recommend always registering as a full-time student (at least 9.0 credit hours, usually 3 classes for undergraduate students) in every Fall and Spring term, beginning with your first term.  In order to be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit, you must be a full-time student for the duration of your program (with the exception of scheduled breaks such as Summer or final term of study). This is true even for online classes or classes taken outside of Canada.

Most graduate students are considered full-time students in every Fall, Spring and Summer terms as long as they are registered.

If you are considering taking a part-time course load, please consult with an International Student Advisor to understand the implications of taking part-time studies on your work eligibility and Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility. 

Once you enter Canada and your study permit is issued, you will be eligible for a Social Insurance Number, provided your study permit indicates you are able to work in Canada.  SIN applications can be made online or in person at a Service Canada Centre

For detailed information on how to apply for a SIN, please review the information here

This QR code is required for you to access businesses across the province of Alberta. When entering a business establishment such as a restaurant, shopping mall, etc., please carry your QR code along with a government issued photo ID (your passport, drivers license or an Alberta ID).
 
How to download a vaccine record with QR code if you have received your COVID-19 vaccine outside Alberta or outside Canada?
 
STEP 1: Update your health records by submitting your digital out-of-country immunization records online at ahs.ca/vaccineregistry.
STEP 2: Your records will be reviewed and verified by Alberta Health Services (AHS)
STEP 3: Wait up to three weeks for your records to be verified by AHS.
STEP 4: Get your QR code proof of vaccination by visiting https://covidrecords.alberta.ca/home.
 
*If you don't have an Alberta Health Care number yet, please call 811 once you are in Alberta to request your QR code after your records are verified by AHS. 
 
Please visit the Alberta Vaccine Records FAQ page (Vaccinated outside Canada), where you can find more information about Alberta COVID-19 Vaccine Records.
 
If you require further assistance, please contact the Alberta Covid-19 Vaccine Records support team at 1-888-527-1224 or email covid19record@gov.ab.ca.

Admission

If you have questions regarding Admissions, contact:

The content of this FAQ has been prepared by a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA).

Important Links

Quarantine Requirements

All travellers to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival

Pre-Departure Information

Review general pre-departure information for when you are able to travel to Canada

International Student Guide

Learn about what to expect as a student at the University of Lethbridge

Want to speak with an International Student Advisor?

Book an appointment via Microsoft Teams to speak to an International Student Advisor for support with a variety of matters. We can help you with your study permit application, as well as provide assistance with non-immigration topics. 

If you have not yet applied for admission to the University of Lethbridge and have questions about admission requirements or the application process, book a virtual appointment with an International Recruitment Officer. International Student Advisors cannot provide support with admission related questions. 

Study Permit Application Support

Ask any questions about applying for your initial study permit.

Study Permit Refusal Consultation

Discuss your recent study permit refusal and get advice on how to improve you next application. 

New Student Check-in with an International Student Advisor

Meet with an International Student Advisor to introduce yourself, ask questions and receive great information and advice.