Immigration and International Travel

For a comprehensive list of FAQs about immigration, health, travel, and financial support for international graduate students, please consult YU International.

E-mail Communication: International Students' Travel Restrictions Life (Nov. 2020) (.pdf)

Funding FAQs for International Graduate Students

To see a list of Frequently Asked Questions for currently enrolled domestic and international students who are temporarily outside of Canada, go here.

International Students

If you are able to arrive in Canada with the required documentation, then the terms of your offer letter funding remain as is. Both York International and your Graduate Program can assist you with getting settled and opening a bank account in Toronto to receive any degree-related employment and/or research assistant funding.

For a comprehensive list of FAQs about immigration, health, travel, and financial support for international graduate students, please consult YU International.

The Government of Canada has put in place emergency orders under the Quarantine Act. The Act applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. Travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine for 14 days and comply with all requirements of the quarantine measures.

Canadian Border

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international students would be exempt from travel restrictions and will be able to travel to Canada for their studies beginning October 20, 2020 if they meet all requirements and have all authorizations for travel.

York University is very pleased to let you know that our plan has been approved by provincial authorities and that we may now begin to welcome new international students to the York community. Teams of students, staff and instructors have been working to ensure that we provide you with a supportive University experience so that you can succeed in these times of constant change.

For the Winter 2021 term, the University is offering a full selection of academic programming using primarily online/remote learning, with select in-person instruction. Learn more here.

Travel Requirements and Authorizations

Before you make your travel plans, please ensure you are eligible to travel in your region/area and have read the information below.

  1. Travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine for 14 days and comply with all requirements of the quarantine measures under the Quarantine Act.
  2. You must have a valid study permit or study permit approval to travel to Canada. If you do not have a full study permit approval, you may not yet travel.
    There is no longer a date requirement for your study permit/approval for travel.Please check IRCC for eligibility to travel and your local Visa Application Centre. Your ability to travel will also be dependent on your local/regional/national requirements.
  3. You must not have any symptoms of COVID-19 in order to travel to Canada.

What You Need To Do

  • If you’ve been admitted to York U, please accept your offer of admission and follow the incoming student checklist.
  • Join the YU START Facebook Group for new students to connect with your peers. You’ll also be hearing directly from your Graduate Program with Orientation information.
  • Apply for residence if you have not yet done so. You don’t have to have an offer of admission to apply.
  • Read the Government of Canada’s quarantine requirements and information.
  • Read the info below about quarantine arrangements for York students travelling to Canada from international locations.
  • Tell us what your travel plans are (including if you do not plan to travel) via the International Student Travel to Canada form as soon as possible or by October 25.
  • If you plan on travelling before November 1, fill out the Quarantine Accommodation Form. Please complete and submit this form at least two weeks before you travel or as soon as possible.
  • Gather documents in preparation for your arrival to Toronto. We will send you a copy of your quarantine plan to present at the airport, along with a list of recommended and required documentation. If you need a letter of support for your entry to Canada, you can make this request on the Quarantine Accommodation Form as well.
  • Ensure you are eligible to travel to Canada under current Canadian travel restrictions.

Quarantine Plan/Accommodations

You must quarantine for 14 days upon your entry to Canada. You may choose to quarantine in a location of your choice that meets the specific guidelines required by the federal government for international students attending a Designated Learning Institution or you may choose the York-arranged quarantine accommodation.

If you choose to quarantine at a location of your choice:

  • You will be required to present your quarantine plan to Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) at your port of entry.
  • Your plan must meet federal guidelines.
  • You must file your plan details with York University.

If you choose to quarantine at York’s off-campus accommodations:

  • York has arranged quarantine accommodations for York students travelling to Canada from international locations at an off-campus hotel.
  • Quarantine accommodations will be in hotels near Pearson International Airport.
  • The University will cover the cost of the room as well as three basic meals for students each day.
    • If you are travelling with family members or dependents, an additional charge will apply for each person. This charge will be $35/day per person for meals.
    • If you are travelling with more than one adult staying in a room, we will book a suite for you. If you need an additional room, you will be responsible for the cost of the additional room.
  • For the duration of the 14-day quarantine, you must remain in your hotel room at all times.
  • Linens (bedsheets, towels) and toiletries will be dropped off to your room (contactless) on a regular basis.
  • A staff member from the University will check in with you throughout your quarantine and there will be Health and Wellness supports available to you virtually.
  • Transportation from the airport to the quarantine accommodation will be provided via hotel shuttle.
  • Students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to York University after they complete their quarantine period.
  • If you will be moving into York Undergraduate Residences, York Apartments or the QUAD, you will not be able to quarantine in your on-campus residence.

Quarantine Requirements

Designated Learning Institutions are required to follow additional quarantine requirements as well as all federal requirements of quarantine. This includes:

  • mandatory testing;
  • daily check-ins; and
  • additional restrictions on the use of shared space.

These additional requirements may apply to both those choosing York’s quarantine accommodations or their own quarantine accommodation. Please see the York Quarantine Information page for further details.

Quarantine Confirmation & Details

You’ll receive more detailed instructions by email once your request has been submitted and confirmed. Specific information will be included in that email about your quarantine responsibilities and requirements.

Care & Support

During this time while much of our campus activities are delivered through remote/online formats, except for a limited number of in-person classes, we are very much here to support you and provide services through online, telephone, video and email channels. Keep in touch with your graduate program assistant. We encourage you to learn more about the support and services offered by Graduate Wellness Services.

If you have questions about submitting an application or accepting your offer from York University, please reach out to your graduate program assistant.

Connect with York International. The YI team is here to assist all new and continuing international students. We look forward to welcoming you and answering your questions.

We will continue to communicate with you regularly. Our goal remains to provide a high-quality learning experience for advancing your educational objectives.

Impacts to Employment for Those Not in Canada September 2020

If you are unable to arrive in Canada with the required documentation for either the Fall or Winter term, you will still be able to begin your degree studies remotely and online. If you are a funded student, your tuition will be covered by the York University funding package. The Fall or Winter portion of your funding offer may have to be adjusted, however. Under Canadian law, we are not able to provide any employment wages until you are able to be present in Canada with your TRV, study permit, resident social insurance number, address, and bank account. If we are no longer experiencing a pandemic, travel restrictions are lifted, and you are able to arrive in Canada for the Winter term, then you will be eligible to begin employment as a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, or Graduate Assistant as your Program has designated.

For more detailed information on the intersection of physical location and funding, please see https://gradstudies.yorku.ca/covid-19-update-grads/funding-faqs-for-international-graduate-students/

Returning Students: To better support you during this time, please indicate your Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 plans when registering for the session. Course registration and enrolment opened July 2, 2020 at midnight. The link to York’s Registration Module is here. If you are considering a leave of absence, please be in touch with your Graduate Program Director.

New Students: Given all the uncertainty and health concerns, you may also choose to defer your offer of admission. All the terms of your funding remain the same. Some programs can accommodate deferral of the start of your degree to the Winter of 2021. Most programs should be able to accommodate deferral of the start of your degree to Fall 2021. If you are considering deferral of admission, please contact your Graduate Program Director. To better support you during this time, please indicate your Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 plans when registering for courses beginning July 2, 2020 at midnight. The link to York’s Registration Module is here.

Visa Applications

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to process study permit applications, but at limited capacity. Prospective students also may be unable to provide all documents required to complete their study permit applications given service interruptions related to COVID-19 (e.g. immigration medical exams, biometrics collection, police certificates). These uncertainties may cause processing delays.

York International encourages students to file their applications online as early as possible, taking into account the processing delays. York International also offers advising via email (iadvisor@yorku.ca) and online appointments. If your VISA application has been denied, please contact York International.

Post-graduate work permit eligibility

Post-graduation work permit eligibility will not be affected if your Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 courses are online. Students will also not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020. For more information, go here.

On August 26, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced three new flexible measures for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who are currently studying online from abroad:

  • Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

To be eligible for these measures, students must have submitted a study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or the January 2021 semester. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit. For more information see the announcement.

International students whose study/work permits are to expire

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) advises students to apply online to extend their status before it expires, thus triggering implied status and allowing them to continue studying and/or working (subject to the same conditions listed on their expired work or study permit) while their extension is being processed.

No application will be refused if incomplete, however, required documents must be submitted within the 90 day period. Applications should include an explanatory note detailing circumstances that are beyond their control (i.e. unable to obtain a new passport from their embassy in Canada; unable to access documents needed to apply for a new permit from their educational institution), and designated learning institutes should be prepared to provide letters of support and/or accompanying documentation.

International students now part-time or not registered for subsequent semesters due to reasons related to COVID-19 that are beyond their control can continue to work on or off-campus subject to the same number of authorized hours

For more information, see IIRC's COVID updates as of May 25, 2020.

UHIP

International students should by now have received their UHIP cards via email. Be advised that sometimes these emails can end up in a email spam folder.  If you still haven't received your UHIP information, email uhip@yorku.ca.

Travel Abroad

As some international borders remain closed and global travel restrictions continue due to the challenges posed by COVID-19, York University has made the decision to cancel all travel related to international student activities for the Fall 2020 session which includes: academic exchanges, internships, co-ops, and other programs.

The Coronavirus Information and Update website contains up-to-date details for York community members travelling abroad: coronavirus.info.yorku.ca/.

Assistance for Travellers

The Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 abroad.

Any member of the York Community who is impacted by the travel restrictions should please contact goglobal@yorku.ca immediately for further guidance.

Research Abroad

All research-related international travel for graduate students and travel related to academic program completion will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as government travel advisories begin to lift.

Graduate students can work with their supervisor and the Dean’s Office who can work with the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee to develop a health and safety plan. A form will be developed to assess this in collaboration with the above stakeholders. Please contact goglobal@yorku.ca for more information.

Cancelled Travel

As some international borders remain closed and global travel restrictions continue due to the challenges posed by COVID-19, York University has made the decision to cancel all travel related to international student activities for the Fall 2020 session which includes: academic exchanges, internships, co-ops, academic placements, and research abroad.

Cancelled Research and/or Fieldwork Travel That Will Affect Regular Timelines of Degree Completion

If research and fieldwork is affected by travel restrictions, students will have to wait until all restrictions are lifted to reschedule. FGS will work with the Program and the Registrar’s Office to resume the program term lengths without penalty to the student.

If conducting in-person fieldwork is essential to the learning outcomes for degree completion and it cannot be completed because of official travel restrictions, FGS will help to facilitate as seamless a transition as possible once all restrictions are lifted. Please contact your Graduate Program Assistant.

Alternative Program Options

Alternative program options can include:

  • Online courses at York partner universities: This could range from 2–3 online courses up to a full online semester depending on program requirements.
  • Virtual Exchanges (VE) connects two or more classrooms across the globe to enhance intercultural dialogue and collaboration over a period of time (i.e. not a one-time class). York University has embarked on the Globally Networked Learning (GNL) project in 2015 to integrate virtual exchanges into existing course curriculum, across program areas and disciplines.
  • Remote academic placements, coops, and internships: Schulich, Glendon, Lassonde and York International offered remote internships and placements in the summer of 2020.
  • Effective Intercultural Communications (EIC) Module is an online opportunity for students looking to develop and enhance their intercultural understanding and communication skills.

To access these opportunities, please connect with your Faculty or Program coordinators, as well as York International.