Important pre-arrival information for incoming international students to VCC

Posted on July 20, 2020

Update: March 24, 2022

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all its students and the wider community by following the guidelines of the Government of Canada and health authorities.

This bulletin provides incoming international students with important information regarding current restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements in relation to COVID-19. Please review this information carefully for important updates and resources for a safe arrival in Canada.

It is the responsibility of VCC international students to understand federal and provincial laws and regulations before planning to arrive in Canada. Students are recommended to review official government websites regularly for up-to-date information.


Travel restrictions and entry requirements

Before travelling to Canada, it is very important that you understand the travel restrictions and exemptions for international students. Please check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for details.

VCC is a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province of British Columbia. We are ready to welcome international students to British Columbia (B.C.) who are currently outside Canada. Please refer to the approved DLI list on the IRCC website.

Effective January 15, 2022 fully vaccinated international students (18 years and over) are allowed to enter Canada as long as they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine that has been accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.

Please note that a Canada Border Services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.


International students are required to download the ArriveCAN app once they book their flight. All travellers arriving in Canada will be required to submit their travel and contact information, quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment through the ArriveCan app before boarding their flight.

Effective April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers who are entering Canada by land, air or water.  Until that date, travellers must follow pre-entry testing requirements

If you want to demonstrate proof that you are enrolled at VCC (in addition to your VCC Letter of Offer/Acceptance), you can request a Confirmation of Enrolment Support Letter.  Please download the request form [PDF] and email the completed form to ieadmissions@vcc.ca. You must make the request early and check the processing time on our website. Note: Only students with a study permit approval can be issued a Confirmation of Enrolment Support Letter.

To prepare for your flight (check with airlines for specific guidelines):

  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Wear gloves (if applicable).
  • Practice safe physical distancing.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently.

Upon arrival in Canada:

  • Wear your non-medical mask or face covering until you reach your quarantine location.
  • You will be asked to complete the traveller contact information form.
  • You will undergo a health check screening.
  • You must provide a quarantine plan.
  • You will be asked to show your documents:
    • Your valid passport
    • A valid eTA or Visitor Visa (if applicable)
    • Negative COVID-19 test result (until April 1, 2022)
    • Proof of full vaccination
    • VCC's letter of offer/acceptance
    • Port of Entry Introduction letter or study permit
    • Proof of funds
    • Course registration information – Log in to your myVCC account to view your class schedule. If you are not yet registered in courses, you can request a Confirmation of Enrolment letter [PDF]. Please make the request early and check the processing time on our website.

Preparing your quarantine plan

It is advisable to prepare a quarantine plan even if you are exempt from quarantine requirements in case it is determine by CBSA or if you test positive for COVID upon entering Canada.  Include your quarantine plan details in the ArriveCAN app.


Transportation to your quarantine location

You are advised to arrange direct transportation to your final quarantine location. The following are transportation options to consider:


Accommodations upon arriving in Vancouver

Upon arriving in Canada, international students can quarantine in a private residence, rental property or hotel as long as they meet all government quarantine requirements.

There are many accommodation options for students in Metro Vancouver (e.g. homestays, furnished and unfurnished rooms in houses, basement suites, condos, apartments). We advise you to familiarize yourself with your rights as responsibilities as a tenant by reviewing information from the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre.

Homestay
International students may want to experience life with a Canadian family until they become accustomed to their new surroundings. Homestays are a safe and secure choice, providing students with opportunities to practice English outside of school and learn about Canadian life. Learn more about Liane's Vancouver Homestay.


Food and meals

For international students who are required to quarantine and would require delivery of groceries and meals, below are some recommended options:

Grocery delivery services:

Meal delivery services:


Medical insurance (MSP)

All B.C. residents, including international students, who reside in Canada for more than six months are required to have medical insurance through B.C.’s publicly funded Medical Services Plan (MSP). This plan provides basic medical benefits including doctor/clinic visits and emergency services. You should apply for MSP immediately upon arrival in B.C. by completing the online application.

Important: There is a three-month waiting period for all new MSP applicants. During this waiting period, you are required to have private medical insurance. Upon your arrival, VCC International can assist you in purchasing insurance through the Global Campus Health Plan. Please email study@vcc.ca for more information on how to apply.


How to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19

International students are responsible for ongoing self-monitoring and assessment of COVID-19 symptoms. Common symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of sense of smell or taste. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. If you are unsure about your symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call HealthLink BC (8-1-1).

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, do all you can to avoid contact with others. Even if your symptoms are mild, self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Do not go to work, school, or public places, and do not have visitors to your home. Follow the normal protocol in your VCC program for reporting absences due to illness. 

Anyone with symptoms, however mild, can get tested for COVID-19 in B.C. Find a testing centreAs a best practice, use the ArriveCAN app for daily symptom reporting.  

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine, VCC International can provide additional supports and resources. Please call 604.443.8600 or email ieservices@vcc.ca

Please note that a final screening by a health care professional within 24 hours of the end of the quarantine period is required. Call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for more information.


Additional Resources

The health and wellness and VCC international students is of utmost importance.  In order to access additional social and mental health resources, please refer to the links below:


Questions? Call 604.443.8600 or email ieservices@vcc.ca. We are available from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Pacific Time

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