Pre-arrival resources

Prepare for Arrival

Before you come to Canada

Before you arrive, read the pre-departure guide for tips and information about student life in Canada.

To help ensure a smooth arrival in Canada, please check the Canadian Border Service Agency’s information for international students, and download their PDF pamphlet [PDF].

How early can you arrive in Canada before you start studying

There is no set time frame for you to arrive in Canada before you begin your studies. You should just arrive to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare before you start studying.

You are not allowed to work on or off campus until you begin your studies in Canada.

Changing your designated learning institution if you’re outside Canada

If your application for a study permit has been approved and you change your designated learning institution, you must submit a new study permit application with a new letter of acceptance. You must also pay all the fees for the new application.

When you arrive in Canada (Your travel document checklist)

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer who will make sure you meet some basic requirements. To enter Canada, you must

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • have the port of entry letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit
    • This letter has your permit reference number, which we use to issue your study permit.
  • have a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from MITT
  • have letters of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring
  • have a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA), a valid visitor visa (temporary resident visa), a valid green card (or equivalent official proof of U.S. status) or another valid travel document
    • If you have a valid eTA, it’ll be linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit.
  • have enough money for your stay (the amount you will need can vary—it depends on things such as how long you will stay, and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives)
  • be in good health
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • convince an immigration officer that
    • you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
    • you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • have valid immigration medical exam results (if you needed one)
    • Your exam is valid for 12 months from the day you get it.
    • It must be valid the day you enter Canada.
    • If your exam will expire before you enter Canada, you need to get another medical exam.
      • This applies even if your letter of introduction is still valid.
  • prove that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your stay

If you need proof you entered Canada

Your school or training facility may need you to prove you entered Canada. If you need proof of entry, make sure a border services officer stamps your passport before you leave Canadian customs. You may also be able to use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to stamp your passport.

Canada is ceasing all border requirements related to COVID-19

Effective Saturday, October 1, 2022, Canada is ceasing all border requirements related to COVID-19.

All travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • provide proof of vaccination;
  • undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving in Canada.
  • undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or
  • wear masks on planes and trains.

The Government of Canada advises that individuals should not travel if they have COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms begin to arise during travel, please inform an attendant or border services officials upon arrival. They are encouraged to review the travel health notices at for more information on safe travel.

MITT students travelling to Canada must still meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation as necessary. For example, students will still be required to carry the IRCC POE Letter of Introduction that confirms study permit approval, a valid entry visa, and the MITT Letter of Acceptance. Students travelling to Canada can continue to use the optional Advance Declaration feature in ArriveCAN to save time at the airport by submitting their customs and immigration declaration in advance of arrival.

Welcome message

MITT welcomes international students for the 2023-2024 academic year. International students traveling to Canada and Manitoba must follow government regulations for the COVID-19 pandemic to keep travellers and communities safe. This resource guide outlines what international students are advised to do while traveling, and once they arrive in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Please make sure to read through this guide carefully so that you are prepared for a smooth journey to Canada and can start your studies at MITT successfully.

If you have any questions, contact MITT Pre-Arrival Help Line at 1 204 989 7342 or use the chatbot at

Please note the following distinction between “quarantine” and “self-isolation”
Manitoba Public Health advises that quarantine is a legal term used if someone is not sick.  If someone tests COVID-19 positive, they would have to self-isolate. The contacts to the positive COVID-19 patient would have to continue to quarantine, while the COVID-19 patient would have to self-isolate.

Important Information Regarding Travel and Post-Graduation Work Permit Implications

Please visit the IRCC website regarding the recent federal travel restrictions and Post-Graduation Work Permit implications.

Information on COVID-19: Manitoba Health and Seniors Care

Province of Manitoba has taken great measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure all those living in our province stay safe and healthy.

Please refer to the Province of Manitoba website ( for up-to-date information that reminds all students how to protect themselves and others during this time.

What is the differences between the Manitoba Immunization Card and the Pan-Canadian Proof of Vaccination Credential (PVC)?

Manitoba Immunization Card

The Manitoba immunization card is a convenient and secure way for eligible Manitobans to prove their immunization status at non-essential services, businesses, or events within Manitoba. It includes your first and last name and your vaccination status in a QR code. When scanned by the Manitoba Verifier app, the QR code will validate your proof of immunization.

The Pan-Canadian Proof of Vaccination Credential (PVC)

The Pan-Canadian PVC is a "a reliable way to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination history when travelling internationally and within Canada." It contains your full name, date of birth, date(s) of vaccination, brand(s) of vaccine, lot number, and country of vaccination in a QR code. All of this information is available when the QR code is scanned from your mobile device or printed hard copy.

Please refer this page from Manitoba Government to see more details.

Steps to travel to Canada

For official information, refer to the IRCC website:

Before you travel

International students are recommended to consult with MITT to ensure they understand the current travel restriction. Please contact MITT Immigration Services Advisor for consultation.

Before you travel to Canada, you must have full study permit approval (Port of Entry Letter of Introduction or a valid study permit) AND a valid entry visa (TRV or eTA).

Have not received Port of Entry Letter of Introduction AND the entry visa yet?

If you received MITT Letter of Acceptance, but your study permit or entry visa (TRV or eTA) application is still in processing at IRCC, you may choose to start your program online from outside Canada and continue study from outside Canada until your program starts on-campus delivery.

Make sure to check on-campus delivery start dates at this link ( and arrive in Winnipeg at least a few weeks before on-campus delivery starts.

If you think the visa office closure or study permit processing time would make you unable to travel to Canada in time when on-campus delivery starts, please contact MITT Immigration Services Advisor at Current MITT students must discuss your situation with your instructor.

COVID-19 Travel: Checklists for requirements and exemptions

During travel

If symptoms present themselves during your travel (cough, shortness of breath, fever greater than 38°C, or signs of fever e.g. shivering, flushed skin, excessive sweating), immediately contact your airlines/flight crew.

Please refer to the Symptoms of COVID-19 for additional symptoms common to COVID-19.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19

  • Go directly to your place of isolation. Do not make any stops while in transit.
  • Check-in within 48 hours of arrival through the ArriveCAN app or call 1 833 641 0343.
  • Report your symptoms through the ArriveCAN app or call 1 833 641 0343 every day until the end of your 14-day isolation.

If you exhibit symptoms during travel

If you feel sick or experience any symptoms of COVID-19 during your travel to Canada or upon arrival, you should:

  • inform the flight attendant, cruise staff or a border services officer upon arrival. You may be referred to a Quarantine Officer for a health assessment and further direction.
  • Avoid taking public transportation

Check provincial or territorial requirements for what you need to do if you’re symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19

Contact your travel agent and airline as soon as possible. They will best be able to guide you on requirements based on your current location. Be sure to alert your family, accommodation provider, and MITT if there are any delays in your travel plans to Canada.

If you have any questions, contact MITT Pre-Arrival Help Line: 1 204 989 7342.

Arrive safe in Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • Be prepared to follow airline and airport directions about wearing a mask/face covering, washing/sanitizing your hands, staying two metres apart from other people, or other actions.
  • Answer every question from airline, airport or border staff completely and truthfully. It is okay to ask someone to repeat a question or explain it in a different way if you do not understand.
  • Contact Immigration Services by email or phone (204 989 7342) to tell us you have arrived. Be sure to give us your most up-to-date contact information (email address, mailing address, phone number).
  • If you exhibit COVID symptoms, review Testing Advice and Guidance and check these websites for the most up-to-date information:
    • Government of Manitoba COVID-19 information here.
    • Government of Canada COVID-19 information here.

Quarantine/self-isolate safe

If you tested positive for COVID after arriving in Canada, refer to the Shared Health Manitoba COVID-19 public health fact sheet and self-isolation fact sheets (available in multiple languages) (link) to assist you in being prepared and knowledgeable in requirements for self-isolation and to link you to essential services.

It is important that you follow the Government of Canada’s requirements for self-isolation, including:

  • Self-isolating in a location without vulnerable people, such as those over the age of 65 or individuals with underlying medical conditions;
  • Having access to basic necessities such as food and toiletries;
  • Wearing a mask when being transported to your place of self-isolation;
  • Traveling directly from your point of arrival in Manitoba to your place of self-isolation; and
  • Monitoring your health for symptoms of COVID-19 throughout the 14 days of isolation.
  • Report to ArriveCan within 72 hours of your arrival in Canada. Report through the mobile application or online

Students with COVID symptoms will be required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 using the Manitoba Self Screening Tool.  If a student experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 during the quarantine period, they must follow the directives of the Province of Manitoba.

  • The Screening Tool is available in Interactive Voice Response (IVR) format. Call 1 877 308 9038 or find it online.
  • The Province of Manitoba offers a service called Health Links – Info Santé, which is a bilingual phone-based nursing triage service. They can give you advice on what health-care path should be followed in your specific situation, whether you should stay home, visit the emergency room, or follow another medical plan. They can be contacted at 204 788 8200 or toll-free at 1 888 315 9257.

Self-isolation/quarantine can be difficult for some students, especially those who are energized by interactions with others. It is important that you take care of yourself during this time of isolation and to keep connected with your friends and family using other methods, such as FaceTime and Zoom. Here are a few useful tips to get you through the two-week period:

Covid-19 vaccination information

  • International students in Manitoba can receive a Canadian recognized vaccine.
  • International students can book a vaccine appointment immediately upon arrival to Canada IF they have proof that they intend to stay in Manitoba for at least 14 days.
  • International students with one dose from home country can submit proof of first dose to MB health to book their second dose as long as it’s been 28 days since they received their first dose. Students can receive a first booster dose is at least four months after the last dose in the primary series.
  • Students in quarantine would not be allowed to leave their isolation period to go to vaccination appointment.
  • COVID-19 vaccines and immunization: To obtain official information, visit

Covid-19 vaccine eligibility criteria

Immunization Card in Manitoba

  • Details about Immunization Cards in Manitoba:
  • As an international student who has received full vaccination elsewhere, can I receive a Manitoba Immunization card?
    • Yes. International students (who do not have a Manitoba Health Card) can now request a Manitoba immunization Card if they meet the following requirements:
      • have received two doses (or any combination) of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or a single dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the final dose more than 14 days ago; and
      • have submitted proof of any COVID vaccination(s) received outside of Manitoba to public health, and
      • the data has been recorded in the system
    • You will need to get a record of your vaccination from the jurisdiction you got your vaccine. If the vaccination you received is from an approved brand in Canada (currently, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson), you can contact your local public health office to have your information recorded. Then, you can request an immunization card. You may contact to update that information. Individuals can call 1 844 MAN VACC (1 844 626 8222) to speak with an agent, who will provide a client identification number for the digital version of the card. The agent can also request a physical card on behalf of callers.
  • What if the vaccination I received is from a brand not currently approved in Canada?
    • If you have received one or two doses of a vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada but approved by the World Health Organization, you can receive a dose of mRNA vaccine in Manitoba to be considered fully immunized. This dose can be administered at supersites, pop-ups or mobile clinics, or by a health care provider or pharmacist. If you have received three doses of a vaccine not approved by Health Canada, you are also considered fully immunized. At that point, you can then request your Manitoba immunization card by calling 1-844-MAN-VACC(1 844 626 8222). Click here for more information.
  • What if I am fully vaccinated from outside of Manitoba or Canada, with the Manitoba-approved vaccination requirements but I have to wait for Manitoba Health to verify my records?
    • MITT will provide students in this situation with a vaccination declaration form that they must complete and provide to MITT. Students will need to follow up with evidence of their confirmation from Manitoba Health. As a reminder, it is against our policies for students to falsify any formal documents. See policy AC-1-1 Student Behaviour Policy.
  • Vaccinated While Away? Report Your Vaccine Today!
    • Individuals who received their COVID-19 vaccine outside of the province should have their vaccination information added into Manitoba's immunization system. In order to do this, you will need proof of immunization from the jurisdiction where you received your vaccine. If the vaccine you received is eligible for use in Canada, you can then bring this proof of immunization to a public health office. Visit this link for more info:

Maintaining mental health during stressful times

Develop a support network.

Form an online chat group with close friends; stay in contact with your family and reach out to your school advisors and instructors by email. The more people you know at your educational institution, the more connected you’ll feel!

Be active.

Exercise is important for your mental outlook and helps ward off depression. Take a break from your self-isolation boredom and get moving on a regular basis. There are many online home workouts that are useful when quarantining!

Eat well.

Choose a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods. Eat regularly to keep up your energy and portions that help you feel and perform your best. If you cannot go outside to get your food or living necessities, use one of the delivery services during quarantine.

Get enough sleep.

Sleep is vital to your mental well-being. Go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Jet lag may be a challenge for you as part of your adjustment to your move to Canada, so it might be useful to download meditation or sleep apps that help you develop a regular sleep schedule.

Seek professional help.

You’re not alone and there are many people who can help. Talk to a professional about how you are feeling; talk to your school’s student services team. Don’t just rely on the advice of friends. Sometimes you need more and we’re here to support you.

  • Contact MITT Student Advisor by phone 204 989 6512 or email
  • Learn more about the services and resources Student Services offer on our website

Take a break from watching or reading the news.

Get your news from reliable sources and try not to watch the same stressful stories over and over in the same day. Try not end your day by watching the news before bed.

Study safe at MITT

Continue to follow and respect Manitoba Health regulations and directives, including physical distancing from other people in public and washing or sanitizing your hands often.

Remember to use proper coughing and sneezing etiquette (into your elbow, not your hand and if using a tissue, dispose of the tissue in a plastic lined garbage container immediately).

If you feel sick at any time, stay at home and be sure to tell your instructor immediately. Use the self-assessment tool, follow directions, and seek medical attention or contact public health authorities if, when, and how it recommends.

Healthcare coverage related to COVID-19

Don’t forget, your health insurance ( International Insurance) offers remote access to doctors as well as mental health support services. Please review details of healthcare coverage related to COVID-19.

MITT Pre-Arrival Help Line, MITT directories, useful links

MITT Pre-Arrival Help Line

Need advice with preparing your arrival? Have questions about your visa or entry to Canada?

Call 1 204 989 7342 (office hours: 8:30 a.m.  to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, Central Canada Time). MITT’s immigration services advisor will be happy to help! You can also chat with us through our website.

Join MITT weekly webinars for IRCC and MITT updates

Meet MITT’s immigration services advisor, ask questions, meet other students online, andstay connected with MITT.

Weekly drop-in sessions for MITT international students

Have questions on visa, permit, travel or quarantine? Drop-in to ask questions to MITT Immigration Services Advisor. We will also share recent updates regarding immigration and recent border measures. MITT Immigration Services Advisor is conducting one-hour drop-ins via Zoom and in person two days a week. See drop-in dates and hours below.

Drop in, in person:

  • Wednesdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Henlow Campus – Student Success Centre
  • Fridays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    Pembina Campus – Student Advisor Office

Updates from MITT regarding COVID-19

Frequently Asked Visa Questions regarding COVID-19

MITT directories

Please visit our Contact us page

Government websites

Mental health support websites

Emergency contact details

Canada Emergency Response Benefit for international students

Grocery and living necessities delivery services

Meal delivery services

* Please note, MITT does not endorse nor are we responsible for the services provided by any of the private companies that are listed within the guide—these are provided as examples only.

Contact us today and we will be more than happy to help you with any questions or concerns you have.

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