International Students

Arrival and Orientation


Travelling to Canada

Canadian immigration laws and procedures are ever changing so please refer to COVID-19: Travel, Quarantine and Borders site for the most recent information.

Returning to Canada by Land (from the US)

If you are driving to Canada from the US, you will be required to have a COVID-19 test at the border upon arrival. You must remain in quarantine until you meet the following criteria:

  1. Your day 1 and Day 10 tests are negative.
  2. You have completed 14 days of quarantine with Day 1 being the day of arrival in Canada.
  3. You remain symptom-free.
  4. You email our Occupational Health Nurse when you receive your negative test result at caroliina.landry@acadiau.ca stating that you have met the above 3 criteria. You will then receive an email to unsubscribe from Nova Scotia Digital Check ins and be released from quarantine.

Quarantine (Self-isolation)

Mandatory Federal Quarantine (Self-isolation)

The current requirements in place when international students arrive in Canada include:

  • Unaccompanied Minors are exempt from the federally mandated 3-night hotel stay, however they are not exempt from the Day 1 and 10 federal testing and are required to following the DLI requirements in place for international students. Therefore, they are still required to complete the NS Safe Check-in form and complete 14 days self-isolation upon arrival in Nova Scotia in quarantine accommodations arranged or provided by the Acadia University.

  • International students over the age of 18 that arrive by air MUST complete a Mandatory Federal Quarantine/Isolation of at least 3 days at their port of entry hotel.

  • The federal quarantine locations are listed online and students may book their own accommodations. Students are responsible for all costs of the mandatory federal quarantine (including hotel and airport transportation) period.
    • If your COVID-19 test result from the port of entry is positive, you must complete the remainder of your quarantine time at a federal quarantine facility, with no additional expenses to you.
    • If your COVID-19 test result is negative, you may depart for Nova Scotia and Acadia University.
  • Once the 3-day federal quarantine is completed (and test results are negative), students can then travel to Nova Scotia to complete the remaining 11 days of the 14-day quarantine period.
11-Day Quarantine (Self-isolation) in Nova Scotia

Students must also complete a COVID-19 test on day 10 during their 14-day mandatory quarantine. If you are not provided with your COVID-19 testing kit, or arrive in Nova Scotia without one, please email your name and quarantine address to homekits@switchhealth.ca. Please include the land or air border that you crossed plus the arrival date for verification.

On-Campus Quarantine

If you will be living in residence when you arrive, your quarantine plan will be managed by the Residence Life team. More information to follow.

Off-campus Quarantine

Prior to coming to Nova Scotia, your quarantine location must be approved by Acadia University by completing the Off-campus Quarantine Request Form so that you are allowed to quarantine off-campus.

Expectations for Students (On-campus and Off-campus)

Updated March 15

During Quarantine (Self-isolation) and/or Isolation Period:

  1. During quarantine (self-isolation) and isolation periods, refuse all visitors, wear a mask if you need to leave your residence for any reason (such as outdoor time, designated laundry time, or while using designated washroom facilities). As well, follow the federal and provincial guidelines for quarantining (self-isolation) or isolation, during this time.
    · Canadian Government How to Quarantine
    · Nova Scotia How to Quarantine

  2. Actively perform a daily self-assessment to ensure you are symptom free from COVID-19.

  3. Stay home or in your residence and away from others if you feel sick. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the directions below:

    · If you require transportation to the test site, call 1-844-996-0694 and they will book your test and transportation at the same time.
    · If you do NOT require transportation, you can book your test online
    · If you are unable to access the internet, call 811 and speak directly to a nurse to book your Covid-19 test.

  4. Eat healthy and ensure to get fresh air and proper exercise by going outside, ensuring to follow outdoor time restraints during quarantine (self-isolation). Ensure you are not exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19, prior to participating in outdoor time.

  5. Keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres or 6 feet) from others.

  6. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

  7. Follow all the rules and guidelines outlined in your Acadia Student Pledge and review the orientation presentation (.pptx)

  8. Ensure to keep your personal space clean and disinfect high touch areas (such as light switches, remotes, door handles, etc.) routinely with the provided disinfectant.

After Quarantine (Self-isolation) Period is Over

  1. Wear a mask according to Acadia campus policy.

  2. Wearing a non-medical mask or face covering while out in public is required in Nova Scotia particularly in crowded public settings, such as:
    · shopping areas
    · public transportation
    · stores and personal service settings

  3. Actively perform a daily self-assessment to ensure you are symptom-free from COVID-19.

  4. Avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact with others.

  5. Stay home or in your residence and away from others if you feel sick. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the guidelines below:
    · If you require transportation to the test site, call 1-844-996-0694 and they will book your test and transportation at the same time.
    · If you do NOT require transportation, you can book your test online.
    · If you are unable to access the internet, call 811 and speak directly to a nurse to book your Covid-19 test.

  6. Stick to a small and consistent social circle and avoid gathering in large groups. Ensure to know and follow the Nova Scotia gathering limits.

  7. Limit contact with people at higher risk, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions or weakened immune systems.

  8. Eat healthy and ensure to get fresh air and proper exercise by going outside if you are not exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  9. Keep a distance of at least 2 armlengths (approximately 2 metres or 6 feet) from others. Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days.

  10. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

  11. When coughing or sneezing:
    · cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    · dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands immediately afterwards
    · avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  12. Follow are the rules and guidelines outlined in your Acadia Student Pledge.

  13. Ensure to keep your personal space clean and disinfect high touch areas (such as light switches, remotes, door handles, etc.) routinely with the provided disinfectant.

Travel Documents

Checklist
  • A valid passport
  • A valid temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA)
  • Valid study permit or a study permit approval letter
  • Acceptance letter from Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan
    *For returning students, please provide proof of registration (request Letter of Verification of Enrolment and unofficial transcript from the Registrar's Office)
  • Proof of financial support for yourself
  • Lease/rent agreement (if applicable)
  • Complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form one week before you plan to arrive in Nova Scotia so you that you receive approval to enter.
  • Download the ArriveCAN app to submit important information to the Canadian government, including your quarantine location within 48 hours of arrival or call 1-833-641-0343
  • You must have a negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours of boarding your flight.
  • 14-day quarantine (self-isolation) plan:

Learn more about considerations if you are traveling from within/entering/departing Canada.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a study permit to start my courses online?

Acadia is moving primarily to an in-person study model. Students are required to have a valid study permit and temporary visitor visa before beginning in-person studies in Canada. Without it, you will not be able to join in-person classes at Acadia.

Currently, you do not need a study permit to study online. However, if you do have classes on-line at Acadia, we strongly recommend that students apply for a study permit before beginning any online studies as there may be some risks associated with beginning your studies without a study permit.

Please note:

  • Choosing to join us virtually does not guarantee your ability to obtain a study permit. If you choose to move forward with your studies without a study permit in place, you are responsible for affiliated tuition fees.  Please review Acadia’s financial policies prior to making your decision.

 

2. How do I start my study permit application? Are they still processing applications?

You are required to apply online by creating an account with the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Visit the IRCC website to learn more  and to start your study permit application.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to accept applications, but applications are being processed at slower rates.  Processing times posted on the IRCC website are based on the normal processing times for an application, and it does not take into account any delays caused by COVID-19. Currently, there are no options to expedite processing of study permit applications. However, IRCC recently announced new measures to prioritize processing of study permit applications.

3. I received the Biometrics Instruction Letter (BIL) as part of my study permit application. How can I complete this?

When Visa Application Centres (VAC’s) re-open, you must make a new appointment and carry your original BIL with you at your designated Visa Application Centre to show proof of payment. You do not need to request a new BIL. Since most VAC’s are presently closed, your application will remain open for 90 days or until you are able to provide the required biometrics- you do not need to request an extension. According to IRCC, no application will be refused or closed if you are not able to give your biometrics on the date indicated on your BIL.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada's biometric information page and procedures page.

4. If I defer my program to next term (Winter 2022), when should I apply for my study permit and temporary resident visa?

If you decide to defer your program to next term, you should start your study permit and temporary resident visa applications as soon as possible due to delays in processing. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for more information.

5. If my (initial) study permit is refused do I get back my tuition money?

Choosing to join us does not guarantee your ability to obtain a study permit. If you choose to move forward with your studies without a study permit in place, you are responsible for affiliated tuition fees.  Please review Acadia’s financial policies prior to making your decision.

6. How do I access the approved list of Designated Learning Institutions?
7. What to do if I can’t provide the required documents for my application?

If you cannot provide all the documents required for your study permit application, you must provide a letter of explanation stating why you can’t submit all the required documents. You must also provide a letter of acceptance from the DLI when you apply. For more information regarding this, please visit  letter of explanation for any documents that are missing.

8. What documents do I need to enter Canada as an international student?

As stated by IRCC, International Student Entering Canada must have:

Please review our Travel Documents Checklist for more.

9. Can family members travel with me to Canada?

According to IRCC, immediate family members may be able to travel with you to Canada. They do not need a written authorization from IRCC to travel with you, but they must prove their reason for travel is non-discretionary/non-optional. All family members must quarantine. Health requirements for travelers to Canada must:

Please review IRCC’s requirements for visitors to Canada.

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