We understand that the current situation is particularly difficult for you. Do not hesitate to ask for information and support through a private and confidential conversation with an international student advisor (ISA) at the International Centre.
Due to social distancing directives, until further notice, ISA appointments will take place by email or a pre-scheduled Zoom meeting. Students can make appointments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and student number.
International students can also contact these offices for additional support: Student Counselling Centre, Student Advocacy and Case Management, and Spiritual Care. Please call or email these units directly to determine the best way to access their services.
There are many factors to consider before you travel to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read through the following information carefully and contact an advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation if you require further information. To be connected with an advisor at the International Centre, please email email@example.com with your name and student number.
Foreign nationals, including United States (US) citizens, can travel to Canada only if they’re eligible.
The Government of Canada also currently has travel restrictions in place for all non-essential (discretionary) travel from the United States.
The Government of Canada has travel restrictions in place for foreign nationals travelling to Canada from outside of the United States.
However, even if you are an international student who is exempt from the current travel restrictions, this does not guarantee your entry into Canada, as you must still demonstrate that you are travelling to Canada for an essential purpose. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has outlined important information to review before making a final decision to leave your home country.
Please note that it is your responsibility to determine if you are a) exempt from the current travel restrictions to Canada and b) are travelling to Canada for an essential purpose before you depart from your home country.
If you meet the aforementioned requirements to travel to Canada, there are some important resources for you to review to help you prepare for your arrival in Canada so you know what to expect when you land at the port of entry:
Upon arrival in Canada, you will meet with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the Port of Entry (POE) who will determine if you are coming to Canada for an essential purpose.
Upon arrival in Canada, you will meet with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the Port of Entry (POE), who will determine if you are coming to Canada for an essential purpose.
It is also important to review the general information that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has on its website to help international students prepare for their arrival in Canada.
As of June 23, current directives from the Government of Canada indicate that, if you are allowed to enter Canada, all international travelers are subject to a mandatory quarantine for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms of COVID-19.
You will have needed to confirm an adequate place to quarantine. If you do not have an adequate place to quarantine (self-isolate), the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must remain for 14 days.
You need to know the exact address and location of where you will be in quarantine prior to your arrival in Canada. Options to consider:
Staying with a friend:
Rental apartment or house:
What to do if you get sick? If you travel to Canada and are not able to register for a minimum of one (1) course in the Fall Term, you will not have health insurance for the Fall 2020 Term.
Do you have a credit card that will be accepted at local stores and online shopping websites to ensure you are able to order the things you require?
You will be required to order items online or for delivery, such as food, supplies, housewares, hygiene products or medicine as required.
Keep in mind you will not have the ability to visit a local bank and set up an account while you are self-isolating. International students are required to appear in person to set up a bank account for the first time.
During your 14-day quarantine period, you will not be able to leave your accommodations to set up your cell phone with a Canadian carrier or purchase a new cell phone, if needed.
Similarly, if your accommodations do not already have Wi-Fi or internet access, then you will not be able to arrange for internet to be connected and activated in the location where you will be quarantining.
Having to undergo a 14-day quarantine period will be very challenging, especially if you are moving to a new city and country.
Though we are not physically located on campus, UM continues to provide many supports, programs and resources for students. Visit the COVID-19 student information page for details.
Please note: While UM can provide support by sharing electronic information and resources to help you arrange your own accommodations, transportation, options for grocery delivery, etc., we are not able to provide in-person assistance or confirm such arrangements for you.
Please contact an advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation if you require further information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and student number to be connected with an advisor.
Information for current international students
Updates effective July, 2020
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is continuing to update their response to the evolving situation and how that may impact students’ status in Canada as international students. New information is posted on their website on a regular basis. Please continue to monitor the following IRCC webpages as they update information related to temporary residents (e.g., international students) in Canada:
Summer and Fall Term 2020 and immigration status with IRCC
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated information for international students on its website. IRCC indicates that:
If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, you’re still eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).
If you have a study permit, or have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, you’re also still eligible for the PGWPP.
If you’re in this situation, you may
If you start your studies in fall 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada between fall 2020 and December 31, 2020.
Please note UM will be offering Fall Term 2020 primarily remotely, with the exception of a very small number of courses that require in-person delivery. Please visit UM’s COVID-19 information for students page for up-to-date information.
Extending your status
IRCC is still processing applications, including applications for extension of study permits. For international students who are in Canada and whose study permits will expire soon, IRCC advises to apply online to extend your study permit before it expires. For more information on extending your study permit, visit IRCC’s page about the process.
Information with regards to working in Canada
To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government has removed the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
While IRCC implements a temporary rule change, it is important that you maintain your status in Canada. For more detailed information from IRCC, including eligibility requirements, visit removing barriers for international students working in essential services to fight COVID-19.
Students can call University Health Services Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. for telephone consultations. Staff will assess and advise the student with respect to addressing their health-care needs. Virtual appointments can also be booked during these times.
For eligible international students covered by MISHP who are required to be tested for COVID-19 in approved testing sites, the medical expenses incurred for testing will be covered under your plan. For more information, please visit mishp.ca.
Please note that newly enrolled international students are covered on an emergency basis for up to one (1) calendar month prior to the start of their first academic term. During this period, medical treatment and testing for COVID-19 will only be covered if symptoms began after departure from your home country.
Many grocery stores offer delivery and pick-up options. For a list of grocery stores, please visit the international students page under the ‘Living and Learning in Winnipeg’ tab. Note that many retail stores, shopping malls and restaurants have changed their hours or have temporarily closed. Please check their websites or social media accounts, or call them directly, for the latest information.
We also understand that money may be tight, and you may need to look to a food bank, please visit the student information page under 'Personal support.'
International graduate students who are concerned with potential delays in completing their program due to approved adjustments to scheduling, are encouraged to contact an advisor at the International Centre (IC) to discuss some important considerations. You can reach an advisor at the IC by sending an email, with your full name and student number, to email@example.com.
In this time of uncertainty, as always, we respect your autonomy and personal decisions. If you are considering going back to your home country in the near future or over the summer months, you should be aware that there are some very important considerations amidst the COVID-19 concerns. These considerations could include possible impacts on your Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) coverage if you leave Canada and return, what documentation you require to return to Canada, and when you may be able to return to Canada. Please contact an advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation, as there are many factors to consider before booking a flight out of Canada. Please email the International Centre’s reception desk at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and student number to book an appointment with an advisor by email or pre-scheduled Zoom meeting.
Please see the Financial supports page for general information on financial support for all students.
The Government of Canada has announced that workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – including temporary foreign workers and international students – may be eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if they meet the eligibility requirements.
CERB eligibility, includes, but is not limited to individuals who are:
The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit. For example, if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer you do not qualify for the benefit.
Please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html for full details about eligibility and how individuals can apply. If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact the Employment Insurance Call Centre.
Current international students are invited to join the UM International Centre and fellow students for a weekly video chat on Zoom. Share tips, learn about UM and community resources and supports, and connect with other international students. Chats will take place every Thursday at 2 p.m. You must register using your UM student email account. Email Crystal Stewart for more information.