COVID-19 international student supports
UM no longer requires staff, students or visitors coming to our campus to have proof of vaccination. Wearing masks continues to be mandatory until further notice. KN95 masks are highly recommended, but 3-ply medical masks (ASTM Grade 2) are the minimum acceptable. UM will supply all necessary masks.
The majority of classes are held in-person, but UM will continue to offer a range of Distance Education courses. More information can be found on the COVID-19 website.
Throughout your journey at UM, don’t hesitate to ask for information and support through a private and confidential conversation with an International Student Advisor (ISA) at the International Centre. We are here for you and are committed to your success!
For the latest information on entry to Canada, vaccination and quarantine requirements visit the federal government’s Travel to Canada website.
All policies related to entering Manitoba and Canada, including the requirement to quarantine and associated with travelling within Canada, can change at any time and without notice by the Provincial and Federal governments. It is the responsibility of all international students to stay up-to-date on these policies at both the provincial and federal levels.
Pre-entry tests are no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by land, air or water. The Government of Canada has also eased additional restrictions.
Manitoba's proof of vaccination requirement is no longer mandatory. Some businesses / venues may choose to continue to require proof of immunization for access. Manitoba's immunization card and verifier app will continue to be available for this purpose.
International students under 18 should check the federal government’s website as travelling restrictions may be different for minors.
All international students under the age of 18 who are not considered fully vaccinated must:
- Have a detailed quarantine plan in place, even if they don't have any symptoms of COVID-19
- Complete and submit the UM Quarantine Readiness Plan Form at least two weeks prior to their arrival. Please contact email@example.com for information.
International students who are considered fully vaccinated are no longer required to submit the Quarantine Readiness Plan to the University of Manitoba or federal government.
However, it is mandatory for all travellers (including fully vaccinated travellers) flying to Canada to submit their COVID-related information digitally through ArriveCAN.
Through the ArriveCAN app, you'll need to submit your information such as contact and travel details and vaccination information, within 72 hours before your arrival in Canada.
Students travelling to Canada
The University of Manitoba is an approved Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan. International students who will be attending an approved DLI and have or are approved for a study permit may be able to travel to Canada. For more information visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Please note: Information and relevant updates concerning Fall Term 2022 can be found on the COVID-19 information for students webpage.
In this section:
- Before you travel to Canada
- Landing in Canada
- Arriving in Winnipeg
- Specifics for travellers who are not fully vaccinated
- Additional health information
- Health coverage
- What to do if you get sick
Students travelling to Canada Before you travel to Canada
There are many factors to consider before you travel to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the following information carefully. Canada Border Services Agency has created this handy e-pamphlet for new international students.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has outlined important information to consider before making a final decision to leave your home country. Please review the checklist that applies to you to verify that you meet any testing and quarantine requirements when coming to Canada.
Final determination on entry and quarantine is made by a government representative at the port of entry based on the information presented at the time of entry.
Before you depart 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.
If you meet the requirements to travel to Canada, please review these important resources so you know what to expect when you land at the port of entry:
Important note: Travellers coming to Canada by air are required to use ArriveCAN before they board their flight. They will need to provide travel and contact information, and vaccination information and proof of vaccination (if applicable). Travellers need to be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada.
Travellers that do not qualify as fully vaccinated are also required to provide a quarantine plan, complete a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment, and confirm within 48 hours that they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation. Those in quarantine must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period. They must be able to submit information through the ArriveCAN app. You can read about these new requirements on the government of Canada website.
The Government of Canada has eased pre-entry test requirements for children aged 5-11 who are not fully vaccinated, however pre-entry tests for those 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated are still required.
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 eligible to enter Canada.
You must have a detailed plan for the 14-day quarantine if you are required to observe it upon your arrival to Canada.
Students travelling to Canada Landing in Canada
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 eligible to enter Canada.
- Students under the age of 18 who are not considered fully vaccinated must have a detailed and confirmed plan that outlines how you will meet the 14-day quarantine upon your arrival to Canada. Find out more on who needs to quarantine.
- All travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a Border Services Officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally. Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine. Exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances, such as disability or inadequate infrastructure.
It is also important to review the general information that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada provides on its website to help international students prepare for their arrival in Canada.
Students travelling to Canada Arriving in Winnipeg
If you will be 18 years or older when you arrive, you must qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller to enter Canada.
The Government of Canada accepts these vaccines for the purpose of travel to and within Canada. Fully vaccinated travellers are not subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day eight.
Manitoba's proof of vaccination requirement is no longer mandatory. Some businesses / venues may choose to continue to require proof of immunization for access.
For information on arrival in Winnipeg – including getting settled, accommodations and housing, banking and access to money, living and learning in Winnipeg – please visit the website for international students.
Review current travel, testing, quarantine and border crossing information for all travellers arriving in Canada.
Specifics for travellers who are not fully vaccinated
The Government of Canada accepts these vaccines for the purpose of travel to and within Canada.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated or who have not received an accepted vaccine by Health Canada, must continue to adhere to the current testing and federal quarantine requirements. If you or your accompanying children are under 18 years old, visit children or dependents for important considerations and COVID-19: Requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and unvaccinated children less than 12 years of age for additional details.
Unvaccinated travellers, with right of entry to Canada, will continue to be tested on arrival and on day eight, and are required to quarantine for 14 days. Please be advised that during this 14-day period, you are not allowed to leave your room or the premises. Self-isolating means you will be unable to access any of the public spaces in the building including lounges, offices, and auxiliary spaces.
Failure to follow this public health protocol could result in six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines for COVID-19 violations under the Quarantine Act. Please refer to this IRCC site for details concerning mandatory quarantine. Please also refer to "When your quarantine starts and ends" to determine the date of your check-in and your check-out.
All international students under the age of 18 who are not considered fully vaccinated must submit a quarantine plan through the ArriveCAN app, even if they don't have any symptoms of COVID-19.
All international students under the age of 18, who are not fully vaccinated and intend to travel to Canada and study at the University of Manitoba MUST complete and submit the UM Quarantine Readiness Plan Form at least two weeks prior to their arrival.
The Government of Manitoba will administer the vaccine to non-Manitoba residents who have been isolating in Manitoba for at least 14 days and who will remain in Manitoba for a further 16 days minimum, resulting in a total stay of no less than 30 days. Non-residents must meet the minimum age requirement for each vaccine as listed in the eligibility criteria. Temporary residents must provide proof of date of entry to Manitoba, as well as documentation to support the reason and anticipated length of their stay (e.g., student visa, work visa, immigration documents).
Testing upon arrival in Manitoba
Housing, banking, and communications
If you are required to quarantine on arrival in Canada, you need to know the exact address and location where you will be staying. Options to consider:
- Keep in mind that you will need to arrange your permanent accommodation after you have completed your quarantine. You should plan to stay in these temporary accommodations while you are arranging permanent accommodation. This could take upward of two to three weeks.
- Some hotels and Airbnb locations do not meet the requirements for quarantine. Before booking any of these accommodations, you must ensure that they meet the government standards for COVID-19 quarantine.
Staying with a friend:
- Do you have a designated space where you can limit your contact with the other guests of the house? (i.e., separate bedroom, living space/kitchen if needed and washroom). Review these considerations for self-isolation.
Rental apartment or house:
- This is often difficult to arrange prior to arrival in Canada.
- Is the space furnished and stocked with essential items that you will need? If not, you need to have a plan for how you will get the essential items that you need for the full 14 days of your quarantine.
- It might be difficult to visit and view rental properties in Winnipeg due to social-distancing measures that are being strictly enforced.
Banking and access to money:
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?
- Commonly used credit cards include Mastercard, Visa and American Express (however, American Express is not always accepted). In addition, some credit cards may not be compatible with Canadian stores online, so please check with your local banking institution.
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.
- Does your budget allow for the increase in expenses that will be expected during your time in self-isolation?
- Will you have sufficient funds to accommodate any additional costs that arise?
Cell phone and Wi-Fi:
If you are required to quarantine, during your 14-day quarantine period, you cannot leave your accommodations to set up your cell phone with a Canadian carrier or purchase a new cell phone, if needed.
- Do you have a cell phone plan (data coverage, long-distance calling, text messaging features) that will last during your self-isolation period before you are able to switch to a local carrier?
Similarly, if your accommodations do not already have Wi-Fi or internet access, you cannot 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.
- Do you have any local supports in Winnipeg already?
- Do you have friends or family to check in on you, or drop off things you may need?
The University of Manitoba provides 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.
Additional health information
It is mandatory for international students in Manitoba to have primary health coverage. Through Manitoba Blue Cross, the University of Manitoba provides a comprehensive plan that offers comparable coverage to what Manitobans receive. For more information about the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP), visit the UM International Centre’s health coverage page.
If you travel to Canada and are not able to register in the Fall 2022 Term, then you will not be covered under the Manitoba International Student Health Plan from September 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. Similarly, if are not able to register in the Winter 2023 Term, then you will not be covered under the health plan from January 1, 2023 – August 31, 2023.
- All eligible international students are covered by MISHP. Therefore, if you are required to be tested for COVID-19 at an approved testing site, the medical expenses incurred for testing will be covered under your plan. For more information, 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.
- We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance from your home country that provides coverage until the start of classes. We also recommend that you confirm with the insurance provider that your coverage includes any medical costs related to COVID-19. Not all insurance providers cover these costs.
What to do if you get sick
If you get sick please review the information on the student resources page.
Students already in Canada
Students already in Canada Medical
Students can call University Health Services at 204-474-8411, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. for telephone consultations regarding your health-care needs. Virtual appointments can also be booked during these times.
What to do if you get sick: Review information on the student resources page.
Canada’s COVID Alert App is a free exposure notification app designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. UM is recommending that students, faculty and staff subscribe to the app. This app provides important COVID-19 related information, notifies individuals if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive and provides advice.
International students can book vaccination appointments immediately after arrival as long as your stay in Manitoba is at least 30 days. The vaccine will be provided at no cost and some form of government-issued ID such as a passport will have to be presented to receive the vaccine.
International students covered under the Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) must call 1-844-626-8222 to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Unfortunately, online booking is not available for international students in Manitoba.
Students already in Canada Groceries and other resources
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.
We also understand that money may be tight, and you may need to access non-perishable food items. Please visit the student information page under 'Personal support' for details on how to utilize the university's food bank.
Students already in Canada Financial support
If you are concerned about your finances during this time, here are some resources that may be helpful to you:
- The Financial Aid and Awards Office is offering remote service during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 204-474-9531 or email email@example.com for information.
- Please see the Financial supports page for general information on financial support for all students.
- Explore more resources from the Money Matters section of the international student resource guide.
- Read more about working while you study under the “While you are in Canada” section on the International Students Immigration Information webpage.
Students already in Canada Travelling outside Canada
If you are thinking about going back to your home country in the near future, there are some very important considerations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic that you should keep in mind. These considerations include possible impacts on your Manitoba International Student Health Plan (MISHP) coverage if you leave Canada and return, the documentation you require to return to Canada, and potential barriers preventing you from returning to Canada. Please contact an advisor at the International Centre to discuss your individual situation before booking a flight out of Canada by emailing the International Centre’s reception desk at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and student number.
All current students
For all current international students:
- Information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
- Study permits
- Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
- Health plan
- International graduate students
- Connect with an advisor
Our International Student Advisors (ISAs) recognize the unique experience of international students. We are here to help you with your adjustment to life and study in Canada and throughout your time at the University of Manitoba.
The ISAs at the International Centre work with you at various points during your time at UM to plan ahead or work through challenges regarding personal matters, academics, university regulations and life in Winnipeg. Contact email@example.com to connect with an advisor.
There are many avenues for international students to receive additional support at the University of Manitoba, including:
Please call or email these units directly to determine the best way to access their services.
All current students Information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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:
Compliance with study permit conditions
If your in-person courses are temporarily moved to an online-only format or suspended completely because of COVID-19 you will still be complying with your study permit conditions. To remain compliant, you must:
- stay enrolled in your designated learning institution (DLI), and
- participate in your studies online, if your DLI is offering them
Extending your status
IRCC is still processing applications, including applications for the 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.
Post-Graduation Work Program
If you're inside of Canada
As per IRCC's website, you are still eligible for the PGWP if:
- your in-person classes in Canada have been moved to an online-only format and you are taking your classes online because of COVID-19, or
- you had to put your studies on hold or study part-time during the winter, spring or summer 2020 semesters because of COVID-19
Effective the Fall 2020 semester, you must be studying full-time to be eligible.
If you’re outside of Canada you may still be eligible for a PGWP if you:
- meet all of the other PGWP requirements
- have been enrolled in a program that was in progress in March 2020, or
- have started a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, and
- you have a study permit, or
- you have been approved for a study permit, or
- you applied for a study permit before starting your study program
- your study permit must eventually be approved
How much of your studies count toward a PGWP
You can complete 100 per cent of your studies online from outside Canada.
All of your time studying outside Canada between spring 2020 and August 31, 2022 counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you are completing two study programs.
If you are completing two study programs, you can finish 100 per cent of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and summer 2022, and:
- Both study programs are from an eligible DLI and are completed within two years
- Each program meets all of the PGWP eligibility requirements and is at least eight months long
The following time will not count toward the length of a PGWP:
- Time spent studying outside of Canada after August 31, 2022
- Time spent studying before you applied for the study permit
All current students Health plan
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.