BC Study Abroad is excited to announce the launch of its seventh annual BC Study Abroad Photo Contest. We are inviting all students who have previously studied abroad to share their favourite study abroad photo memories for a chance to win a GoPro Hero 8 (sponsored by Study and Go Abroad!).

Each photo submitted will count as an entry. You can enter as many photos as you want to increase your chances of winning. Submit using the online BC Study Abroad Photo Contest form.

Deadline for entry is October 15, 2021. For contest details, visit the contest page.

Want some inspiration? Visit the BCSA Instagram page to see past contest photo submissions.

Good luck!

Global Affairs Canada has shared a document, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, that answers frequently asked questions around quarantine and isolation for international students and offers clarification regarding Designated Quarantine Facilities (DQFs).

Read full article.

Flights from India and Pakistan

As of April 22, 2021, at 11:30 pm ET, Canada is suspending flights from India and Pakistan. Travel restrictions may change with little warning.

Read the news release for more details.

Submit your complete study permit application for the fall 2021 semester

If IRCC receives your complete study permit application by May 15, 2021, you’ll get a decision by August 6, 2021, in time to attend the fall semester.

IRCC may not be able to process your application by August 6, 2021, if you’re unable to submit a complete application because of COVID-19 restrictions, such as reduced service at

  • visa application centres (VACs)
  • other providers

If you submit a complete application after May 15, 2021, IRCC will process it as quickly as possible—but you may not get a final decision before the fall semester begins.

The information on this page is to help you understand how British Columbia and Canada are working to keep students and communities healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial Updates

The Government of British Columbia has ensured post-secondary institutions have plans in place that allow institutions to welcome international students on study permits while supporting the federal border restrictions, quarantine requirements, and the safety of communities.

In March 2021, the Government of British Columbia announced that public post-secondary institutions are preparing for a full return to on-campus education in September 2021. The safety of all students, faculty, and staff will remain a top priority throughout this process, which will include the development of more detailed safety plans for each institution.

In the K-12 sector, enhanced health and safety measures are helping to keep students safe during COVID-19.  Schools continue to be low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission, and most K-12 students are participating in full-time, in-class instruction in accordance with current public health guidelines for schools.

Information about British Columbia’s response to COVID-19, including the immunization plan for all residents, is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

Mental Health and Wellness

The Government of British Columbia launched Here2Talk, a mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students, including international students. The service offers confidential, free single-session services by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Download the Here2Talk app, visit: here2talk.ca, or call toll free 1-877-857-3397 or direct 604-642-5212.  More information.

Health Care in British Columbia

Medical Services Plan (MSP)

To support international students on study permits, the Government of British Columbia has made temporary changes to MSP coverage policies.

If your study permit is about to expire and you are still in Canada, you can apply to IRCC for an extension.

If your study permit has expired and you no longer have MSP coverage, you may be provided temporary MSP coverage if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Contact Health Insurance BC to request this temporary coverage. This temporary coverage will currently be valid until April 30, 2021.

If you were previously issued a Temporary Coverage letter that is set to expire October 31, 2020, and you remain in BC with implied status, you can contact Health Insurance BC to request a new letter valid until April 30, 2021.

Post-Secondary Institution Supports and Services

Many post-secondary institutions are providing student housing, financial, and other assistance, including bursaries and emergency funding for international students. International students should connect directly with institutions to inquire about supports and services. Contact information for post-secondary institutions in British Columbia is available online.

Travel to British Columbia, Canada

Please see our updated information to help you travel to BC and meet all health and safety requirements.

To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must:

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive:

Mandatory hotel stay information:

As of February 21, 2021, passengers travelling by air (unless exempted) are required to:

  • Reserve a government-authorized hotel for 3 nights prior to departure to Canada
  • Take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada
  • Stay in the government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken on arrival
  • Pay for the cost of the hotel stay, as well as all associated costs for food, security, transportation, and infection prevention and control measures
  • When the mandatory hotel stay is over, you must then follow the COVID-19 readiness plan for your approved DLI
  • If you’re an unaccompanied minor, you’re exempt from the mandatory hotel stay for air travellers

Up-to-date Government of Canada information on study permit-related issues, travel restrictions and exemptions, the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, as well as Government of Canada programs for which international students may be eligible, is available online. More information.

We encourage you to consult this page regularly for the latest updates relevant to your situation.