If your question is not listed in any of these pages, please email your International Student Advisor, Kay Balite, kay.balite@msvu.ca to receive help.

IMPORTANT: this page, including its sub-pages, has last been updated on April 26, 2020.

Where can I find information on Employment Insurance (EI), Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)?

There are two benefits that international students could be eligible for.


1. Employment Insurance (EI)

Students may qualify if they have been laid off and if they worked enough hours in the last 52 weeks.

Visit the EI website to learn more.

2. Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB)

Students may qualify if they earned a minimum of $5,000 over the last 12 months and must expect to earn less than $1,000 a month while collecting the benefit.

Visit the CERB website to learn more.


If you have
not already applied to EI or CERB, find more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply by visiting the websites listed above or by contacting our automated telephone service at 1-833-966-2099.

If you have already applied to EI and have additional questions about CERB, please call 1-833-699-0299.

Please note, Government of Canada Canada Emergency Student Benefit on April 22. However, international students do not qualify for this funding – only Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Do international students qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

Yes, some international students may qualify for CERB. Get more details under who can apply for CERB.

CERB provides a payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to 16 weeks.After you apply, you should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days.

NOTE: students may qualify if they earned a minimum of $5,000 over the last 12 months and must expect to earn less than $1,000 a month while collecting the benefit.

View the Frequently Asked Questions page of CERB.

I do not qualify for CERB, does MSVU have a financial support program?

The MSVU President’s Student Relief Fund has been established to help students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. loss of income) cover urgent and immediate costs associated with housing, food, technology, health services and transportation.

To be eligible to apply you must be:

  • An MSVU student registered in the Winter 2020 term
  • Have taken a minimum of 1.0 unit since September 2019
  • Have urgent and immediate demonstrated financial need

Applications for this emergency funding are currently being accepted; students in need are asked to complete the President’s Student Relief application form (MSVU log-in required).

The amount a student may receive is based on the student’s demonstrated financial need directly related to Covid-19, to a maximum of $1,000 for full-time students and $500 for part-time students.

NOTE: Preference will be given to students who have exhausted other emergency funding options and/or do not qualify for support from the Federal CERB program.

The President’s Student Relief Fund is being supported by University-led fundraising efforts. Our priority is to support immediate student need and our hope is that remaining funds could establish a bursary available to impacted students returning or beginning their studies in the fall of 2020. Applications for these bursaries will be available in the future.

My Social Insurance Number (SIN) is expired, can I still apply for CERB?

Yes, you can still apply for CERB using your expired SIN.

However, you must apply to renew your SIN as soon as possisble. Visit our FAQ page on SIN to learn how to apply online.