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.

Kay Balite is certified by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) as a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor. RISIA ID #: S715245.

IMPORTANT: this page has last been updated on May 23, 2021.

What do I need to travel to Canada?

You must meet the following requirements:

1. Valid passport – 6-months minimum

2. Temporary Resident Visa or eTA; USA passport holders exempted.

3. Valid Study Permit or have received your Letter of Introduction/Study Permit letter of approval.
Note: Approval in Principle is NOT enough!

4. Approved MSVU Quarantine Plan.

5. Hotel booking for 3-nights (federal requirement).

6. Negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to your departure.

7. Valid medical exam – IRCC approved physician (if applicable).
Note: a medical exam is only valid for 12 months.

8. Approval letter to enter Nova Scotia

9. Proof of course registration or enrolment letter

How soon can I travel to Canada?

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Officers will determine your eligibility to enter Canada. Even if you have all the required documents, some officers may only allow you entry if you will be studying in the next 4 weeks.

There is no official notice or regulation around this so, we recommend that you play it safe and only travel if you will be studying in the next 4 weeks.

What preparations do I have to do?

Federal (Canada) government:

  1. Get your pre-entry COVID-19 PCR test withi 72 hours of your departure.
  2. Reserve your 3-night hotel stopover at a government-authorized hotels.
  3. Register in advance for your arrival COVID-19 test taken at the airport.
  4. Submit your travel and quarantine plans on ArriveCAN app.

Provincial (Nova Scotia) government:

  1. Choose and book the hotel for your quarantine period in Nova Scotia. Refer to the MSVU Quarantine Plan for hotel details.
  2. Book your transportation to the hotel for your quarantine period. Refer to the MSVU Quarantine Plan for transportation details.
  3. Complete the MSVU Quarantine Plan  and email it to international@msvu.ca along with supporting documents.
  4. Apply to enter Nova Scotia by completing the NS Safe Check-in Form. Submit application 10 days before entry to avoid costly delays.

What documents do I need to present at the Canadian border or Port of Entry?

Prepare the following documents to present at the border.

  1. Letter of Invitation (Study Permit approval) OR a valid Study Permit
  2. Passport
  3. MSVU Quarantine Plan signed by the International Education Centre
  4. MSVU Letter of Acceptance
  5. MSVU Confirmation of Enrolment Letter
  6. Proof of funds
  7. Valid medical exam – IRCC approved physician (if applicable)
  8. Negative results of PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure (if applicable)
  9. Proof of federal hotel quarantine reservation (if applicable)

How do I apply to enter Nova Scotia?

If you have been living in Nova Scotia…

If you have the following documents, you should complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form and select “I’m a Nova Scotia resident returning home”. This will allow you to be approved automatically and you will be asked to present one of the following documents when you enter Nova Scotia.

  1. NS government ID or driver’s license.
  2. Utility bill with your current address (power, internet, water, etc).
  3. Bank statement with your local address.

If you are a new international student…

We recommend submitting your application at least 10 days prior to your arrival to Nova Scotia to avoid costly delays.

  1. Complete the Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form and choose “I’m a student attending a university, community college, language school or private career college in Nova Scotia”.
  2. Wait for the province to email you back requesting for proof of course registration.
  3. Submit a copy of your course registration or class schedule indicating that you are currently studying.
  4. Wait for the province to email you back with your Approval Letter to enter Nova Scotia.
    Note: additional documents may be requested.

How do I book my federal hotel quarantine stay?

Choose from the list of Government Approved Hotels and book your stay directly on their website or by calling the following numbers to make your reservation:

  •  1-800-294-8253 (toll free within North America)
  • 1-613-830-2992 (collect call outside of North America)

Payment is made upon reservation and is non-refundable. Reservation must be made prior to your departure to Canada and proof of hotel booking must be entered on the ArriveCan app

How do I book my Nova Scotia hotel quarantine stay?

The two hotels you can choose from are the Hampton Inn or the Homewood Suites.

1. Hampton Inn by Hilton Halifax-Downtown:

2. Homewood Suites by Hilton Halifax-Downtown:

How can I book my taxi from the Halifax airport to my place of quarantine?

You must book a private taxi to pick you up from the Halifax airport to your place of quarantine – MSVU approved hotels or MSVU on-campus residence.

Are minors exempted from the quarantine requirements?

If you are a minor (under 18 years of age), you are exempted from the federal quarantine requirements.

However, you are still required to quarantine as prescribed by the province of Nova Scotia. Please proceed to compelting the MSVU Quarantine Plan.

Can my family travel with me to Canada?

Yes, if they are your dependents or your guardian (if you are a minor) AND they have the following permits:

  • TRV/eTA – USA passport holders are exempted from this
  • Study/Work Permit – if applicable

IMPORTANT: you must travel together. If you won’t be travelling together, please email international@msvu.ca.

Why should I get a Canadian phone number before coming to Canada?

Having a Canadian phone number is essential in avoiding problems as you travel to Canada. You will need it for the following:

  1. ArriveCAN app – communication with any public offical of the federal government
  2. Arrival test registration – communication with Public Health Agency of Canada regarding your COVID-19 test
  3. Nova Scotia Safe Check-in Form – communication with the NS Public Health
  4. Contact with MSVU – accessing your advisor in case of emergency upon arrival
  5. Finding off-campus housing – communication with local renters such as apartment companies and private renters

How do I obtain a Canadian phone number from outside of Canada?

PhoneBox is a Canadian mobile service provider offering affordable cell phone plans on 4G LTE networks, powered by Rogers and Telus.

They will mail a SIM card with a Canadian phone number to international students before or upon your arrival in Canada. Having the sim card installed in advance means your Canadian phone number will be active as soon as you arrive in Canada.

Learn more on about how to get your Canadian sim card here: PhoneBox Plans for International Students_2021 MSVU.

What if I don't get a Canadian phone number?

When filling out the contact number for the ArriveCan app and arrival test registration, you can enter the phone number of your hotel stopover.

When filling out the contact number for the NS Safe Travel Check-in Form, you can enter the phone number of your hotel stay, either the Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites.

  • Hampton Inn phone number: 902-422-1391
  • Homewood Suites phone number: 902-429-6620

I recovered from COVID-19, what do I need to know?

If you have recovered from COVID-19, you must show proof of recovery that is within 14 to 90 days prior to departure to Canada (a positive test result followed by a negative test result)

You are currently exempted from:

  1. Pre-arrival testing – no need for proof of negative test (72 hours) prior to departure to Canada.
  2. Arrival testing – no need to complete federal quarantine at Point of Entry (POE).

Please note: you are still required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Nova Scotia.