International Student FAQs

Can I begin my program online before I receive my study permit?

You can begin your program through online courses outside Canada, even if your study permit, temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) have not yet been processed. Remember you should apply for these documents now.

My permit/ visa was refused. I have already started studying online from outside Canada. Can I continue?

Online studies can continue from outside of Canada without a study permit. You can therefore continue to study while you work on your response to the refusal. You can also speak with our Admissions Department at 4169686739 ext. 24 or email: [email protected] about your options.

I am unable to travel to Canada because of health concerns or restricted travel. Do I still need to apply for a study permit now?

Apply for a study permit as soon as possible so you will be ready to join in-person classes when you are able. You can begin your studies remotely if you are unable to be on campus for any reason.

I am not currently in Canada, and want to come/return to campus. How do I enter Canada?

As of October 20, 2020, international students meeting the conditions listed below will be able to come to Canada regardless of the date of issue of their study permit, approval letter, or the country from which they are travelling.

All of the following requirements must be met:

  • Have a valid study permit or study permit approval letter (“port of entry letter of introduction”) issued by Immigration Canada. An “approval in principle” is not enough. Students who have received approval in principle/stage 1 pre-approval, must still wait for a final decision regarding their study permit application.
  • Have either an eTA or TRV (“entry visa”) if applicable, along with their passport. USA citizens are exempt from the eTA/TRV requirement.
  • Have submitted information including travel and contact information, quarantine plan and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment to the Government of Canada. Download the Government of Canada’s ArriveCAN app (iOS or Android) or use their accessible web app to submit the mandatory information required for entry into Canada. After November 21st this will be required for all air travellers arriving to Canada prior to boarding their flight. Show evidence of registration at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) which has a formally approved COVID-19 readiness plan. It is strongly recommended that you bring an updated confirmation of enrolment letter to support your entry to Canada.
  • Show proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. We recommend that you use up-to-date versions of the financial documents that supported your study permit application.
  • If you arrive to Canada after November 21st, you must submit information to the Government of Canada through either the ArriveCAN app (iOS or Android) or by calling 1-833-641-0343 toll-free. You must confirm you have arrived at your place of quarantine within 48 hours and complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during your quarantine period. Travellers who do not submit the mandatory information required after they have entered the country will be considered a high priority for follow up by law enforcement.

Students meeting these requirements are considered to have a non-discretionary reason to enter Canada.

Dependents who are coming to live with the international student in Canada are also considered to have a non-discretionary reason for travel; however, short-term visitors to Canada are still not permitted to enter for the foreseeable future.

For more details click here.

Can I go in person to the US land border and apply for a study permit?

Non-essential travel between Canada and the USA is currently suspended. Travelling to the US-Canada border to apply for a work or study permit is considered non-essential travel and?you’ll?be turned away from the border if you attempt to do so.

I feel unwell, what are the next steps I need to take?

If you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, please do NOT come to campus. You are encouraged to:

Students should contact us via email to [email protected] to notify us.

Your information will help us take steps to protect our community.  We will not share your name or other identifying information in our notification to other CMU members.

If you feel ill while on campus, please leave the campus and self-isolate immediatelySelf-isolation means staying home and limiting contact with others as much as possible.

Do I need to let CMU know I have symptoms?

Students are should let CMU know about COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis by contacting us via email to [email protected]

Specifically, please let us know:

  • If you get sick up to 48 hours after being on the campus
  • If you get sick while on campus
  • You tested positive with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks (14 days).

Your reporting will help us keep everyone safe because CMU can make sure to clean and disinfect all areas you might have visited. We may notify others to look out for COVID-19 symptoms if they were on campus at the same time as you. We will not share your name or other identifying information in our notification to other CMU members.

I got tested for COVID-19 and the test came back negative. May I return to campus?

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and the result is negative, you can come back to campus after your symptoms improve. However, you should still self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • you had an exposure to COVID-19 (e.g., through family members or close physical contact with others who have COVID-19) or
  • traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.

I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. What must I do?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, local public health will follow up with you directly. You must follow their directives and please do NOT visit campus for 14 days from the date when your COVID-19 symptoms began; or for 14 days from the COVID-19 test date if you do not have any symptoms.

You are also encouraged to let CMU know about your diagnosis by contacting us via email at [email protected] so we may take the necessary precautions to protect our community.

Where can I find reliable and up-to-date information on the coronavirus pandemic?

For the most up-to-date information in Ontario, please visit the dedicated webpage created by the government of Ontario to educate the public regarding the Coronavirus.

Additional resources:


I have COVID-19 questions about my health insurance policy and coverage. Where can I find the most up-to-date information?

International students must have valid health insurance coverage in Canada. CBSA agents may ask students to demonstrate proof of health insurance coverage during their study period. Health insurance policies can be purchased by visiting Study Insured and Guard Me insurance websites. Once students purchase health insurance, they are encouraged to review the information provided by their providers and contact them directly regarding questions about the policy and coverage.


Where can I find translated public health information?

Toronto’s city website has a translate option. This tool gives residents and visitors who speak other languages a way of accessing City information featured on the website.

Translated public health information on a variety of topics related to COVID-19 is available through the Region of Peel and Ottawa Public Health.


I am a current international student at CMU, and I want to leave Canada and come back after some time. Will I be allowed to re-enter?

 Under Canada’s current travel restrictions, holders of valid study permits and students approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020 may be allowed to travel to Canada if they have an essential (non-discretionary) reason to enter Canada. Students who wish to travel to Canada should note that, even if they fall under the guidelines provided on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, this does not guarantee entry to Canada.  A Canadian Border Services Agency officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

The Government of Canada has put measures in place to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Upon arrival to Canada, you MUST quarantine for 14 days, provide contact information and monitor yourself for symptoms.  Your compliance with this Order is subject to verification and enforcement. Those in violation may face transfer to a quarantine facility as well as fines and/or imprisonment.

Please review the Canadian Governments Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice page to learn more about  mandatory quarantine and explore CMU’s quarantine supports on our International Student Resources Webpage.

After you have made your travel plans you must complete CMU’S Quarantine Plan so we can ensure you are supported prior to your arrival and during your quarantine. If you are a returning CMU student, please email [email protected] to request a travel letter after you have completed the Quarantine Plan.

I am a current international student at CMU who is outside of Canada. What else do I need to know if I decide to come back to Canada?

 Please contact CMU admissions department at Admissions Department at 416-968-6739 ext. 24 or email: [email protected]  You may also check the IRCC website  for the most current updates on traveling to Canada. It is also highly recommended that you check Border Information Services for detailed information.

I am a new student and I would like to come to Canada for an upcoming program, even though my classes will be virtual in blended format. Will I be able to travel to Canada?

Please contact CMU admissions department at Admissions Department at 416-968-6739 ext. 24 or email: [email protected]  You may also check the IRCC website  for the most current updates on traveling to Canada. It is also highly recommended that you check Border Information Services for detailed information.

 Where can I find the most recent information about study permits and immigration documentation?

 Information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to change due to COVID-19. It is recommended that you refer to the IRCC website for updates and changes.

Please also review the following helpful resources:

 What does mandatory quarantine mean?

 Mandatory quarantine means that upon your arrival to Canada, you must travel directly to a suitable location and quarantine for 14 days.  During this period, you must not leave your place of quarantine except to seek medical attention. You must not have any guests or visitors during your mandatory quarantine.

This order has been put in place by the Government of Canada as part of the Quarantine Act to help reduce the introduction and spread of COVID-19, and may be verified and enforced. To learn more about what it means to quarantine, — including what is and isn’t allowed – please review the Government of Canada’s guide to mandatory quarantine.

Local public health units may call you during quarantine to verify that you are following the quarantine order. This page includes a list of public health phone numbers.

What is the difference between “mandatory quarantine” and “mandatory isolation”?

Travellers entering Canada who have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 must follow a mandatory quarantine for 14 days (starting from the day you arrive in Canada). To learn more about what  mandatory quarantine means, – including what is and isn’t allowed – please review the Government of Canada’s explanation of  mandatory quarantine.

You should not travel if you are sick.  If you’re allowed to enter Canada and have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, it is mandatory to isolate for 14 days without delay (starting from the date you arrive in Canada). During the mandatory isolation period, you must monitor your health. You must not leave your place of isolation except to seek medical attention. You must not go outside. To learn more about what  mandatory isolation means, please review the Government of Canada’s explanation of  mandatory isolation.

Where can I quarantine?

 You may choose to quarantine:

  • In your rented apartment/house in Canada, provided you remain in your room as much as possible if you are sharing the apartment with others. Be sure to avoid quarantining in a shared room or in a home with vulnerable people, including the elderly or those with medical conditions. You may wish to review the Government of Canada’s quarantine guide for information about shared spaces while quarantining.
  • In a hotel– several hotels in the Greater Toronto Area are offering special rates to CMU students who require them for quarantine. Please contact the hotels directly to arrange your stay and discuss food options.


I don’t have a Canadian phone number. Where can I get a SIM card?

You may wish to check out GoPhoneBox, a service that allows you to order a SIM card and have it shipped to you in your home country before you travel to Canada.

Who can I contact if I have more questions about international travel, immigration, arrival in Canada or quarantine?

CMU is providing online support and advising all CMU students virtually. If you have questions that have not been addressed here, please email us at [email protected]