International Student COVID-19 FAQ

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Current students

Study permit and work

My program has been moved online. Will this impact my study permit?

No. IRCC has confirmed that if your program was moved online due to COVID-19, the conditions and eligibility of your study permit are not affected. You will receive a letter regarding this in your MyNAIT Portal to support future immigration applications.

My program has been moved online. Will this impact by eligibility to apply for a post-graduation work permit?

If you are in Canada: No. IRCC has confirmed that if your program was moved to online delivery, due to COVID-19, your eligibility to apply for a post-graduation work permit will not be affected.  You will receive a letter regarding online studies in your MyNAIT Portal to support future immigration applications.

If you are outside of Canada: Maybe not. IRCC has recently updated the requirements for post-graduation work permit eligibility.

I need to extend my study permit. Have the requirements to do this changed due to COVID-19?

No. The process to extend your study permit remains the same, though processing times may be effected. Please connect with an International Student Advisor if you have questions. 

I have decided to drop my courses for the winter semester because I don't want to study online. Does this impact my immigration status or permission to work?

If you are in Canada, yes. Students can have a break in studies for 150 days (not including an authorized break). Therefore, if your total time away from studying will exceed 150 days you must do one of the following to protect your status:  

  1. Study something before you reach 150 days; 
  1. Change your status; or 
  1. Leave Canada, being mindful of the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. 

Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions 

If you are outside of Canada, no. If you have a study permit (or have applied for one) you are permitted to stop studying and it will not impact your study permit status.

Please note that any break in studies will impact your eligibility for your Post-Graduation Work Permit.

I am in Canada and I am not able to start my co-op as planned. How will this impact my immigration status?

You can remain in Canada as a student while you wait to start your co-op. You may need to extend your study permit and your co-op work permit.  Please connect with your program and an International Student Advisor to ensure you understand your options. 

I'm currently studying, but my classes have moved online. Am I still eligible to work?

Yes. IRCC has confirmed that if your classes have moved online due to COVID-19, you still have the same eligibility to work as you did before COVID-19. If you were not eligible to work before COVID-19 (for example, if you were studying part-time), you still are not eligible to work. Please connect with an International Student Advisor if you have questions.

Travel

I've started my program online from outside Canada, but plan to travel to Canada as soon as I'm able. How can NAIT support me in this?

For more information on travelling into Canada during COVID-19, please see information below about Quarantine information – Resources for students travelling into Canada. You can also refer to emails that were sent to you by NAIT International.

Please connect with an International Student Advisor if you plan to travel to Canada.

I might have permission to travel, but I'm undecided if it's the best decision for me. What should I do?

NAIT is encouraging students to consider many factors before travelling to Canada during a global pandemic. To help make your decision, please review NAIT’s Should I Come to Canada Now? Document.

I might have permission to travel. When does NAIT recommend I arrive in Canada?

NAIT is strongly recommending students to only arrive in Canada in time to quarantine and begin the term. We are not recommending students travel as they are studying. To read more about NAIT’s recommended travel dates, please review our Recommended Travel Dates document.

I started my program online and now I'm travelling to Canada, but my letter of acceptance has expired. What else can I bring with me as I travel to prove I'm in good standing with my program?

Students with an expired Letter of Acceptance are encouraged to print out a Confirmation of Enrolment to use along with the expired Letter of Acceptance. Instructions to print your Confirmation of Enrolment from your MyNAIT Portal can be found here

NEW: I have heard of new travel requirements for travellers arriving by air into Canada. What are they and how do they impact students?

The Canadian government has made changes to the requirements for any person travelling by air into Canada.  International students are required to adhere to these requirements.  In addition to the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, travellers will also be required to:

  1. take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of departure from their home country
  2. take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival in Canada
  3. Pre-book their stay in a government-approved hotel for 3 nights while they wait the results of the COVID-19 molecular test they received on arrival
  4. pay for their hotel, as well as all associated costs for food, cleaning and security. Estimated costs are around $2,000 per traveler.

There are currently only 4 airports receiving international flights:

  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Montreal-Trudeau International Airport

You will need to book your flight to one of the above airports and your mandatory hotel stay will be in the city you land in.  You must stay at a government-approved hotel in the city you land in, this will not be in Edmonton.  You can find out more information about the mandatory hotel stay here.

How to book a designated hotel

Travelers will be required to pre-book their hotel stay, by phone, at:

  • 1-800-294-8253 from within North America, or
  • 1-613-830-2992 (collect) from outside of North America.

Please be prepared to wait on hold.  You can find the list of the designated hotels here.

What to expect at the hotel

During your mandatory stay at the hotel, you can expect that everything you need will be provided for you directly in your hotel room.  You will not be permitted to leave your hotel room for any reason.  All your food will be delivered directly outside your hotel room door.  All hotels will have Wi-Fi that you can connect virtually with your family and friends during your stay.  There will be no activities provided to you by the hotel, so it is recommended you come prepared with activities to keep yourself occupied (laptop, book, etc.)  You can read more about what to expect during your stay here.

Mandatory check-ins with NAIT

You will be required to check-in daily with NAIT during your 14-day quarantine period, even during your 3-day mandatory hotel stay.  If you have completed the 14 Day Quarantine Questionnaire, you will receive an email with the Check-In information and invite. You will need to start your daily check-ins the day after you arrive. More information on the daily check in will be sent to you closer to your date of arrival into Canada.

Checking out of the hotel

If after 3 days your COVID-19 results are

Negative:

  • You can then continue to travel to Edmonton and finish the rest of your quarantine in an appropriate location
  • To book a flight to Edmonton, please explore two of Canada’s most popular airlines, Air Canada and Westjet.
  • You will be required to take another COVID-19 test near the end of your 14 days

Positive:

  • You will be relocated to a health facility to continue your quarantine under the supervision of health professionals.

Please continue to monitor travel updates through IRCC here. If you have further questions about this update or the travelling to Canada, please email vista@nait.ca.

NEW: Where can I find more information on who has permission to travel to Canada?

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that beginning October 20, 2020,  all international students with an approved study permit will be permitted to travel to Canada for the purpose of studying a program at an approved DLI. NAIT has been confirmed as an approved DLI. You can view this update here.

Like all travellers into Canada, international students and accompanying family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.

Please reach out to a NAIT Academic Advisor with an International Focus if you plan to travel into Canada.

COVID-19 vaccine

Are international students eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

International students will be eligible to receive the vaccine as per Alberta’s immunization program. Individuals who are living, working or going to school in Alberta will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge.

You can find more information on the Government of Alberta COVID-19 vaccine website and in the government’s vaccine Q&A.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory for international students travelling into Canada?

At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary in Canada. However, the Government of Canada recommends vaccination as soon as individuals are eligible to help protect themselves and their communities. You can find more information about requirements when flying to Canada on the Government of Canada’s website.

NAIT supports

Will my Alberta Healthcare coverage be affected by COVID-19?

If necessary, Alberta Health Services (AHS) can extend your coverage for 90 days from when your study permit expires, if you have applied to extend your study permit.  To receive the extension, you can call the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) at 780-427-1432.   

NOTE:  All international students will be covered for COVID-19 related medical assistance regardless of whether they have health insurance coverage. 

Please connect with an International Student Advisor if you have questions. 

What type of financial support is available?

International students may have access to the following supports: 

Please connect with an International Student Advisor if you have questions.

I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, worried, depressed, etc. about everything going on. Are there any supports to help me manage my feelings?

Yes. Our International Focused Counsellor is taking phone and video appointments at this time. To book an appointment, please contact counselling@nait.ca

Students starting May (spring) 2021

Deferral of admission

I'm supposed to start my classes in May (spring). Can I defer my admission for this term?

As a temporary response to COVID-19, a deferral of admission for international students is an option for the Spring 2021 term (note: certain criteria must be met to be eligible for this option).

To understand your options and discuss your eligibility, submit an online contact form – select topic: “How to Apply to NAIT, Entrance Requirements, and Application Questions”, and subcategory: “Can I defer my admission to a future intake?”

Study permit and work

I'm supposed to start my classes online in May (spring). Will studying online affect my study permit?

No. IRCC has confirmed that if your program was moved online due to COVID-19 your Study Permit is not affected. This is the same whether you’re in Canada or in your home country. Please see the link for complete details. Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions. 

I'm supposed to start my classes online in May (spring). Will starting my program online impact my eligibility to apply for a post-graduation work permit?

If you are in Canada: No. IRCC has confirmed that if your program was moved to online delivery, due to COVID-19, your eligibility to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit will not be affected.  You will receive a letter regarding this in your MyNAIT Portal to support future immigration applications.  

If you are outside of Canada: Maybe. IRCC has recently updated the requirements for Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility. Please note that currently only studies done up until December 31, 2021 can contribute to your PGWP, please continue to monitor here

I'm supposed to start my classes in May (spring). I'm in Canada, but my classes have moved online. Am I still eligible to work?

Yes. IRCC has confirmed that if your classes have moved online due to COVID-19, you still have the same eligibility to work as you did before COVID-19. If you are not eligible to work under normal circumstances (for example, if you are studying part-time), you still are not eligible to work. If you work in an essential service you may have permission to work more than 20 hours/week. 

I'm interested in starting classes online May (spring), but I may not get a study permit in time. Do I need one to start studying online?

If you’re inside Canada: Yes. You are required to have a valid study permit  in order to study while in Canada, even if your program is being delivered online due to COVID-19.

If you’re outside of Canada: Maybe not. IRCC has recently updated their requirements for students to begin studying online from outside Canada. So long as a student has applied for their study permit, they may be able to start studying online and have that time count towards their Post-Graduation Work Permit. 

I'm currently in Canada and I have already deferred my May (spring) or September (fall) studies to a later term/semester, so I will have a break in studies. Does this affect my study permit?

If you are in Canada, maybe. Students are required to meet the conditions of their study permit while in Canada.  

Students can have a break in studies for 150 days if they are changing programs. Therefore, if your total time away from studying will exceed 150 days you must do one of the following to protect your status:  

  1. Study before you reach 150 days; this may include starting your program in September, as planned; 

  1. Change your status; or 

  1. Leave Canada, being mindful of the rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. 

Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions.

I've applied for January (winter) or May (spring) 2021 and I have questions about my ability to apply for a study permit due to COVID-19-related circumstances. Who can I talk to?

Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions about this. 

Travel

I'm supposed to start my classes in May (spring), and I plan on travelling to Canada. Is this possible?

It is important to understand the current travel ban into Canada. Only some students are exempt from the Government of Canada’s travel ban. 

These travel bans are evolving and changing, and it is crucial to stay up to date on these changes before you make travel plans. Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions. 

To remain up-to-date please continue to monitor travel restrictions.

I have reviewed the strict travel bans and have determined that I may have permission to travel. What can I expect?

If you are exempt and wish to come to Canada, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days even if you show no symptoms of COVID-19. You will also be required to show proof of accommodation and other settlement plans before entering the country.

If you plan to travel to Canada, you must complete the Quarantine Questionnaire once you have confirmed your flight details. Once in Canada, you must partake in a Daily Check-In with NAIT; this is required by the provincial government.

Please see more information at the bottom of this FAQ webpage for further information or reach out to a NAIT Academic Advisor with an International Focus if you plan to travel into Canada.

I'm starting my program in May (spring) 2021 and I will need housing. What are my options?

NAIT students have access to residence with the University of Alberta or MacEwan student residence. These residencies also have 14-day quarantine plans that adhere to government health protocols; please see the links for more details. For other housing resources, please see here.

I might have permission to travel, but I'm undecided if it's the best decision for me. What should I do?

NAIT is encouraging students to consider many factors before travelling to Canada during a global pandemic. To help make your decision, please review NAIT’s Should I Come to Canada Now? Document.

I might have permission to travel. When does NAIT recommend I arrive in Canada?

NAIT is strongly recommending students to only arrive in Canada in time to quarantine and begin the term. We are not recommending students travel as they are studying. To read more about NAIT’s recommended travel dates, please review our Recommended Travel Dates document.

NEW: I have heard of new travel requirements for travellers arriving by air into Canada. What are they and how do they impact students?

The Canadian government has made changes to the requirements for any person travelling by air into Canada.  International students are required to adhere to these requirements.  In addition to the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, travellers will also be required to:

  1. take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of departure from their home country
  2. take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival in Canada
  3. Pre-book their stay in a government-approved hotel for 3 nights while they wait the results of the COVID-19 molecular test they received on arrival
  4. pay for their hotel, as well as all associated costs for food, cleaning and security. Estimated costs are around $2,000 per traveler.

There are currently only 4 airports receiving international flights:

  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Montreal-Trudeau International Airport

You will need to book your flight to one of the above airports and your mandatory hotel stay will be in the city you land in.  You must stay at a government-approved hotel in the city you land in, this will not be in Edmonton.  You can find out more information about the mandatory hotel stay here.

How to book a designated hotel

Travelers will be required to pre-book their hotel stay, by phone, at:

  • 1-800-294-8253 from within North America, or
  • 1-613-830-2992 (collect) from outside of North America.

Please be prepared to wait on hold.  You can find the list of the designated hotels here.

What to expect at the hotel

During your mandatory stay at the hotel, you can expect that everything you need will be provided for you directly in your hotel room.  You will not be permitted to leave your hotel room for any reason.  All your food will be delivered directly outside your hotel room door.  All hotels will have Wi-Fi that you can connect virtually with your family and friends during your stay.  There will be no activities provided to you by the hotel, so it is recommended you come prepared with activities to keep yourself occupied (laptop, book, etc.)  You can read more about what to expect during your stay here.

Mandatory check-ins with NAIT

You will be required to check-in daily with NAIT during your 14-day quarantine period, even during your 3-day mandatory hotel stay.  If you have completed the 14 Day Quarantine Questionnaire, you will receive an email with the Check-In information and invite. You will need to start your daily check-ins the day after you arrive. More information on the daily check in will be sent to you closer to your date of arrival into Canada.

Checking out of the hotel

If after 3 days your COVID-19 results are

Negative:

  • You can then continue to travel to Edmonton and finish the rest of your quarantine in an appropriate location
  • To book a flight to Edmonton, please explore two of Canada’s most popular airlines, Air Canada and Westjet.
  • You will be required to take another COVID-19 test near the end of your 14 days

Positive:

  • You will be relocated to a health facility to continue your quarantine under the supervision of health professionals.

Please continue to monitor travel updates through IRCC here. If you have further questions about this update or the travelling to Canada, please email vista@nait.ca.

NEW: Where can I find more information on who has permission to travel to Canada?

Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that beginning October 20, 2020,  all international students with an approved study permit will be permitted to travel to Canada for the purpose of studying a program at an approved DLI. NAIT has been confirmed as an approved DLI. You can view this update here.

Like all travellers into Canada, international students and accompanying family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.

Please reach out to a NAIT Academic Advisor with an International Focus if you plan to travel into Canada.

NAIT supports

I'm supposed to start my classes in May (spring). Will they be in-person or online?

NAIT has recently announced that most of the classes will be online for the spring semester, due to government restrictions. Some programs, however, may require in-person components. Programs have communicated this on their program page on the NAIT website as well as to their incoming students. If you have questions about your program’s delivery, please connect with your program directly.

I'm supposed to start classes in May (spring), but I'm facing financial hardships due to COVID-19. Who can I speak with?

To explore all of the possible funding options available for you, please complete the Student Information Form and submit to our Funding Advisor.

I've applied for May (spring) 2021 and I'm unable to pay my tuition deposit or submit my official documents due to COVID-19-related closures. What should I do?

Please check the document submission options available to you here and options for paying your deposit here. If you’d like to request an extension of your deadlines, please email Registrar@nait.ca with subject titled, “Extension Request: COVID-19”. 

Can I apply to study in May (spring) 2021?

Yes, we are still accepting applications. To apply, please refer to NAIT’s international application checklist.

Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you have questions.

Quarantine information - resources for students travelling to Canada for Spring 2021

If you're planning on travelling to Canada for spring 2021 and need more information about the mandatory 14-day quarantine, NAIT's Academic Advisors with an International focus are here to support your transition into Canada during this uncertain time. Please refer to the below documents for guidance and information:

Notify NAIT that you’re coming to Canada! It is required by the provincial government that NAIT be notified of your travel plans. Please complete the Quarantine Questionnaire once you have booked your flight into Canada. This is mandatory to complete before you travel to Canada.

Please connect with an Academic Advisor – International focus if you plan on travelling to Canada.