With Covid continuing to be an obstacle to international students and foreign workers, it feels impossible to prepare for a big move. Rather, the contrary is true. Canada is prepared for newcomers and has provided a checklist that will help you prepare for your trip.
Canada 2022 Checklist for Covid
- A negative PCR Test 72 hours before your flight – Regardless of your vaccination status, you will need to submit a PCR test. A rapid antigen test does not count.
- Proof of full vaccination – It wasn’t until recently that Canada approved other vaccines to be considered fully vaccinated. Instead of just Moderna, Pfizer, and Astra-Zeneca, Canada now approves of Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, and Covaxin. That makes a total of seven approved vaccines.
- ArriveCAN app – This is a phone app that you can download and is necessary for all travellers. It will give you everything you need to know before coming to Canada. Through the app, you must submit all your information and documents. Doing this saves you a lot of time so you’re not held up at the gate.
- Masks and hand sanitizer – You will have to wear your mask throughout the entire flight. There are no exceptions. Make sure to bring extra masks in case your primary one gets ruined. The flight will supply you with some of their own hand sanitizer, but it’s helpful to be prepared with your own.
- Quarantine Plan* – You’ll need a place to stay, beit hotel, family home, or airbnb, it doesn’t matter. All you’ll need is a place to isolate, if you must. You also need to have access to food and other living necessities. Make sure to assess your quarantine plan on your own because there’s a possibility of getting denied.
*According to PAL and Air Canada, you are exempt from quarantining so long as you meet the requirements of being fully vaccinated. Check with the airline you are flying with.
- Covid tests in your connecting airport – If your flight isn’t direct, double check to see if you’ll need to take a Covid test at your connecting airport. Also be sure to plan accordingly if you know that the city that you’re connecting in has strict rules. Note that each province in Canada has their own restrictions.
- Covid test upon arrival – For added safety measures, you will be taking another Covid test before you leave the airport. This is a different process and you’ll need to pre-register before you even take off from your first destination.
Reminder: always check your email for Covid test results or any important messages from the IRCC.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re preparing to leave for Canada. The list above is on top of everything else you’ll need, like your passport or student visa. If you need a checklist on what you need to apply for school, you can find that here.
Other Things to Pack
- Passport – This is probably the most important document when you’re travelling. Don’t forget it and don’t lose it.
- Confirmation of Study Permit Letter – You must present the letter from the IRCC to the immigration officer when you land in Canada. Once the officers review the document, they will release the official study and or work permit.
Note: the passport request letter and the welcome letter from the IRCC are not the official documents. The only official documents are the study or work permits issued here in Canada.
- Letter of Acceptance – You will have to present the letter of acceptance from your school to verify that you are going to study in Canada. In addition, make sure to have all supporting documents such as a physical copy of what you submitted on your school and visa application (School Diploma, Transcripts, Financial documents etc.).
- Secondary ID – If you have a driver’s licence, bring it. You can use it later on when you try for a Canadian driver’s licence and it can serve as support when it comes to anything official.
- Warm clothing – It doesn’t matter if you move in the summer; you will get cold. The hottest days in Canada hardly compare to the Philippines’ nights. Be prepared.
- Prescriptions – It is not easy to get a doctor’s appointment here in Canada! If you just got here especially during the pandemic, be prepared to bring medicine, vitamins, and prescriptions that you may need. Aside from the change of weather and time, it could take three months to be qualified for Medical Services. Unlike in the Philippines where you can just walk in to see a doctor, that’s unlikely to happen in Canada.
- Snacks and personal needs – During this unprecedented time, you must always be prepared to quarantine. If you are coming to Canada alone, it is always safe to have everything you need with you to last for at least 2 weeks. You want to be comfortable during isolation or even just a simple adjustment to the weather, and hey don’t forget jet lag is real!
Though it can be overwhelming, these final checklists mean that you’re just one step away from starting your new life in Canada. You’ve come this far; everything’s been approved and now you just need to prepare yourself for that flight.
It’s important to prepare for that flight properly. If you miss something, you could be denied boarding or may have to pay a hefty fine.