After arriving in Canada

When you arrive in Canada, take these steps before starting your studies.

Follow your self-isolation plan

When you first arrive, check-in within 48 hours through the ArriveCAN online form or call 1 833 641 0343 and complete a daily self-assessment of your symptoms during your 14 day quarantine..

If your contact information or quarantine location has changed, email your updated information to

If the officer has determined that you are fully vaccinated and confirmed you do not need to quarantine yet you are receiving notifications, see ArriveCan troubleshooting

Complete your COVID-19 testing kit

As of February 22, 2021, you will be given a COVID-19 test kit on arrival in Canada to complete on day 8 of your quarantine, unless exempt. Complete the COVID-19 test following the instructions you were provided.

You will need to continue to quarantine until you get a negative test result. If you test positive, you will need to start the 14 day quarantine cycle again.

Starting July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from this test.

See Day-8 COVID-19 testing for details.

Getting support during your self-isolation period

If you have questions or concerns while you are in self-isolation, UBC Staff Ambassadors are available to help. They can answer questions directly related to your self-isolation or more general questions about other aspects of your UBC experience. Staff ambassadors are available to all students in self-isolation, whether on or off campus.

Contact a UBC Staff Ambassador through email at

After-arrival checklist

After arriving in British Columbia: 
  1. Apply for the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP)
  2. Check that you have iMED health insurance 
  3. Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  4. Add your document expiry dates to UBC’s Reminder System
  5. Sign up to receive the International Community Update newsletter
  6. After self-isolation, get a BCID to avoid carrying your passport for identification.
  7. Learn how to get vaccinated or register your vaccine if you’ve been vaccinated outside of BC.

Be sure to follow BC public health guidelines and see COVID-19 and UBC’s response for updates. 

If you need a temporary mailing address

If you don’t have a mailing address, you can use International Student Advising as your temporary mailing address when you first arrive in Canada.

International Student Advising
UBC Life Building
1200 - 6138 Student Union Blvd.
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Mail will be publicly accessible in the office, so there is no way to ensure that your mail will be secure. International Student Advising does not accept packages on behalf of students as there is no secure storage space. 

You can also rent a Post Office Box from Canada Post.

After you've moved into your place of residence, remember to change all of your mailing addresses.

If you need emergency financial support

If you’re facing financial hardship or have questions around your finances during the COVID-19 outbreak, speak to an Enrolment Services (ES) Advisor. As trusted advisors, they can help you understand your options and find solutions that work for you. 

If you are required to quarantine upon entry to Canada to begin or continue your studies, you may be eligible for the UBC Quarantine Bursary.

Learning about life in Canada

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide

International Student FAQ

Learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on immigration and health insurance for international students.

See the FAQ