Travel planning for International students travelling to Canada
Okanagan College strongly recommends that all international students planning to travel to Canada fully understand the Government of Canada and BC Government laws and regulations before making travel plans. Please note that Government and regulations are subject to change. Check for the most up-to-date information often and prior to travelling.
Before you arrive
All international students planning on travelling to Canada for the purpose of studying at Okanagan College (OC) should submit their travel plan to Okanagan College, International by filling out the Travel Support Letter request below.
Use ArriveCAN for a faster border experience. Before you travel, use the ArriveCAN app to submit your travel and health details in the 72 hours before you arrive to Canada.
To request a "Travel Support Letter", submit your travel plans by clicking the button below.
Please arrive to your campus before the in-person orientation events and try not to travel on days when the virtual orientations are scheduled.
* If you are travelling several months before your studies begin, be prepared to give detailed explanations and supporting documents in case airline or border officers ask. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer you meet at the airport/border crossing will make the final decision on whether or not you are admissible to Canada.
*Remember, you will not be allowed to work in Canada until you have begun full-time studies and you meet the requirements.
Carefully read all details on this page first:
- Determine your eligibility to travel and enter Canada. You must have approval for a Study Permit and Entry Visa and be registered to start your classes in the upcoming semester.
- Book your flights making sure to arrive with enough time to get settled and attend the required in-person orientation and start of face-to-face classes.
- Book accommodations whether temporary or longer term.
- Purchase early arrival medical insurance from www.guard.me/oc for all days that you are travelling and in Canada before the first day of first month of the semester start.
- Submit your travel plan at least 10 days prior to travelling to Okanagan College. If eligible, we will be providing a letter of support for travelling to Canada within 1 week before your departure date.
- Request your travel support letter by submitting your travel plan at the button above.
- Use the ArriveCAN app. (Government of Canada) before travelling.
When booking your flight to Canada, be sure to book a connecting flight directly to your final destination airport in Kelowna (YLW) or Penticton (YYF). It is advisable to book flights with the least number of connections. Direct to Vancouver as your port of entry to Canada is ideal.
OC requires all students have valid medical insurance before the date of travel.
As part of your quarantine plan, if you are entering Canada as an OC student for the first time, you need to purchase the early arrival Guard.me medical coverage from our portal.
How to purchase the early arrival coverage:
- Make sure you have a credit card to complete the transaction
- Access the Early Arrivals - Okanagan College | guard.me
- Enter your student number and Date of Birth
- Fill out your Travel Information
- Fill out Coverage Dates (Start Date’ is your departure date and ‘End Date’ is December 31 – the fee is $2 CAD per day)
- Check off the agreement boxes and click ‘Submit’
- You can review the Policy Summary and Wording in many languages
- To complete, click on ‘Purchase’
- If you have dependents, you can add them to your policy after by clicking ‘Dependents’ - Okanagan College | guard.me
Please be aware OCIE will enroll all newly arrived students with Guard.me coverage for the first semester and until BC MSP is confirmed (note: $250 charge will show on your OC student account).
Upon arrival in BC you must apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). View the guide below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Returning/current students, please make sure your MSP coverage is active and valid.
- If you become ill, call 8-1-1 to talk to a nurse at Healthlink BC for advice on your symptoms and what you should do next
- 8-1-1 has translation services in 130 languages
- You can also self-monitor your health using the BC COVID-19 App
- Contact your International Student Settlement and Support staff member for additional support
If you need assistance or have questions with regard to your travel or quarantine plan, please send an email to email@example.com
Use the iCent app to book a virtual appointment with an International Student Settlement and Support Service team member.
To get in touch with other International Education Staff such as an International Education Advisor (Academic), International Student Immigration Advisor or International Student Recruiter, visit Meet the Team.