Effective October 20, 2020, international students attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that has been specifically approved by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan will be able to enter Canada. You can search the list of approved DLIs here.
Post-secondary institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans vary widely be province. For example, all DLIs in the province of Quebec have been approved, compared to only 14 in Ontario. Meanwhile, the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia has zero approved DLIs at this point in time, although this is subject to change.
How to enter Canada with a study permit / approval letter
As of October 20, 2020, international students attending a post-secondary institution in Canada with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan can enter Canada. In order to enter, an international student must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows they were approved for a study permit.
In addition, anyone entering Canada at this time is subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. International students are subject to this mandatory quarantine period — no exceptions. However, they may want to consult with their school in Canada, as a component of the school’s COVID-19 readiness plan addresses the school’s ability to support some parts of a student’s quarantine experience.
When international students enter Canada, border services officers may ask if the student has time to complete their quarantine period before attending classes in-person, or if they can attend classes online while in quarantine. Finally, if the study program has been suspended or cancelled the student will not be able to enter Canada at this time.