Entering Canada

Woman at Canadian airport with luggage wearing face mask

Ensure you read the following important information if you will be travelling to Canada to study!

Mohawk has outlined the steps you are required to complete to enter Canada and begin your studies at Mohawk. These steps will help you prepare for your arrival to ensure you  start your program successfully.  

Watch: Important Steps for International Students video 

Important Information for Students (International and Canadian) Arriving from Outside Canada


The Government of Canada has announced that as of February 22, 2021:

  • All air travellers, with some exceptions, will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test when they arrive in Canada before exiting the airport in addition to another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. This is in addition to the mandatory COVID-19 test result that must be provided to the airline before boarding a flight from another country into Canada, based on a PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Air travellers will also be required to reserve prior to departure to Canada, a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Travellers will be required to stay at their reserved hotel for up to 3 nights, at their own cost, while they await the results of their arrival test. Hotel booking information is available online. . Travellers will need to book a hotel in the city in which they first arrive in Canada. It is up to the traveller to choose a hotel from the approved list, book in advance of departure and pay for the cost of the hotel. The price will include costs associated with the room, food, cleaning, infection prevention and control measures, and security as well as transportation. Note: this MUST be booked prior to departure for Canada, proof of which must be shown upon arrival at the airport in Canada.
  • If travelers receive a negative result on their arrival test, they will be able to take a connecting flight to their final destination and/or move to the location of the remainder of their 14-day quarantine. See below for information about Mohawk’s Quarantine Packages, available for day 4 through 14 of quarantine (11 days) once these new measures take effect on Feb. 22nd.
  • All travellers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

Step 1: Prepare for Entry to Canada

Ensure you have a valid study permit

You are required to have a full visa and a passport that is valid on your date of travel in order to travel to Canada. If you are a new student traveling to Canada, you need to inform Mohawk College of your visa status. Review the following pages on our website about student permits:


Download Mandatory Apps

Download the following apps:

  1. iCent app
  2. ArriveCAN App

iCent App

This app is mandatory for all students travelling to Canada and contains critical information you must follow upon arrival in Canada and at Mohawk College.

Follow these steps to download the iCent app:

  1. Visit the App Store or Google Play and download the app
  2. Enter Canada in the “Institution Country” field
  3. Enter Mohawk College International in the “Institution Name” field
  4. Use your email to register for the app, you will be sent an email with your PIN. Please remember to check your Junk Mail inbox
  5. Use your PIN to login the app  

For assistance or questions, contact: support [at] iCentapp.com or view the following video:

Note: If you cannot access the App version of iCent, you can access the iCent App Content via web browser as well!

Google Android in ChinaWe are aware that there have been some download issues for iCent in mainland China. If you are in mainland China, download the app directly

COVID Safe logo

COVID Safe Canada: Within the iCent app, locate the COVID Safe Canada icon on the home screen. COVID Safe Canada supports international students arriving to Canada with forms, guidelines, resources, live chat and more. You will submit key information to Mohawk College regarding your arrival and quarantine plans through COVID Safe Canada.

See the COVID Safe & iCent Privacy Disclaimers


ArriveCAN App

ArriveCan App logo

Canadian Border Services has launched their ArriveCAN app which will support you in your immigration to Canada. Download this mandatory app and follow their instructions.  Any co-arriving family members will also be required to download this app. You will need to use the ArriveCAN App to confirm arrival and to check in daily during your 14 day quarantine period. Download the ArriveCAN App.

You are required to download and use both the Mohawk College iCent app and the Government of Canada ArriveCAN app. 



Submit your Mandatory Arrivals, Self-Isolation and Quarantine Plan

Mandatory Self-Isolation: All students travelling to Mohawk College from outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for a period of 14-days. These rules apply after any subsequent international travel for as long as the self-isolation requirement remains a directive of the Government of Canada. As of February 22nd, your 14-day quarantine will be in 2 parts:

  • 3 night stay in a government-approved hotel while you await results of the COVID-19 test you will take upon arrival at the airport in Canada
  • 11 night stay at a quarantine location approved by Mohawk College prior to arrival, during which you will take another COVID-19 test

Step 1: Book your 3 night stay in a government-approved hotel

  • Visit the Government webpage to see a list of approved hotels and related information
  • Book one of the hotels by calling between 8 am to 11 pm EST:
    • 1-800-294-8253 (toll-free within North America)
    • 1-613-830-2992 (collect outside of North America)
  • You will be required to stay at this reserved hotel for up to 3 nights, at your own cost, whilst you await the results of your arrival test. Please ensure that you are booking this hotel in the city in which you first arrive. Example: If you have a transit flight through Vancouver airport, you will be required to book your 3 night stay in this city until you have received your test results. If you receive a negative result during this time from your arrival test, you will be able to take a connecting flight to your final destination/move to your approved location for the remaining 11 days of your quarantine.
  • You are responsible for booking the 3 night stay with the hotel and covering all costs. Note: this MUST be booked prior to departure for Canada, proof of which must be shown upon arrival at the airport in Canada.
  • Upload proof of your 3-day hotel booking when you submit your self-isolation form (see Step 2).

Step 2: Submit your completed self-isolation/quarantine plan through the iCent app indicating your arrangement for your 11-night quarantine

To find the form:

  1. Launch the iCent App (See instructions above to download this mandatory app)
  2. Click the COVID Safe icon located on the home screen of the app
  3. Look for “Arriving to Canada Forms”

The Self-Isolation Plan Form will allow you to choose your Mohawk College pre-approved Quarantine Package (see below for details) or submit your own quarantine plans.

Step 3: Wait for your approval from the Mohawk College Arrivals Team

  • Once approved, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from us with your next steps. You will hear from us within 48 hours of submitting your plan; however, approval may take longer than 48 hours.

You are required to submit your travel and contact information, quarantine plan and COVID-19 Self-Assessments via the ArriveCAN App before you board your flight to Canada, and be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt upon arrival.

You are required to submit your arrivals and self-isolation plans to Mohawk College for approval  via the iCent COVID Safe App. Your plans must be approved prior to making any formal travel arrangements.

Please note:

  • Mohawk College does not authorize students to quarantine outside of Ontario and will not approve out-of-province quarantine plans.
  • There is no guarantee that self-arranged plans will be approved. If your self-arranged plan is not approved, you will be asked to purchase a Mohawk College pre-approved Quarantine Package
  • If you need to change your approved plan, you must notify us within at least 72 hours of boarding your flight.
  • After submitting your plan, you will hear from the Arrivals Team within 48 hours regarding questions, follow-up, etc. and the approval of your plan will take place after that and may take up to a week.

COVID Tests You Are Required to Take

There are 3 COVID tests that travelers are required to take when travelling to Canada:

  1. Before Departure for Canada: all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada. See the Government of Canada website for further details.
  2. Upon Arrival at the Airport in Canada: all travelers are required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test on arrival at the Canadian airport where they land. See the Government of Canada News Release for further details.
  3. During Quarantine: All students arriving from outside Canada are required to take one COVID-19 test during their 14-day quarantine. This is typically taken on days 5, 6 or 7 and students will receive further information about how to take this test from the College Wellness Coordinator, during their quarantine.

Self-Isolation/Quarantine Guidelines

Visit the following Government of Canada resources which explain how to quarantine and self-isolate:

Your plans must meet the following guidelines and be approved by Mohawk College:

  • Self-isolation/quarantine means staying in one place of residence, without leaving or seeing anyone for the duration of the 3 and then 11 days to help protect you and others from exposure.
  • Your quarantine must be arranged prior to travel
  • You must go directly from the airport to your place of quarantine or isolation, without stopping anywhere
  • Your quarantine location must provide each student or student family unit their own room with a private bathroom and protocols to properly support disabilities or other health conditions
  • Your quarantine plan must be assessed to be acceptable by the Government of Canada at the time and point of entry. This information must be submitted through both the ArriveCAN App and the iCent app - COVIDSafe section.
  • You will need to isolate in a place where you are not in contact with others, especially adults aged 65 years or over, and people with pre-existing medical conditions, and small children. You must stay in a separate room from others and use a separate bathroom.
  • Housing that will be approved includes a private residence, private Airbnb residence, private apartment - all of which must be living environments that are not group or communal living environments. If it is not possible to secure a living environment that is not with a group, then you must choose the Quarantine Package outlined below.
  • You must not have visitors
  • Have any necessities such as medication or food delivered or otherwise made available without contact with others
  • Keep a distance of 2 metres from others at all times
  • You must monitor your health for COVID symptoms.
  • You should not leave your residence during the 3 and then 11 day period, unless you need medical attention. In that case, and if possible, call 1-866-797-0000 or access your Mobile Doctor support via guard.me, before visiting a health centre or a hospital.
  • You must respond to a daily check-in from Mohawk College staff during your 14 day quarantine.
  • You must daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments using the ArriveCAN app.
  • Please note: Mohawk College does not authorize students to quarantine outside of Ontario and will not approve out-of-province quarantine plans


Select your Quarantine Package

Arrival and quarantine plans are mandatory and must be pre-approved by Mohawk College prior to your travel. Students may choose to quarantine in the location that they have chosen for their long-term housing as long as it meets the requirements as outlined above.  If you will not quarantine in your long term housing then it is mandatory for you to choose one of the pre-approved locations that Mohawk College is providing. In order to better support you throughout your quarantine and self-isolation, Mohawk College has created a comprehensive package that will meet all of your needs.

Quarantine Packages must be selected and submitted at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival to allow for approvals and for bookings to be made. The Mohawk College subsidized Quarantine Package is only available to international students newly arriving in Canada to resume studies as a result of restrictions being lifted or begin studies in the first semester. If you will travel home and return to Canada at a later date you may request a quarantine package at the full rate.

The Quarantine Packages provided by Mohawk are all-inclusive and include private transportation to your Hamilton hotel/Residence, 3 meals per day, accommodations for 11 days and Wi-Fi. You will receive additional support for booking your mandatory COVID-19 test and daily check-ins from our wellness staff. As of February 22nd, the Government of Canada has mandated that all air travellers must reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. As of February 22nd, the Mohawk College Quarantine Packages will be available for days 4 - 14 of quarantine (11 days).

The hotel package has been heavily subsidized by Mohawk College to ensure that it remains affordable for all of our students and will be booked at the following hotel, based on availability:

Best Western by Carmens – Hamilton

A College Residence package is also available (11 days at the Residence, 3 meals per day, transportation from Pearson to the Residence in Hamilton), pending availability, for individuals and couples (no children/pets may stay in the Residence.)

Our Arrivals Coordinator will work with you to book the package. You will indicate your quarantine plan in the COVIDSafe app as outlined above and the coordinator will confirm your transportation and accommodations booking with you via email.

Costs and Payment

Residence: The cost for the Residence package of 11 days is $1050.  Hotel: The hotel quarantine package costs $1600 however Mohawk College can support international students traveling to Canada for the first time with a portion of the cost by providing a $550 bursary so that the amount charged for the 11 day package will be $1050. In order to receive the bursary, you will be provided with a Mandatory Quarantine Attestation form  which you must complete within 48 hours of receipt. This form will be provided to you once your self-isolation plan form has been approved by Mohawk College. This form has important information on the requirements for receiving the bursary. Once the form is complete and requirements are met, Mohawk College’s support of $550 will be applied to your student account and you will owe $1050 for your 11 day quarantine package. Please note that bursaries are considered to be taxable income by the Canada Revenue Agency and you will receive a T4A form for the amount. For more information, see the Financial Assistance webpage.

Payment for either package must be made by using the methods on the payment page.

Family can stay at the hotel with students for an additional cost. If you are a new student, contact your Market Specialist and if you are a returning student contact international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca for further information. Note: children/pets may not stay at the Residence.

Note: If you choose to withdraw from Mohawk College after you have completed your quarantine at the hotel or residence, you will be expected to pay for the cost of the package and in the case of the hotel, you may be expected to pay the full/non-subsidized rate for the package.

COVID Test During Quarantine

Please note that if you select a Quarantine Package, the COVID test you must take during quarantine is included in the package; testing will occur at the hotel/residence site and there will be no need for transportation or additional costs. The COVID test is provided at no cost. The Wellness Coordinator will contact you with further details about the test.

Quarantining in Your Long-term Housing

If you are planning on quarantining within your long-term housing and you require private transportation from the government-approved hotel to your place of quarantine, please indicate this need when you are completing your quarantine plans in the COVIDSafe App - Self-Isolation Form. The cost of transportation to locations within the GTA start at $100 and increase the further from Toronto airport you are staying. The final price will be confirmed by the  Arrivals Coordinator. If you are not purchasing a Quarantine Package, you will need to arrange for transportation to the COVID test and while the test is free of charge, you will need to pay for the transportation to the test. The Wellness Coordinator will contact you to provide details about the test.

Mohawk College does not authorize students to quarantine outside of Ontario and will not approve out-of-province quarantine plans.

Note: You must be prepared to remain in your quarantine location beyond the 14 days should you test positive for COVID or should your test results be delayed.



Other Essential Preparations

Attend the Mohawk College Pre-Departure Webinar: Next Stop - Mohawk College, Nov. 25, 9am - 11am EST
Learn all the information you need to know about arriving in Canada, studying at Mohawk and registering for your classes. Contact us if you missed this session and would like to view a recording! See the Considering Mohawk webpage for other webinars!

Pre-Dep Webinar SMALL.png

Review the Mandatory Government of Canada Advice
When preparing to come to Canada, please review the Government of Canada website for the steps to follow upon arrival. These steps are mandatory and will help control the spread of the virus.

What to pack
Here is a list of recommendations from Mohawk International on what items you should pack. You must have a non-medical face covering to wear during your entire journey.

Quarantine Planning
Ensure you have snacks, toiletries, medical equipment, etc. to last the duration of the 14 day quarantine period.

Phone Wi-Fi in Canada
Please contact the COVID Safe team via the iCent app for more details. International students will be provided a free SIM card from the Chatr Mobile booth at Pearson Airport in Canada, where you will be able to get support with setting up your phone Wi-Fi in Canada.

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Step 2: Arrival in Canada

Airline Requirements and Airport Safety

Entering Canada By Air
Guide: Entering Canada by Air (PDF)

Please review the Toronto Pearson Airport safety recommendations page before your flight.

If you are travelling by air, check your airline requirements before your flight. You must submit a negative PCR COVID test result no more than 72 hours before your initial scheduled flight departure time (see the Government of Canada website for further details.) Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada. You will also be required to take a COVID test upon arrival at the airport. You must have a non-medical face covering to wear during your entire journey. You must go directly from the airport to your place of quarantine or isolation, without stopping anywhere.

When entering Canada, you will be:

  • asked if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing
  • required to acknowledge that you must:
    • quarantine for 14 days if you don't have symptoms or
    • isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • asked if you have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where:
    • you'll have access to water, food and medication
    • you won't have contact with people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19


Immigration Requirements

Submit your quarantine (self-isolation) plan to Immigration Refugees, Citizenship Canada
Submit your plan using the ArriveCan app.

  • You need to book a 3 night stay at a government-approved hotel prior to arrival
  • You must submit a self-isolation/quarantine plan for the remaining 11 days of your quarantine
  • You need to plan to self-quarantine for  a total of 14 days even if you do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Your quarantine plan lists where you will stay for the remaining 11 days of self-isolation/quarantine, how you'll get to your destination, how you will get your groceries, and access essential services and medical care.
  • This plan is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms.

Provide your contact information to Immigration Officer
You will need to provide a working phone number AND your self-isolation/quarantine address to the Immigration Officer once you arrive at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Check-in with Mohawk College
Once you have passed through Immigration, you must check in with Mohawk College staff using the iCent app - COVIDSafe "Arrival Check-in" form, confirming you have arrived and are heading to your place of quarantine.

Proceed to Government-Approved Hotel
Ensure you continue to wear a non-medical face covering. You must go directly from the airport to the government-approved hotel without stopping anywhere. See the Government of Canada webpage for information about your responsibilities during this hotel stay and how to get to the hotel.

Once you enter Canada, you must self-isolate/quarantine for a total of 14 days.

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Step 3: During Self-Isolation and Quarantine

What to Expect during Self-Isolation and Quarantine

During Self-Isolation, you are expected to:

  • Stay inside your quarantine location
  • Not receive visitors
  • Avoid contact with others
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms
  • Check in daily using the ArriveCAN app

You will be called by the Government of Canada from the phone number 1-888-336-7735 to verify your compliance during your 14-day quarantine.

Note that you may also be contacted by provincial/territorial authorities throughout your 14-day quarantine. If federal and provincial/territorial guidelines differ, you should follow the most precautionary and stringent requirements

You will also receive a daily check-in from the Mohawk College Wellness Coordinator.

Check the Mohawk College Events calendar for events you may be able to attend virtually!


Quarantine Preparations

Medication, Supplies
Make arrangements for any necessities, such as medication, masks, cleaning supplies, phone/Internet etc, to be available and/or delivered to your residence.

If you are self-isolating at home (not at the recommended hotel/residence), you can ask a friend/relative to help you by shopping for groceries and doing a no-contact drop off. You may also wish to use online delivery options. Some examples are below:


Mandatory COVID Test during Self-Isolation/Quarantine

COVID-19 testing requirements for all students, international and Canadian arriving from outside Canada:

  • The Government of Canada is mandating one COVID-19 test to be administered during the quarantine period to every student who has traveled. (This is in addition to the test result required to be submitted before departure and the test required to be taken at the airport upon arrival.)
  • This test should be undertaken during the 14-day quarantine period on day 5, 6 or 7 and is required whether you are attending campus or not.
  • For full instructions on how to book your COVID test, and supports available to you, see the iCent App:
    • Select the COVID Safe icon
    • Choose: Testing During Self Isolation
  • Mohawk College will help facilitate the test whenever possible. We highly recommend choosing a Mohawk College quarantine package as we will be better able to support your testing requirement and there will be no need for transportation to the test as the testing will occur on-site at the hotel/residence.
  • There is no cost for the COVID test. However if you have not purchased a quarantine package, you will need to pay for transportation to the test location.


Mandatory 14th Day Attestation

At the end of your 14 day isolation you will be required to complete an attestation which will be sent to the college. This attestation includes a confirmation that you have received a COVID test during self-isolation and that you have had no symptoms of COVID during your 14-day quarantine period.

To locate the 14th Day Attestation Form:

  • Click the “COVID Safe Canada” icon
  • Click “Arriving to Canada” to find the form


Assistance During Quarantine

Mohawk College Wellness staff will check-in with you each day during your 14 day isolation to ensure your well-being, questions and supports are taken care of. If you need to reach the Wellness Coordinator for support, contact: studentwellness [at] mohawkcollege.ca.


Violation of Quarantine and Self-Isolation Policy

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to:

  • 6 months in prison and/or
  • $750,000 in fines

If you choose to break your mandatory quarantine or isolation, resulting in the death or serious bodily harm of another person, you could face:

  • a fine of up to $1,000,000 or
  • imprisonment of up to 3 years or
  • both

Mohawk College is required by law to inform Public Health or Regional Law Enforcement if we become aware of any violations of the mandatory quarantine or self-isolation protocol.


If you feel ill/test positive during quarantine

If you feel ill during quarantine

  • During the first 14 days of isolation, if you are not feeling well and are showing COVID symptoms, use the self-assessment to determine if you may have COVID
  • If you think you have COVID, immediately call local Ontario Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000 and a nurse will ask you questions in order to direct you to appropriate care
  • If symptoms are severe for example difficulty breathing or severe muscle pain, call 911.
  • You can also call the Hamilton Public Health Services COVID-19 Hotline at 905-974-9848. When calling the doctor or Hamilton Public Health Services COVID-19 Hotline, They will ask you about your symptoms and travel history. Follow their instructions carefully.
  • guard.me Insurance: After you have checked your province’s resources and recommendations, you may also use your Guard Me policy number to access an online or telephone consultation with a doctor who can assess your symptoms through guard.me/mobiledoctor. Your assessment via a Mobile Doctor will let you know if you need to go to a testing centre. COVID-19 test fees are only covered if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Reach out to Mobile Doctor and check for the closest assessment centre near your home.

To access Guard Me coverage at an additional cost before your semester starts, please visit the early arrivals tab via the guard.me website for Mohawk.
More information about the health insurance coverage can be found at guard.me, and more information about COVID-19 updates is available on the guard.me COVID-19 update site.

If you are not feeling well, please do not come to a Mohawk College campus.

If you test positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not come to a Mohawk College campus.
  • Please inform anyone you have been in physical contact with so that they may self-isolate
  • Please complete the COVID-19 Self-Disclosure form and a Mohawk College team member will contact you. Mohawk College wants to keep everyone safe. Our team members will reach out to you, and help you navigate Hamilton resources.


After Quarantine

  • Once the 14-day period is complete, remember to always keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others and wear a non-medical face covering.
  • Support COVID Contact Tracing - the COVID Alert app allows you to upload positive COVID tests, and see if anyone near you has tested positive.

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