VIU International students

Self-Isolation Information & Resources

Most international travellers to Canada must be fully vaccinated. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Please refer to our COVID-19 Updates page for more information.

Below is information on pre-departure and self-isolation arrangements if needed.

Pre-Departure Planning

At your Departure Airport

To board a flight to Canada, you must show the airline:

  • a valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows study permit approval.
  • you are attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. VIU has an approved readiness plan.
  • you submitted required documents to the Government of Canada using ArriveCan
  • a valid passport for entry to Canada and a valid entry document (visitor visa or eTA, if required)

You may also need to complete a health check with airline officials to confirm you do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

It is your responsibility to demonstrate that you meet the travel exemptions and are coming to Canada for essential purposes. You may not be permitted to board an airplane if you

  • Show signs of COVID-19, have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to medical reasons to COVID-19 or, are subject to a provincial or public health order.

At the Canada Port of Entry

Be prepared to show a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Officer:

  • the documents listed above plus
  • a valid letter of acceptance or confirmation of enrolment letter
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and if you have to extend your self-isolation period due to COVID-19
  • your ArriveCan submission receipt
  • resumption of (with medical policy number, start date, & end date)

VIU recommends travelling with all documents you believe necessary. Stay up to date with the Government checklist for all travellers and international student guidelines..

Plan to arrive in time to complete any required quarantining and start the first week of class. Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states, "If you arrive too early, you may be refused entry by CBSA."

Letter of Acceptance or Confirmation of Enrolment Letter?

New students to VIU will present their valid Letter of Acceptance when entering Canada.

Continuing students will no longer have a valid letter of acceptance. They will need to provide a confirmation of enrolment letter. Students requiring a confirmation of enrolment letter can request it by emailing

Students are responsible to ensure that they have the appropriate medical insurance while they are studying in Canada.

New international students at VIU are normally automatically enrolled in VIU International Health insurance when they begin their studies at VIUPlease ensure that you have not opted out of this coverage. Please visit here for more information  

Returning VIU students or students who previously opted out of health insurance coverage because they were studying in their home country should contact they have questions regarding coverage. 

If a student is arriving early for the next semester and does not have valid medial insurance, they should purchase ‘Early Arrivals’ insurance through directly.


Immediate family members (e.g. spouse/common-law partner, dependent children) may be able to come with you to Canada, provided that they have the proper immigration documents and their purposes for travel are non-discretionary. For more information on how your accompanying family member may travel to Canada, please visit VIU's information site.

Depending on the country of citizenship, your family members may also require a valid temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

Symptoms or Positive COVID-19 Test Result After Arrival

VIU's COVID-19 Updates page has complete general information for international and domestic students.

Private Accommodation

If you need to self-isolate in a private residence, Airbnb or local hotel, please review the Government of Canada's quarantine plan assessment.

Students can quarantine at some local hotels if necessary. The following Nanaimo hotels have been able to accommodate. Contact them directly to check availability and rates.

Travelodge96 Terminal Avenue North, (250) 754 6355. (In summer, call directly for the best rates.) Rooms include fridge, microwave, coffee maker, continental breakfast, private balcony. Amenities include 24 hour reception, non-smoking hotel, coin-op laundry, dry sauna, restaurant discount.

Best Western Dorchester: 7-30 day booking (from October 2021) / 1 x queen bed @ 119 CAD + tax / quarantine meal package @ 45 CAD for 3 meals per day plus 5% tax and 18% gratuity contact: /

VIU Residence Self-Isolation Program

VIU Residences offers a self-isolation program:

  • a comfortable room with good ventilation and fan
  • food delivery for three meals per day (student choose menu in advance)
  • unlimited wireless internet
  • bedding and towels
  • cleaning supplies
  • 24-hour staff on site staffing and online communication

Learn more or register.

Additional Information for Quarantining at VIU Student Residences

  • Bathroom cleaning supplies are included in your package. Use them regularly, especially if you share a bathroom. Do not store personal items in the bathroom.
  • If you need help filling out the online self-assessment tool, or need immediate assistance email;
  • Empty garbage into the dumpster in the residence parking lot, while wearing your mask;
  • Students will be unable to use common laundry spaces to wash their clothes. Students should have clean clothing to last for 14 days;
  • Students are not allowed to use the common room, couches, dining room tables or TV;
  • Access to the common room/kitchen area is only permitted for heating of food and limited to one person in the kitchen/common room area at a time. Once you have heated your food you must return to your room immediately;
  • Residence staff will will deliver meals to your room; all containers are microwavable and disposable.

If you have been reported breaching quarantine or self-isolation guidelines it will be reported to VIU Staff, VIU Conduct Office and may be reported to Health BC or Border Services Canada for follow up and disciplinary action.

Please note: Due to lack of private outdoor space at student residence, those who smoke should consider looking to make arrangements for their 14-day quarantine in locations with access to private balconies or yard.

Getting Settled and Organized  

Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g., food, medications, basic hygiene supplies, and cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of self-isolation.  


Go to virtual events on the VIU website. Check listings on the VIU Residence Facebook Page.

Connect and Engage! Access information about campus events on the VIU Co-CurricularInvolvement App. Find it at the App Store and Google Play. Alternatively, log on to the desktop version.


Download the BC COVID-19 APP for COVID-19 in BC updates.

Students with insurance can use a Mobile Doctor. Connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company. The 24-hour service is Canada wide, on the phone, tablet or computer. Your insurance also includes keep.meSafe - mental health and wellness services.

Connect with a counsellor. Self-isolation can be a challenge on emotional well-being. They are here for confidential support. Book an online meeting at

Meet with an international student advisor during drop-in times


VIU Residence  

Phone: 250-740-6640 (24 hours a day)  


Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting

Mike Bauche, Assistant Manager, Residence Life Email: 

Bingyi Zhu, Assistant Manager, Operations Email:  

Victoria Bowns, Residence Life Coordinator Email:  


Off-Campus Housing Office  

Phone: 250-740-6680 (messages checked and returned throughout the workday)  


Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting  


Campus Security  

Phone: 250-740-6660