Canada to Recognize More COVID-19 Vaccines, International Students Entering Country Must Be Fully Vaccinated as of Jan. 15

International students and other exempt travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of January 15, 2022, in order to be able to enter Canada, the Canadian government has announced.

According to a government’s press release, starting November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travelers can receive in order to be considered fully vaccinated and be allowed to travel to Canada, reports.

The vaccines that will be added to the current list that includes Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson and Johnson, are Sinopharm, Sinovac, and COVAXIN.

In addition to international students aged 18 and older, as of January 15, 2022, other exempt travelers who must be fully vaccinated to be able to enter Canada, are:

  • Family members of Canadians; permanent residents, and other travelers registered under the Indian Act
  • Work permit holders, excluding those who work in agriculture and food processing
  • Essential service providers
  • Professional and amateur athletes

The government has also announced that starting November 30, fully vaccinated individuals eligible to enter the country who depart and re-enter Canada within 72 hours of leaving Canada will have to show a pre-entry molecular test.

“This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act, who depart and re-enter by land or by air and can demonstrate that they have been away from Canada for less than 72 hours,” the Canadian government has noted.

Furthermore, those who are not vaccinated or are partially vaccinated will be allowed to enter Canada only if they are qualified for exemptions. However, the government noted that these travelers should still undergo quarantine, testing, and other entry requirements.

“Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada” the government adds.

Two requirements must be met in order to be able to enter Canada as a student, which are:

  • Having a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows approval for a study permit.
  • The student should be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.

Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos said that the new changes to Canada’s border testing and entry requirements reflect the next stage in the government’s approach as the country works to improve vaccination rates in Canada and worldwide.

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