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COVID-19 FAQ for international students

As the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continue to make updates and revisions to their policies and procedures. While SAIT strives to keep this page as updated as possible, for the most recent updates please continue to monitor the following resources for the latest information as it is made available directly from IRCC and other government departments.

 

 

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Supporting Ukraine Nationals

IRCC has set up special measures supporting Ukrainian nationals' visit and stay in Canada. Both in Canada and outside of Canada applications to visit, study and work will be prioritized. A dedicated call number 613-321-4243 is accepting both in Canada and abroad calls. For more information, please see here.

RCC News Release: Canada launches new temporary residence pathway to welcome those fleeing the war in Ukraine

"March 17, 2022—Ottawa – The resiliency and courage of Ukrainians have inspired the world, and Canada is unwavering in its commitment to provide support to Ukraine as it fights for its sovereignty and for the democratic ideals that our countries share. .... the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET). The CUAET is a special, accelerated temporary residence pathway for Ukrainians seeking safe haven in Canada while the war in their home country continues."

To read the full news release, click here.

Travel Requirements and Restrictions

Key Updates

As of Jan. 15, 2022, international students will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated. To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler, you must have received at least two doses of an accepted vaccine or a mix of two accepted vaccines or one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than 14 full days prior to the day you travel. Students who do not meet this requirement by this date will be denied entry into Canada. If you’re permitted entry into Canada without qualifying as fully vaccinated, you may take a connecting flight that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the departure time for your flight to Canada. Please refer to the following for more information COVID-19 Boarding flights and trains in Canada.

Students who require assistance finding a quarantine option may select the SAIT Residence Quarantine program or you may make your own arrangements before traveling to Canada.

Students who are interested in the SAIT quarantine program, can apply here, and submit their pre-travel form to the International Centre here. Students are recommended to request a Letter of Enrolment to support their travel if their Letter of Acceptance is expired to present at the screening when at your port of entry into Canada.

Students who select the SAIT Residence Quarantine program, please click here for more information. For students who will make arrangements with an off-campus quarantine plan, please refer to the Government of Canada website to assess and plan your quarantine plan and follow all necessary government guidelines.

Travel Requirements and Steps

As per the Government of Canada, travellers are eligible to enter or return to Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

As of April 25, 2022, at 00:01:00 EDT, the Government of Canada announced further changes to Canada's border measures for certain eligible travellers.

Qualified fully vaccinated travellers, will no longer be required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry.

All travellers are still required to use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information.

Individuals will be randomly selected for arrival testing. Travellers selected will also no longer be required to quarantine while awaiting their test result. Please follow guidelines as per the ArriveCAN for fully vaccinated traveller.

An immigration medical examination (IME) is usually required for any students coming from or living in a designated country or territory for at least 6 months in a row within the last year, or if the student will attend any placement in teaching or medical environment in Canada.

An IME is usually valid for 12 months since the exam date and needs to be valid upon entry to Canada. Usually, it is first taken during the initial study permit application period, therefore, for students who have been studying outside Canada since their study permit approval, they will need to make sure the IME results are still valid when they travel to Canada.

For continuing students with valid study permits who have left Canada, they might need a new IME result if they have stayed in a designated country or territory for more than 6 months in the past year.

Please see below to arrange your travel and know what to expect:

1. Find out if you can enter Canada

2. Prepare for your travel

  • Gather all required documents and make sure they are all valid
  • Book your ticket and arrange you quarantine plan (if required)
  • If you book your quarantine with SAIT, Inform SAIT about your plan by filling out this pre-travel form AT LEAST 2 weeks before your flight (Fill and sign SAIT Quarantine Plan) (if applicable)
  • Get a COVID pre-entry test
  • Submit all your travel plan, vaccination information and quarantine plan through the ArriveCAN app

3. After arriving in Canada

  • You may be randomly chosen to take an on arrival COVID-19 test
  • If you meet one of the few exemptions to enter Canada without being fully vaccinated please refer to the information here

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in Alberta please see here.

Quarantine

SAIT Residence has modified our cancellation policy to accommodate the recent changes established by the Government of Canada and IRCC. It is important to inform residence at SAIT of any changes or updates that might affect your original quarantine stay plan at SAIT.

Please review the current cancellation policy of SAIT Residence for Short Term Stays 2021/2022:

  1. Cancellations made 48 hours before the check-in date will receive a 100% refund.
  2. Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the check-in date to SAIT Residence will be subject to a $150 fee.
  3. Students with an active application who do not arrive on their specified check-in date and don't cancel their application will be subject to a $500 cancellation fee.

For questions related to this policy, please contact residence@sait.ca.

To apply for the SAIT Quarantine plan, please click here.

Please refer to COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders to learn more about the quarantine requirements.

This 14-day plan includes:

  • Taxi from the Calgary Airport to the SAIT campus
  • Accommodation in our state-of-the-art Residence facilities on campus (14 days)
  • Three meals a day delivered to your room
  • Free access to fresh linen and towels
  • 24-hour on-site security
  • Free wifi
  • Special requests can be made by calling the Reception Desk
  • Access to SAIT Safety Ambassadors

The price for 14 days would be approximately $1,555:

  • $855 for accommodation and local transport
  • $700 for food (approximately $50/day x 14 days)

Yes, you can. If you and your immediate family members are travelling together, you can choose to stay at SAIT residence together. However, room type will be assigned subject to availability.

SAIT Residence FAQs

If you are exempt from the quarantine, you must inform Residence directly and cancel your booking. Please refer to the Residence refund policy carefully:

  • Cancellations made 48 hours before the check-in date will receive a 100% refund.
  • Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the check-in date to SAIT Residence will be subject to a $150 fee. Students with an active application who do not arrive on their specified check-in date and don't cancel their application will be subject to a $500 cancellation fee.
  • Should you have any questions, please contact them at residence@sait.ca.

If you have planned to quarantine at the SAIT Residence, please call for the pre-paid taxi from the airport to SAIT Residence:

  • Taxi request phone number: +1-403-299-9999 (Checker Yellow Cab Ltd). Please make sure to only request a taxi from this company since we have a payment arrangement with them!
  • Ask the taxi driver to take you to SAIT Begin Tower, 151 Dr Carpenter Cir NW, Calgary, AB T2M 3G1
  • Ask your taxi driver to charge your trip to SAIT account number: 36330
  • SAIT Residence staff will handle the taxi payment once you reach the Residence. The taxi driver needs to get the chip signed by a Residence staff for the payment.
  • Please note the pre-paid taxi is only available for students who have selected the SAIT Residence Quarantine plan and are travelling directly from the Calgary Airport to SAIT Residence.

Once you arrive at SAIT Residence (Begin Tower Reception), a Residence staff will be available to welcome you and give you instructions regarding your quarantine stay, including information of services provided, rules and expectations. Please have a photo ID ready for your check-in.

The Begin Tower Reception is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and will be expecting you upon your arrival.

While your stay in quarantine at SAIT residence, please see the information below to contact the reception desk (open 24/7).
For non-emergency requests: residence@sait.ca (please include your room number in the email).
Please know any non-emergency requests will be answered as soon as possible via email.

For emergency requests including medical or maintenance (call) +1-403-284-8013 ex. 1
Download TextNow to call if you do not have a Canadian number.

Please note that the Reception at SAIT Residence opens 24/7. Your family and friends can drop off things for you anytime. However, Residence staff only deliver food or things to your room door once a day after 12pm. Anything that arrives at the Reception after 12 pm will be delivered on the next day.

The following are included in your quarantine package:

  • Transportation from the Calgary Airport to the SAIT campus
  • Accommodation in our state-of-the-art Residence facilities on campus (14 days)
  • Three meals a day delivered to your room
  • Free access to fresh linen and towels
  • 24-hour on-site security
  • Free WiFi
  • Special requests can be made by calling the Reception Desk
  • Access to SAIT Safety Ambassadors
  • Remember: You are not stuck in your room, you are safe in your room!

SAIT Residence quarantine room includes:

  • Double bed with linens
  • Towel
  • Study table
  • Chair
  • Side table
  • Fully equipped private bathroom (ensuite)
  • Kitchenette (full-sized fridge, microwave, stove)
  • Storage cabinets
  • Take a virtual tour of your SAIT Residence quarantine room. Please note that this is just a sample room and not your actual room.

SAIT Residence quarantine rooms do not include:

  • Cooking utensils
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Television
  • Phone
  • Laundry facilities
  • Oven

SAIT Residence is able to provide:

  • Extra fans or blankets in case you feel hot or cold
  • Tea and coffee facilities (at extra cost)

Additional Residence Information:

  • Other requests as per Residence discretion (please email residence@sait.ca with your request).
  • Please carry multiple masks/sanitizers with you for your journey as well as for the length of your quarantine and beyond.
  • Please note that the water from your tap is safe for drinking, you do not need to carry bottled water with you.
  • Please make sure to carry some form of entertainment with you for your quarantine days.
  • Your room will not have a telephone – please make sure to download the TextNow app so that you can call the Reception Desk if you need assistance.
  • You will be brought straight from the airport to your room and you will not be allowed to leave your room for the length of your quarantine. Please bring a cellphone with a working international SIM card with you so that Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada can send you your test results and monitor you during quarantine.
  • The food provided at SAIT Residence is of the highest quality and nutrition value, and the menus are set for all students in quarantine.
  • Please note that while we can arrange for dietary requirements (eg: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc.), we unfortunately cannot cater to the taste, preference or individual ethnic food of individual students.
  • Carry non-perishable snacks with you in case you would like something between meals (e.g. biscuits, trail mix, granola bars, instant noodles).
  • If there is something particular that you like or need (e.g. a particular brand of tea, spicy condiment or sauce, or a particular candy), please make sure to carry it with you. If you are travelling with babies or kids, please make sure to carry their supplies with you for the length of the quarantine.
  • Please carry a set of utensils with you (mug, plate, knife, fork, spoon, bowl, small pot to make tea or instant noodles etc.)
  • If you would like to order food (SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, UberEats), order groceries (InstaCart), please have them deliver it to the Reception desk at Residence. Please note that you are responsible for the costs of the items you order. Please make all payments online by credit card as Residence staff are not allowed to handle cash. Please make sure to include your room number in all orders. All deliveries will only be done once a day, at 12 pm (noon) outside your door. Please consider the timing of the delivery if you are receiving food/perishables.
  • If you have friends or family in Calgary, they can drop off things for you anytime. However, Residence staff only deliver food or things to your room door once a day after 12pm. Anything that arrives at the Reception after 12 pm will be delivered on the next day.
  • Please carry any medications you may need. We recommend carrying 1-2-months of supply. Please carry the receipt and the invoice with the medication.
  • Bring enough clothes for your quarantine period since you will not have access to laundry facilities during quarantine and cannot leave your room.
  • SAIT Residence (and campus) has a strict no-smoking policy.
  • SAIT Residence has a no pet policy.
  • Please make sure to carry different types of clothing with you. Calgary weather can fluctuate from -20 in the morning to 5 degrees in the afternoon, and the temperature of the room is affected by this change. Please carry warm clothes in case you feel cold, and lighter clothes in case you are warm. Please note that your body may take a few days to adjust to the change in climate, allow it time and you will be fine soon! Jet lag can also affect your body’s reaction to the weather.
  • You are recommended to carry your laptop with you. This is not only for entertainment purposes during quarantine, but it will also enable you to finish up your mandatory courses, get accustomed to your SAIT email and Brightspace (the platform where you will access all your courses), and will help you research your international student to-do list.
  • For all the electronics that you carry with you, please make sure you have a Canada-compatible charger. Alternatively, plug adapters (pictured below) can also be used

Applications and admission

SAIT accepts a number of different payment options from students.

There are now more online payment options for students from Canada, most countries around the world, and in most currencies. There are also various payment options for third parties, such as parents, family, friends or others, to pay fees online.

If you have a Canadian bank account, you can pay with pre-authorized debit (PADs) or Online banking. There are no charges to use these systems. If you use PADS please ensure you carefully check your account information before submitting your payment and be sure to leave sufficient funds in your bank account. It may take a few days for this to process through your bank.

If you don’t have a Canadian bank account, you can pay using a credit card, PayMyTuition, or CIBC International Student Pay portal.

You can access instructions on how to use PayMyTuition in 11 languages, instructions on how to use CIBC International Student Pay portal, PADs, and Online banking by clicking here.

Please refer to the following English Proficiency.

We understand how life can happen and affect your study plan. If you would like to attend SAIT in a future intake, we recommend you read and review the Deferral process. Please note, timing is important when it comes to a refund request. If you are not planning to attend SAIT in the future, please review our refund policy here and cancel your program.

You do not need an approved study permit to register for your courses. If your study permit is denied, you must contact us to cancel your spot before the first day of classes. If you cancel after this, you will not be eligible to receive a full refund. Review tuition and fees for our full refund policy.

Deferrals cannot be approved if your study permit application is denied. If you wish to move to a later intake for this reason, you will need to cancel your current seat and reapply for a later term by paying the $150 application fee. Review how to apply for full international application deferral eligibility rules.

You do not need an approved study permit to register for your courses. If you do not register before the deadline, your seat could be rescinded and offered to someone from the waitlist. If this happens, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a spot for you in the program which will allow you to choose your courses. If the program is full at that time, you will be placed on the waitlist. Review waitlists to learn your next steps in this situation.

Study permit processing delays may be considered eligible for a deferral in some cases. Supporting documents and proof of study permit application submission are required for consideration. If you wish to pursue a deferral, please complete the admission deferral request. A declined study permit is not eligible for a deferral.

You will not be eligible for a full refund if you cancel after the first day of class. Cancellations made after the add/drop period (the first two weeks of the semester) will not receive any money back. If your study permit application is declined, please let us know by submitting a support ticket and request to cancel your application. You will be eligible for a refund of the full amount you paid minus your tuition deposit and application fee if you cancel before the first day of classes. You must include a copy of your refusal letter for us to refund your tuition deposit minus a $250 administration fee. Review tuition and fees for our full refund policy.

Study and work permit

According to the IRCC’s (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) COVID–19 International Students page, as long as you have applied for your study permit before your program starts and it’s eventually approved, you will still be eligible for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program.

The current policy also allows your overseas study time to count towards your future PGWP length until Aug. 31, 2022. Therefore, if you choose to study online overseas in Spring/Summer 2022, your future PGWP won’t be shortened, provided your study permit is approved.

It’s important that you check the delivery mode of your courses, if you have courses that require you to attend in person and you are still outside Canada please contact your Academic Advisor directly to discuss alternative options if possible.

Please refer to the registration and schedule page for more information

Should you wish to start your program while your study permit is still under processing, please also familiarize yourself with the SAIT Refund policy.

If your first study permit application is submitted before your program starts and gets refused, and your subsequent application is received before the end of your program and is eventually approved, your study time taken since your first application submission will be still counted towards your future PGWP. Please find more information on COVID-19 PGWP delivery.

With the updates from IRCC that the time you have spent studying online and outside Canada between Spring 2020 until August 31, 2022 will count towards the length of your PGWP. Therefore, if your program will be delivered in an online format for Spring/Summer 2022 semester, you can continue to study online from outside Canada in this semester provided you have a valid study permit or study permit approval.

If you have in-person course(s) and you are unable to be in Canada, there are options you should consider:

Contact your Academic Advisor to see if there is an alternative online option for you to take. Please be aware that the time you spend studying outside Canada after August 31,2022 will not count towards the length of a PGWP.

If you believe you can arrive in Canada and attend classes shortly after May 09, 2022 meaning that you will miss just a few classes within the 1st week of the semester, you should contact your Academic Advisor to inform them of your situation and ask the School’s permission to be absence during the first few days. Please note that the approval of attending classes late will be determined by your School.

Extenuating circumstances may be considered on a case-by-case basis for an authorized leave. Please note that international students have to complete at least two terms of study before requesting an authorized leave. Please contact International Student Advisors to discuss details at international.advising@sait.ca.

Students who are already in Canada are still eligible for PGWP when they take online courses if that is the only delivery mode available and there is no alternative option available. However, students who are in Canada are highly recommended to attend in-person classes if they are offered.

According to the IRCC, as long as you have applied for your study permit before your program starts and it’s eventually approved, you will still be eligible for the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program for the time you have studied online and outside of Canada until August 31, 2022. If you are already in Canada, you will remain eligible for PGWP if your courses have been moved online due to the pandemic. Please note that the requirement that 50% of a student's courses must be completed in Canada and in person is not applied during the pandemic. Please refer to the Government of Canada website for more information.

Please refer to the following for more information: Work in Canada after you graduate: About the post-graduation work permit.

You are able to take a break from your study if it is your programs scheduled break. Scheduled breaks are part of SAIT’s academic calendar and are pre-scheduled as breaks for all students in a particular program and intake. You should contact your Academic Advisor if you are unsure when is your program scheduled break. International students cannot create their own scheduled breaks.

If you feel you need to take a leave from your studies please contact your school and an International Student Advisor.

If you are located outside of Canada, please note currently some Visa Application Centres (VAC) are still closed. Please check on the website whether the VACs close to you are open before you go there.

If the time exceeds the 90 days on your biometrics letter and the VACs are still not available for you, you do not need to request a new biometrics letter as the deadline will be automatically extended and your application will not be refused because you can’t provide your biometrics.

If you are located in Canada, please note that IRCC has recently removed the biometrics requirement for temporary residents who apply from inside of Canada. Types of application include:

  • A study permit, work permit and visitor record extension
  • Temporary residents status restoration
  • A new study permit, work permit or visitor visa application
  • Temporary resident permit application

For the newest biometrics information, please check the government website here.

If you are currently outside of Canada and have an approved practicum opportunity to work either for a Canadian employer or a company in your home country, you can work while your coop work permit is still under processing.

If you are currently inside of Canada and have secured a remote working practicum opportunity, you will still need an approved coop work permit to start your work.

Before receiving your coop work permit approval, you might be able to work full-time on the campus if you are a full-time student at SAIT. You might also be able to work up to 20 hours per week for off-campus opportunities during any academic terms and full-time during the scheduled breaks, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements. Please note the 20 hours limit includes both the hours of your co-op work and any regular paid job if you have.

If the co-op application is refused, you must stop working immediately.

Taxes and SIN number

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9 digit number that you need to work in Canada or to access government programs and benefits. SIN number is a piece of sensitive personal information so you should protect it. Usually, except for your school or your employer, you should not share it with anybody else.

You can ONLY get your SIN after you’ve arrived in Canada and you retrieved your study permit. In addition, your study permit needs to list your eligibility to work on or off-campus if you meet certain eligibility, e.g. “may work 20 hours per week off-campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186 (v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”.

You can apply for a SIN online, by mail or in person at Service Canada. You will mainly need the following documents:

  • Your study permit
  • Your passport
  • Proof of in-Canada address (e.g. bank statement, phone bill or your tenancy agreement)

For detailed instructions, please see here.

  1. Update it at mySAIT (choose “my Student” tab, under “Finance Information”, click “Update SIN”)
  2. Keep it safe
  3. Keep it valid (extend it if your temporary resident status in Canada is extended)

Residents of Canada are required to file taxes to determine their tax status. International students might have tax credits from their paid tuition (reflected on T2202) and it can be carried forward to use in the future. If you have studied or worked in Canada in 2020, you’ll need to file your taxes.

If you have not arrived in Canada since your study permit was approved, you do not need to worry about your tax filing as you are not considered a resident of Canada yet.

If you were studying in Canada before and currently studying outside Canada due to COVID-19 interruption, you can choose to file your tax retroactively in the future as long as you don’t owe income tax to the government of Canada. If you have other income sources from outside Canada or any other questions, please see the Canada Revenue Agency website to learn more about your tax obligation.

Feeling overwhelmed? We're here to help.

Students have access to the following support and well-being resources:

 

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