McMaster’s COVID-19 readiness plan for undergraduate students
Information on this page is intended for undergraduate students. If you’re a graduate student, visit the Grad Studies website: International grad students travelling to McMaster.
Exchange students: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, McMaster has decided to cancel all Fall 2021 in-person exchange programs between August and December 2021. At this time, exchange students are not eligible to travel to McMaster while participating in a remote exchange. Contact Jenna Levi (firstname.lastname@example.org), education abroad coordinator, if you have any questions.
September 21, 2021 Update: Transport Canada is announcing an extension of the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India until September 26, 2021, at 23:59 EDT. Once the restriction on direct flights expires, travellers eligible to enter Canada will be able to board direct flights from India to Canada with additional measures. More information about this update and the additional measures can be found in the Government of Canada’s official news release.
iCent app: Required for all new and returning international undergraduate students
All new and returning international undergraduate students are required to sign up for the iCent app and follow the COVID-19 readiness plan guidelines. Signing up for the app ensures that we have the proper information to support you as you transition to life at McMaster, including travel and quarantine. With the app, you’ll get instant updates as new information becomes available.
- Download the iCent app (available at the Apple Store and Google Play Store). If you’re unable to download the app, visit the iCent web version.
- Select “Canada” as your institution country.
- Select “McMaster Undergrad Programs” as your institution name.
- Follow the “email and PIN” button.
- Enter your McMaster (@mcmaster.ca) email ID. You will receive an email with a secured PIN to log in.
- Enter the secured PIN and go to “continue.”
Review the readiness plan
McMaster recommends that you should not arrive in Canada more than four weeks before your program starts. If you choose to arrive early, you may be denied entry by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) if you do not have a valid reason for your early arrival.
- Review the flying to Canada requirements checklist or driving to Canada requirements checklist depending on your method of travel.
- Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada.
- If you have a connecting flight…
- The test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada.
- You may need to schedule the test in your transit city.
- If you have a connecting flight…
- Keep proof of your test results for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada.
- Download the ArriveCan app and complete the form 72 hours before your arrival.
- Download the McMaster safety app.
- You must have a quarantine plan.
- Check if you need an updated medical exam.
- If you requested an exemption from UHIP but you’re now returning to Ontario, you need to connect with Randa Salih (email@example.com) to activate your UHIP based on your date of arrival.
You must have…
- A valid passport or travel document
- The letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit; this letter has your permit reference number, which we use to issue your study permit.
- For first-year students, a copy of your letter of acceptance (LOA)
- Financial proof (bank or VISA statement) that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada
- Letters of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring, and…
Find out if you qualify for quarantine exemption as a fully vaccinated traveller.
If you’re not eligible for the quarantine exemption for travel, you must have a quarantine plan in place that includes private transportation from the airport to your place of quarantine.
Transportation from Pearson Airport (Toronto)
There are public and private transportation options from Pearson Airport to Hamilton. Please note that, if you’re required to quarantine, you must take private transportation from the airport to your place of quarantine.
McMaster and Ontario vaccination updates
Starting September 7, 2021, all McMaster students, staff and faculty are required to upload proof of vaccination to the MacCheck digital tool. Please note that the definition of “fully vaccinated” for the McMaster mandate is different from the government’s fully vaccinated status for travellers entering Canada.
Starting September 22, 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to access certain non-essential businesses. These businesses will require proof of identification that matches proof of vaccination in order for patrons to access their premises.
- Individuals who were vaccinated within Ontario can use the receipt they received after their last vaccine (paper receipt or email receipt). Copies of a COVID-19 vaccination receipt can be downloaded or printed through the COVID-19 vaccination provincial portal (requires green photo OHIP card) or obtained by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
- For individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario, proof of vaccination will be accepted if the person’s name and date of birth on their identification document match their vaccination receipt, which verifies they’re fully vaccinated, and includes their name, date of birth.
If you have questions about Ontario’s vaccine certification mandate, contact your local Ontario Public Health unit.
Get more support
Once you’re here, we’ll continue to support you. Check out all our supports and services for international students.