International Student FAQ

International students attending The University of Winnipeg seeking information on how UWinnipeg is responding to Covid-19 can find answers to important questions below.

Study Permit Questions

Can I attend spring term classes online from outside Canada, without affecting my immigration status or Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility?

International undergraduate students are encouraged to study from within Canada and attend in person classes. If they do not find required courses in person, they may register for online classes.

Attending online courses from outside Canada, up until August 31, 2022, will not affect post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility because IRCC has made temporary changes to PGWP eligibility.

As an admitted University of Winnipeg student, you are eligible to take online courses from your home country, and will receive university credit for successful completion. The University of Winnipeg recommends that you do not register in courses without a valid study permit, as registering in courses does not guarantee you will be issued a study permit. You will be charged tuition and fees for all courses that you take, even if you receive a visa refusal in the future.

If I go home to attend courses online, will I be able to return to Canada?

Yes, students with a valid study permit (Visa or an eTA, if applicable) can go home and return to Canada. 

Visit the Government of Canada's Covid-19 Travel page for information on travel requirements and exemptions. 

My study permit/visa is will expire; what should I do?

IRCC recommends submitting applications online (paper application can delay the process).

Processing time may be longer than usual; however, applying before a study permit expires triggers “Maintained Status” (previously called Implied Status), allowing students to continue studies and work under current study permit conditions until a decision is made.

Students are encouraged to consult the reference guide on the IIRSS website for help with online applications.

I have been accepted into a study program but cannot apply for a visa as offices are closed. What should I do?

If you are outside Canada, we encourage you to submit an online applicaiton still as soon as possible.

Once the application is submitted, you may be asked by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to give biometrics or medical exam results.

IRCC has stopped issuing automatic extensions for biometrics and other missing documents. Special consideration may be given on an individual case basis, where their office has reasons to believe that the delay is related to COVID-19. However, an application without an official acceptance letter from a DLI would not be accepted.

We continue to advise students to submit their applications once they have all the required documents (Please see our GUIDE). For any temporary changes in processing due to current COVID-19 situations, visit the IRCC website.

Apply online as paper applications could delay the process.

Can I start courses online without a study permit/visa if I am outside Canada?

In general, a study permit/visa is not required for online courses.

However, studying without a visa could affect your future post-graduation work permit (PGWP) after graduation.

Time spent taking online courses without a valid study permit/visa application that is started/in process/approved, will not be counted towards the validity of your PGWP. Therefore, students are advised to start online courses only if they have been approved for a study permit (with Visa or eTA if applicable).

I have applied for a study visa/extension; however, I cannot provide the required documents (e.g passport) due to office closures. What do I do?

If your study permit or visa is expiring or near expiry and you do not have the required documents, you may still apply with an application. (IRCC will not be giving automatic extensions and they will contact you for missing documents with the standard 30-day deadline).

Applying before the current permit expires will trigger “maintained status (formerly called implied status) that allows you to continue studies/work under current conditions. Missing documents must be updated during the application process using the IRCC web form (within deadlines provided by the case processing centre).

What are the changes to student employment conditions during COVID-19? Can I work if I'm in Canada with a valid study permit?

Working conditions for international students remain the same as before COVID-19 (i.e. you must be a full-time student in regular terms, Fall & Winter at a DLI to meet off campus work eligibility). Online courses do not affect study permit conditions, including work authorization.

Note: Students are encouraged to speak to a UWinnipeg immigration advisor before changing their working hours.

If you are a full-time student in the Fall 2021/Winter 2022 term (i.e. registered in at least nine credit hours), you will be able to work part-time off campus and full time on campus.

For detailed working conditions please refer to the IIRSS reference sheet.

Will online courses affect my Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility?

Students in Canada will not have their PGWP eligibility affected by taking online courses due to shifts in the course delivery method due to COVID-19, or if they were forced to drop the term or become part-time students in Winter/Spring/Summer term 2020.

Students outside Canada are also eligible for PGWP until August 31, 2022, if:

  • they have a valid study permit or a study permit application that is submitted/in process or approved.
  • they are in a PGWP eligible program that was in progress during March 2020 OR
  • a PGWP eligible program that started between Spring 2020 and December 2021
  • they complete 100% of studies online before August 31, 2022.


Disclaimer: It is recommended that students contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or an IIRSS immigration advisor to review their specific case. Canadian immigration regulations, policies, and procedures may change without notice. For the most current information, please visit the IRCC Website at www.cic.gc.ca. For appointments with an IIRSS immigration advisor contact IIRSS: (204) 786-9469; iirss@uwinnipeg.ca  – Revised April 8, 2022.

Travel & Quarantine Questions

Can I travel to Canada for my studies?

The Government of Canada determines travel and border restrictions.

Most full-time international students coming to UWinnipeg are eligible to travel to Canada. However, specific conditions for your entry will vary depending on your vaccination status and the country you are coming from. Students are advised to complete the Government of Canada’s Travel Restrictions Wizard for specific details about their eligibility and conditions.

The University of Winnipeg is a confirmed Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with an approved Covid-19 readiness plan.

What are the COVID testing and quarantine requirements for international students who are travelling?

All international undergraduate students travelling to Canada are encouraged to attend the IIRSS Travel, Arrival, Quarantine Protocol sessions.

To view a recording or obtain the slides from the last session, or view dates for upcoming sessions, visit UWinnipeg's IIRSS Events page.

 

Vaccination Questions

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Canada?

Effective November 30, the Government of Canada announced the following travel changes that can affect international students’ travel and their accompanying family members:

Travel within and outside Canada (plane/train) will require proof of fully accepted vaccinations. Proof of COVID-19 negative test result will no longer be accepted except for limited exemptions, e.g. medical inability for immunization.

Travellers under current travel exemptions (unless you are a minor student under the age of 18 years) will no longer will be able to enter Canada after January 14, 2022, without being fully vaccinated with acceptable doses.

Until January 14, 2022 unvaccinated or partially vaccinated exempted travelers will be able to take connecting flights to final destination within Canada, that depart no later than 24 hours after their arrival to Canada. After this time, only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to board domestic flights in Canada.

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend classes on campus at UWinnipeg?

The University of Winnipeg lifted vaccine mandates on May 2, 2022.

Which vaccine should I get?

Always follow the advice from your local health authority regarding vaccine eligibility, availability and timing to choose the vaccine that is most suitable for your circumstances.

However, for travel purposes, travel changes announced on July 5, 2021, may exempt you from some travel and quarantine requirements if you have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada for travel purposes at least 14 days before entering Canada.

Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavax, COVAXIN, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

What if the vaccine I received is not recognized in Canada?

Canada recognizes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavax, COVAXIN, or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

As per Public Health Agency of Canada guidance, those coming to Canada with one or two doses of a non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine (regardless of WHO authorized status) require one additional mRNA dose to be complete/valid.

The minimum interval between the initial dose and the additional dose should be a minimum of 28 days. If an individual has three non-Health Canada-approved COVID vaccine doses, they do not require further doses.

International students can book an appointment for their third dose at any supercentre or vaccination clinic in Manitoba.

How can I receive a Manitoba vaccination card if I was vaccinated outside of Manitoba, or don’t have a provincial health identification number (PHIN)?

Step 1: Update Your Vaccine Record with the Province

If the vaccination you received is from a brand that Health Canada approves, you can go to https://forms.gov.mb.ca/covid-immunization-record-request/index.html to update that information. You can also call 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222) with this information if needed. After this information has been updated, you can request an immunization card online.

On the form, choose “COVID-19 Immunization Record Request” and “You are wanting to add a COVID-19 vaccine provided out-of-province”.

Step 2: Request Your Card

Individuals who do not have a Manitoba health card can request a Manitoba immunization card if they meet the following requirements:

  • have received two (individual or mixed) doses of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavax, COVAXIN or a single amount of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the final amount more than 14 days ago; OR
  • have received a third dose of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavax, COVAXIN in addition to their non-Health Canada approved vaccines; AND
  • have submitted proof of any COVID vaccination(s) received outside of Manitoba to public health, and the data has been recorded in the system.

Individuals can call 1-844-MAN-VACC (1-844-626-8222) to speak with an agent, who will provide a client identification number for the digital version of the card. The agent can also request a physical card on behalf of callers.

Are international students eligible to be vaccinated in Manitoba?

The Government of Manitoba will administer vaccines to non-Manitoba residents who have been isolating in Manitoba for at least 15 days and will remain in Manitoba for a further 15 days minimum, resulting in a total stay of no less than 30 days. 

Non-residents must meet the minimum age requirement for each drug as listed in its eligibility criteria. Temporary residents must provide proof of date of entry to Manitoba and documentation to support the reason and anticipated length of their stay (ie: student visa, work visa, immigration documents, etc.).

When attending their appointment, non-Manitoba residents (who live in Canada) must present valid photo ID and a Health Card issued by their home province/territory. 

Non-Canadians must present a valid Passport ID. 

All persons must complete the required consent form before their appointment and bring it. Please note that some state regions will not apply to non-residents and should be left blank. 

Immunization staff will collect alternate information as required during the appointment.

What do I do if I have just arrived in Manitoba and have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated yet?

Welcome! International students can book vaccination appointments immediately after arrival, as long as your stay is at least 30 days.

You are eligible to be vaccinated in Manitoba after 14 days in the province. 

Temporary residents must provide proof of date of entry to Manitoba and documentation to support the reason and anticipated length of their stay (e.g. your student visa). The vaccine is provided at no cost.

At this time, international students cannot book an appointment online. Make your appointment by calling 1-844-626-8222. Learn more about Manitoba’s vaccination program.

More Questions

When will the university campus residence be available?

Please visit Campus Living’s website for the most up-to-date information on the residence.

I have a class that requires a textbook, but the book is not available in my country (I am studying from outside of Canada).  What do I do?

Please visit the UWinnipeg Bookstore's online textbook search tool to see what materials are required for each class.

If you are studying outside of Canada, we recommend ordering an e-book if it is available for your classes. Shipping costs to countries outside of Canada can be expensive and are charged as an extra fee for any physical textbooks.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about travel restrictions, immigration rules, health coverage, or anything else related to your studies, please get in touch with iirss@uwinnipeg.ca.

Do the above answers also apply to students applying to the English Language Program or PACE?

If you are a prospective student in our English Language Program, the answers may differ. Email ELP at infoelp@uwinnipeg.ca or PACE at applytopace@uwinnipeg.ca to confirm details relating to your studies.