NU Canadian Campuses

Northeastern University is committed to sharing with our students the most up-to-date information possible regarding study permits and ongoing travel restrictions.   Please know that we will work diligently to provide comprehensive advice, process all requests, and advocate for the needs of our students. Student safety is our top priority. 

Northeastern University’s Vancouver and Toronto campuses submitted comprehensive COVID-19 readiness plans, which have been approved by the relevant provincial authorities. As such, both Northeastern University Canadian campuses have been added to the DLI list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans, and you are now eligible to travel to Canada, provided you are ‘travel ready’.

For students who have been issued a visa, or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), and are planning on travelling as soon as possible: 

  • Please email a copy of your travel document to: [email protected] 
  • We will then send you links to forms along with instructions on preparing to become ‘travel ready’, including instructions on completing your quarantine plan, our pre-arranged hotel, airport transportation service, and pre-travel testing requirements 
  • Return the forms, signed, along with proof of your flight booking 
  • We will verify everything is completed and submitted as required 
  • You will be issued a Travel Letter from OGS to facilitate your travel 

This process can will take up to a week to complete, depending on volumes of requests, so please book your flight with this in mind. We cannot accommodate emergency requests to issue Travel Letters.  

Starting February 22, 2021, in addition to the current pre-arrival testing and 14-day quarantine arrangements:

  • Prior to departure to Canada, air travellers are required to reserve and complete a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel in addition to the 14-day quarantine. 
  • There will be a number of hotels to choose from near each of the four international airports accepting international flights (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal).   
  • It is up to the traveller to choose which government-approved hotel they wish to stay and book in advance of departure. The price will include costs associated with the room, food, cleaning, infection prevention and control measures, and security as well as transportation. 
  • Travellers will need to book a hotel for their three-night stay in the city in which they first arrive in Canada (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal). We recommend you select a travel plan that arrives in Canada at your final destination city.

Hotel stopover bookings are managed by American Express Global Business Travel and available by phone only. To book your mandatory 3-night hotel stopover, call 1-800-294-8253. 


Travel Ready

If you have a travel document issued by IRCC: 


Please refer to the Northeastern University Toronto Campus Pre-Arrival Checklist Winter 2021. 


Please refer to the Northeastern University Vancouver Campus Pre-Arrival Checklist Spring 2021. 

Students waiting for approval

For students who do not receive an approval of their study permit in time to join us during the Winter Semester, we hope the flexibility and additional accommodations we have outlined below will help you make an informed decision about your enrollment at Northeastern University Toronto.


Students Who Began Fall Term Online 

  • A tuition refund will be offered to students who began the Fall term online from outside Canada due to COVID-19 if their study permit is refused. Students may seek a full tuition refund for the Fall term upon presenting their study permit refusal letter. 
  • The course registration deadline will be extended to January 25th to allow students to begin studies during the Winter term in the event that they receive a decision on their study permit application during the first week of classes. 


Students Who Begin Winter Term Online 

  • A tuition refund will be offered to students who begin in the Winter term online from outside Canada due to COVID-19 if their study permit is refused. Students may seek a full tuition refund for the Winter term upon presenting their study permit refusal letter. 
  • The course registration deadline will be extended to January 25th to allow students to begin studies during the Winter term in the event that they receive a decision on their study permit application during the first week of classes. 


All Fall and Winter Term Students Waiting For Study Permits 

  • We have added three additional accommodations for our international students overseas to allow for the study permit approval process:  
    • Begin the Winter term online and join on-ground during the second part of the Winter term (Starting March 1) 
    • Complete the Winter term online and join on-ground for the upcoming Spring term (Starting April 12) 
    • Complete the Winter and Spring terms online and join on-ground in the Summer term (Starting July 12th) 


Please note the following: 

  • If you have not yet submitted your application for a study permit, please do so immediately. Only students who have been fully approved for a Study Permit and issued a visa or eTA will be able to travel. 
  • We recommend that you do not make travel arrangements or book flights until you have confirmation that you will be able to travel to Canada and have received a supporting travel letter from OGS Canada. 
  • We will be issuing supporting Travel Letters only for those students who have received the required immigration permissions and are able to travel to Canada. 
  • Students arriving in Canada are required to show a negative Covid 19 molecular test result issued no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Quarantine for 14 days after the initial 3 day government-approved hotel stay  upon arrival and will need to show a Quarantine Plan to enter. 

FAQ: Travel and Re-Opening

Q. When will NU be added to the approved DLI list?

Yes, both Vancouver and Toronto are added. Please see the list of DLIs with approved reopening plans. 

Q. What do I need to bring with me when I travel to Canada? 

You must bring: your passport, an acceptance letter from NU, your valid study permit, a complete quarantine plan, proof that you have completed a Covid 19 molecular test prior to travelingand proof that you have enough funds to support yourself in Canada.   

You should download the ArriveCAN mobile app to expedite the time spent with the border officer. 

You should also be prepared with a quarantine plan that follows all guidelines, including the initial 3 day stay.

Q. Can my family travel with me? 

If your accompanying family member has the correct IRCC document to enter Canada, they may be able to travel with you. Please see this link for more information:

Q. I have a study permit approval, but I am unable to travel to Canada because of a travel ban in my own country. What are my options?

You may start your studies online or you may defer to the next semester.  According to a recent update from IRCC, courses taken online from home may count toward PGWP.

Q. I have my study permit approval so what happens when the travel ban is lifted? When should I arrive?

  • Please monitor the IRCC website to ensure that you will be able to travel.  
  • If you require a travel letter, please follow the instructions given above.  
  • You can arrive up to 30 days before the program start date on your POA, but we recommend not traveling earlier than this.  
  • You need to arrive in time to complete the 3 day required hotel stay, and then complete the 14 day quarantine.
  • If you are arriving late, contact [email protected] for a late arrival letter you can use at the Port of Entry and to make sure that you will still be permitted to join the program. Different programs have different cut-off dates.

Q. Do I have to travel to Canada before the end of Winter semester if I have received my study permit approval?

You do not have to travel to Canada if you are able to complete your semester remotely. According to a recent update from IRCC, courses taken online from home can count toward PGWP. 

Q. I have a flight booked for Feb 21, arriving on Feb 22. Will I need to book the extra 3-night hotel stay?

Yes, students arriving on or after Feb 22 will need to follow the instructions regarding additional testing and an additional 3-night stay in a government-approved hotel.

Q. I am already staying in a hotel, can I add three more nights to my stay?

Only if your original hotel has been added to the list of government approved hotels. Otherwise, you will need to book three nights in an approved hotel, and then move to your hotel that was booked for your 14-day quarantine.

Q. How will I get to my first and second hotel?

The government-approved hotel will be providing transportation from the airport for your first three days, and Northeastern University will be covering the cost of transportation from your first hotel to your 14-day quarantine location.

FAQ: Study Permit Processing

Q. I am still waiting on my study permit approval.  When can I expect that approval?

We are unable to provide estimated processing times for study permits. IRCC has indicated that the processing times posted on their website are not accurate and they are unable to estimate processing timeframes at this time. Please make sure your study permit application is submitted as soon as possible. 

Q. Are permits still being processed in a two-stage approval process? 

Permits submitted Sept 15, 2020 or before are processed with the two-stage process, and those students will first receive an Approval in Principle (AIP).    

Study Permit applications submitted after September 15, 2020 are no longer issued AIP.   

Q. If I have a study permit approval, will my online studies from home count toward my PGWP eligible time?

Yes, IRCC has issued recent accommodation stating that courses taken outside of the country can count toward PGWP.  

FAQ: Quarantine Requirements

Q. Do I need to do a Covid test prior to travelling? 

Yes, as of January 6, 2021, the Canadian Government now requires all international travelers arriving in Canada to show proof of a negative Covid 19 molecular test Please click on this link for details.  

Q. What needs to be in my quarantine plan if I am able to travel? 

Your quarantine plan needs to include details about where you’ll stay, how you’ll get groceries, how you’ll access essential services, and how you’ll get to your destination.    

For additional information from the Canadian government about quarantine expectations, see here.  

There was also additional guidance about a 3 day hotel stay issued that will need to be followed. More details are above.

You will be required to submit your quarantine plan to OGS before being issued a Travel Letter to facilitate your entry to Canada. Instructions on this process will be sent once we confirm we are on the approved DLI list.

FAQ: Studying

Q. Will classes be online or in person for Winter (Toronto), Spring(Vancouver) 2021? 

If you are inside Canada or arrive before classes start, you can take Hybrid NUflex classes which include an in-person component. If you are in your home country or outside Canada, you can take your classes online, provided you have an approved study permit or AIP. 

Q. If I start Winter (Toronto), Spring (Vancouver) 2021 online, will the overall online component be less than 50% in my program? 

Northeastern University intends to reopen for classroom instruction in the winter. Hybrid NUflex is an instructional delivery method that will allow students to opt for either in-person or remote instruction, with healthy distancing guidelines applied in the classroom.

On Feb 12, 2021, IRCC announced that they are extending the current exception for online studies and that studies completed outside Canada prior to December 31, 2021 will count towards a future Post Graduate Work Permit (PWGP), provided the student has received approval for a study permit by the end of their academic program. 

 If your entire program is completed online during this period, you will still be eligible for a PGWP. The measures apply to all international students who are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program and meet all other PGWP criteria. 

Q. If I start this Winter 2021 online and my study permit application is refused later, will I get any refund of my tuition?

Please see above for the new refund policy for Winter 2021 for students who have their study permit applications refused.  

For all other withdrawals, not related to a study permit refusal, the university refund policies will apply.

Q. May I attend my classes in person if I enter Canada before the end of the Winter semester?

Please contact your international student advisor and/or academic advisor to see your options. 

Q. I am currently in Canada, can I go home now and complete my studies there?

At this time, there is no direction from IRCC regarding students returning home to complete part of their studies online. Due to a rapidly changing situation, we do not know what the travel rules will be in the future. If you return after Feb 22, you will need to do the two-stage quarantine process on arrival back to Canada.

Q. Does this mean I have to study in my home country, even if my study permit is approved and I have a visa/travel document?  

 No, if you have or receive a valid travel document, and you make the necessary arrangements in line with provincial and federal guidance, you will still be able to travel to Canada. Should you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Northeastern at [email protected].

Q. If I am refused my study permit, can I keep studying online in the spring until I get a second decision and still get a refund? Will I only get the winter fees refunded?

Only fees for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 are included in the limited term full refund exception. A refund for winter fees will be processed when you email your IRCC refusal letter to [email protected] and your advisor withdraws you from the winter term courses.  You may defer your start to Fall 2021 in this case and start again if a subsequent study permit  application is successful.  If you choose to continue to study after receiving a refusal, your fees are not refundable.

Q. I have received a study permit approval and travel visa. Do I have to come to Canada right away? I planned to travel to meet the April 30 deadline for online studies, but I would prefer to come later in the summer and start on ground in the fall. 

You can continue to study online and come to start your on-ground studies in either the spring or fall terms. If you are arriving in the fall, you should plan on arriving no earlier than 30 days prior to the start of classes in September, and no later than the first day of classes. 

Make sure you do the following:

  • COMMUNICATE your plans to OGS and to your College
  • MONITOR the VACs in your country for updates and information
  • VISIT the IRCC website frequently for travel and permit processing updates
  • MAKE A PLAN! Consider all of your options and alternatives, and choose the plan that is best for you, not necessarily what others are telling you they are doing.

We encourage you to check your emails for future announcements and the links below for news and updates.

Visa Application Centres for your country

IRCC for permit, travel and processing updates

Information on quarantine requirements

Northeastern University COVID-19 information

If you have specific questions that are not answered in the above, or online with our FAQ, you may email [email protected]. Please note that this email is experiencing a very high volume of emails so please be patient. Make sure you include your full name and student ID in the message and please do not send to multiple recipients, as this will slow down our ability to respond to your request.