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Graduate Studies

International students travelling to McMaster University

Please note: The COVID-19 readiness plan is MANDATORY  for all new or returning students.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available; please check back frequently.

February 23, 2021 Update: The Government of Canada has implemented new travel measures for all travellers entering Canada. International students are not exempt from these measures.

After the government’s mandatory three-night quarantine, all international students and postdoctoral fellows are required to follow McMaster’s COVID-19 readiness plan, including approved airport transportation and 14-day quarantine on campus.

Please note that current travel plans to accommodate these new travel measures are available to students arriving on or before April 30, 2021.

McMaster University’s COVID-19 readiness plan is approved by the Ontario government and is mandatory for all new and returning international graduate students with valid or approved study permits.

If you are currently outside of Canada and plan to travel, please review the information below.

This information is relevant to all international students, including new, current, and returning students. 

Before making travel plans, all international students must:

  • Be in possession of a valid study permit or a “Letter of Introduction” that shows you were approved for a study permit.
    Please note that students cannot travel with “approval-in-principle” at this time.
  • Commit to using McMaster’s approved COVID-19 readiness plan.

McMaster’s approved COVID-19 readiness plan includes

  • accommodation and food delivery for 14 days at McMaster’s designated residence in Hamilton (mandatory). This is at no cost to students arriving for the first time since March 2020.
    • Before making your travel plans, please review available arrival dates on the International Student Quarantine Stays website. If you cannot schedule a flight within the dates indicated, please contact Yufei Zheng, international graduate students coordinator, at, with your anticipated arrival date at least five days prior to your travel.
    • Quarantine space for families is available.
  • private transportation from the airport to McMaster’s designated residence with our approved transportation service provider (mandatory). This will be at the student’s expense.

Once you book your accommodation and airport transportation, we will provide a supporting letter to confirm your quarantine plan. You may show this letter to the border agents during check-in and/or when you arrive at the port of entry.

Note: If you have family members approved for travel and accompanying you, they will be able to quarantine in place with you.

Upon arrival at McMaster’s designated residence, you will receive further details and directions about required COVID-19 testing and reactivating your UHIP.


Failure to fully comply with McMaster’s COVID-19 readiness plan will result in the following:

  • McMaster will not support your travel. This means you will not receive a letter to present at port of entry.
  • You will be responsible for all risks and repercussions associated with failing to comply, including potential loss of TA/RA employment or scholarship funding.
  • McMaster University is obligated to report any individual who fails to comply with the full COVID-19 readiness plan to government authorities.
  • Failure to comply puts at risk any future travel for international students hoping to come to Canada.

Next step

If you meet all the requirements outlined above and plan to travel, please contact Yufei Zheng at with the following information for further directions.

  1. Your full name
  2. Your student number
  3. Your program of study
  4. Your flight information (flight number and arrival date)
  5. Country from which you will be traveling
  6. Program start time (e.g., January 2021, May 2021)