International students and Immigration | Fall Term | Student Updates | Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates | UNB

International students and immigration

Frequently asked questions

If international students are unable to enter Canada, will there be flexible arrangements for alternate methods of learning?

We recognize that not all students will be able to come to New Brunswick. We are working on offering as many courses as possible in an alternative delivery format. For some classes, remote instruction will not be possible. In these cases, we are working with faculties and through advisors to provide alternative learning options on an individual student basis.

For undergraduate and graduate programs, most courses and labs will be adjusted appropriately for students who are unable to be on campus. However, some programs require in-person instruction to meet program outcomes and attendance will be mandatory to satisfy lab and practicum requirements. Students unable to participate in mandatory in-person courses and labs will receive appropriate program advising.

If you are required to take in-person courses but are unable to physically attend, please contact your academic advisor to see if alternative arrangements are possible.

Academic advisors

Do international students need a study permit if the program is offered through a blended format?

International students who plan on coming to Canada to study for more than 6 months, even if taking classes through a blended learning format, must have a study permit and entry visa prior to arrival in Canada.

New admitted international students should apply for a study permit as soon as they receive an acceptance letter from UNB. International students can find more information on travel exemptions, restrictions and Post-Graduation Work Permit Program at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Reach out to your international student immigration advisors for assistance with the application process and questions about immigration changes due to COVID-19. If you have questions about immigration, contact:

Some programs may require in-person participation. Consult with your academic advisor regarding appropriate course selection or with the Admissions Office regarding the next appropriate start term.

How will UNB support international students once they arrive in New Brunswick?

We understand this is an uncertain time and we are here to support you in every way we can. At this time, UNB’s priorities are safety, accessibility and flexibility. In this regard, we have developed strict guidelines aligned with New Brunswick Public Health requirements to ensure the safety and well-being of every student, including those who have recently entered New Brunswick.

UNB is working directly with students to create a self-isolation plan and to ensure students have all the documentation required for travel. Throughout the isolation process, UNB nurse practitioners and nurses will be in daily communication with students to monitor their physical and mental health concerns.

We have provided some information for international students in frequently asked questions as well as the travel and immigration frequently asked questions. We will continue to update these pages as more information becomes available.

UNB has provided important travel and self-isolation information for international students. We will continue to update these pages as more information becomes available.

If you have questions about your immigration status, or need help with extending your status, UNB has advisors to support you. For more information and to request a virtual immigration meeting to discuss your immigration questions:

Graduate Studies: General questions around accessing research facilities and impact on the student’s program should be directed to the School of Graduate Studies at or the specific program officer for your field of study.

If you require support on issues unrelated to COVID-19, contact our International Student Services teams in Fredericton or Saint John.

Should international students due to start at UNB this fall still apply for their study permit and visa?

Yes, international students can begin courses in September through alternative delivery methods from outside Canada, even if your study permit has not yet been processed.

Course content will be available so students can participate in courses and join in-person instruction on campus at any time throughout the term.

Some programs may require in-person participation. Apply for a study permit immediately upon receipt of acceptance to UNB to ensure you are ready to join in-person classes when you are able.

You must come to Canada before the permit validity date listed on your port of entry letter or the study permit approval letter sent by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. If you defer your start date, please ask for an updated letter of acceptance from the Office of the Registrar with your new start date to bring with you to Canada.

Due to COVID-19, there are frequent changes in Canada’s immigration policies, which may have different implications for new and current international students. It is important that you fully understand the COVID-19 Updates from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and how the new rules are affecting you and your studies in Canada. Contact our international student immigration advisors for personal assistance about your immigration situation.

If you have questions about immigration, contact:

If you do not obtain the required study permit by the start term in which your admission was approved, consult with your academic advisor regarding appropriate course selection or with the Admissions Office regarding the next appropriate start term or to discuss your deferred options specific to your academic program.

Academic advisors


Graduate students: Contact or the specific program officer for your field of study.

Will tuition be refunded if study visas are not processed or due to travel restrictions?

Yes. UNB will refund tuition to international students who are unable to attend UNB in the fall due to COVID-19 visa or travel restrictions.

UNB has been working closely with Universities Canada and the Federal Government of Canada on the unique issues and challenges facing international students.  If students are able to start their education from their home country before coming to Canada, they will not be penalized in terms of study completion and the ability to access post-study visa rights will be supported. 

Students starting their studies in Fall 2020 outside of Canada will be able to count this time towards their post-graduation work permit, provided:

  • they have a valid study permit/study permit approval prior to starting their studies
  • complete 50% of their program in Canada
  • meet all the regular requirements for the post-graduation work permit eligibility

What mental health supports are available to international students who are studying remotely outside of Canada this fall?

Mental health consultation appointments, online support, peer support groups and virtual psycho educational groups are available for international students.

Due to jurisdictional regulations for mental health professionals, we are unable to offer therapy to those outside of Canada.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, contact the UNB Student Services team in either Fredericton or Saint John for the most up-to-date information about the support available. Students can join the UNB Counselling Services – Online Student Support group on Microsoft Teams for information on the groups and programs available.

Additional online resources for Fredericton students include TAO (Therapist Assisted Online), for 24-hour private online self-help. Sign up with your university email address and use enrollment key Unb1785! Saint John students can access 24/7 support and professional care through Real Campus.

If you are outside of Canada and require immediate attention, please call your local crisis line. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call your country’s emergency number.