Important Info: Vaccination Mandate Compliance for International Students

Important Info: Vaccination Mandate Compliance for International Students

Welcome to the winter semester. We hope you had a restful winter break and are excited to welcome you to the new term.

The purpose of this email is to address requests for additional clarification on what steps international students need to take to comply with the mandate. 

As you know, York University has a Vaccination Mandate for all students, staff and faculty coming for in-person activities on any of our campuses. It is important to become fully vaccinated and compliant with the mandate as soon as you can. Students who are not fully vaccinated will be de-enrolled from their in-person courses, not allowed to live in residence and not allowed to access any of York’s campuses. 

Please read through the information below to ensure you understand the requirements and have taken the appropriate steps. You may be feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start and our team is here to support you through your student journey.

How do you know that you are “fully vaccinated”?

The University follows the Ontario Ministry of Health definition of “fully vaccinated” to permit access to campus and to live in on-campus residence. 

According to Ontario’s Ministry of Health guidelines, an individual is considered “fully vaccinated” if they have received:

  • The full series of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine and any combination of such vaccines; 
  • One or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada; or 
  • Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized by Health Canada; and 
  • It has been at least 14 days since their final dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. 

There are several definitions of “fully vaccinated” that are being used in Canada and around the world. Even if you are considered “fully vaccinated” by some of these definitions, you may still be not in compliance with York’s Vaccination Mandate. If you aren’t sure of your vaccination status, please take our Am I Fully Vaccinated quiz.

How to be Compliant with York’s Vaccination Mandate

All York community members are required to update their vaccination status and upload their proof of vaccination on YU Screen. If your proof of vaccination will not be available until after Jan. 31, contact your Faculty Designate to inform them of your situation and the appointment date of your second dose for their records. 

To update your vaccination status:

  1. Determine what your vaccination status is according to York’s Vaccination Mandate. (If you aren’t sure of your vaccination status, please take our Am I Fully Vaccinated quiz.)
  2. Login to YU Screen using your Passport York ID.
  3. Click on the “Vaccination Record” button.
  4. Enter your vaccination status and information as requested.
  5. Upload a .pdf of your proof of vaccination (if applicable). If your proof is not in English or French, please provide a translation. You may use the translation used for ArriveCAN if you have recently arrived in Canada.
  6. Click the “Update” button.
  7. Your vaccination status should now be updated on your screen.

If you are living in residence, you must do the screening on YU Screen each day.

If you are accessing campus, you must do the screening on YU Screen each time you come onto any of York’s campuses. If screening does not clear you to come onto campus, please do not come onto campus.

What happens if I arrive and am not “fully vaccinated” with the Vaccination Mandate?

International students who are not considered “fully vaccinated,” in accordance with York’s Vaccination Mandate, will be given a bridging period to become fully vaccinated upon arrival. Please read through the International Student FAQs on YU Better Together for details and instructions. 

Students in this situation will be required to undergo regular testing until they are fully vaccinated. If you used York’s Quarantine program and stayed in York’s designated hotels during December 2021, you will have received an at-home test kit as part of your Welcome Kit. If you were in this situation and did not receive one, please email

Where can I access the COVID-19 vaccine?

  1. Update your vaccination record. If you are considered not fully vaccinated (according to the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines) and you received COVID vaccine doses outside of Ontario, you will need to update your vaccination record. To do this, contact your local public health authority (e.g. Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health, etc.) and provide your proof of vaccination. 

    Note: It can take several weeks for your health authority to update your record on Ontario’s system. You will not be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from many locations unless your vaccine record is updated on Ontario’s system.

    Recommendation: Find a nearby drop-in vaccination clinic run directly by a local health authority. This will be the fastest way to update your vaccination record on site and receive your COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Information about these clinics can be found directly on your local health authority’s website, such as Toronto Public Health, Peel Public Health vaccine clinics, or York Region Public Health Walk-in Clinics.
  2. Book a COVID-19 Vaccine appointment. Once your vaccine record is updated with your local public health authority, you may book a COVID vaccination appointment by:
    • using the provincial booking system to book an appointment at a participating clinic; 
    • contacting a pharmacy or using their website to book an appointment;
    • attending a drop-in vaccination clinic organized by a hospital or other organization.
    • Tip: York will also be hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics:
      Month of January: For all York students that only need a third (booster) COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are required.
      Jan. 28: For international students that need a first, second or third (booster) COVID-19 vaccine dose. Appointments are required.

Other Instances of Being “Fully Vaccinated”

Below are other examples of being considered “fully vaccinated” and when they apply.

Fully vaccinated for quarantine exemption/travel: To be eligible for exemption from quarantine, international travellers must be fully vaccinated (usually two doses) of one of the following COVID vaccines:

  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
  • Bharat Biotech (Covaxin, BBV152 A, B, C)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna (mRNA-1273)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Sinopharm BIBP (BBIBP-CorV)
  • Sinovac (CoronaVac, PiCoVacc)

Of these COVID vaccines, only four are approved by Health Canada: AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. The remaining three are approved for travel only.

As of Jan. 15, foreign nationals who are 18 years of age or older, who are not fully vaccinated are not permitted to enter Canada.

Fully vaccinated in the country in which you were vaccinated: This may mean that you received a full schedule (usually two doses) of a vaccine that is not approved by Health Canada. For example, Bharat Biotech, Sinopharm BIBP and Sinovac. Being fully vaccinated in a country outside Canada does not necessarily mean you will be considered fully vaccinated in Canada/Ontario.

Stay Up to Date

For the latest information and updates on COVID, please visit YU Better Together. York International hosts weekly webinars for international students to answer questions about vaccinations, travel to Canada, self-isolation and how to use YU Screen. Sign up for our Travel to Canada webinars on YI’s Events Calendar.

Additional questions can be sent to


Vinitha Gengatharan
Executive Director, York International