Prepare for arrival — Study

When you arrive in Canada, you will be met by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a point of entry, such as an airport. The CBSA is responsible for border and point of entry activities in Canada.

The documents you need to enter Canada

The CBSA officer will ask to see your travel documents when you arrive in Canada. Make sure they are not packed in your luggage, and that you have them with you. This will help speed up your entry to Canada.

You should be ready to show the following documents:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • the letter of introduction from the visa office that you received when your study permit was approved (this letter contains your permit reference number and the CBSA officer needs this letter to issue your study permit)
  • a valid temporary resident visa (if required)
  • a copy of the letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution at which you are accepted to study
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada and
  • letters of reference or any other documents recommended by the visa office where you applied.

Carry these items and all other valuable papers, cash and traveller’s cheques with you at all times. Do not put them in your checked luggage.

You may not be allowed into Canada if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letters of reference is incorrect.

Possession of these documents does not guarantee entry. All persons must establish that they meet all the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations before being authorized to enter or re-enter Canada.

If there are no problems at the point of entry, the officer will let you enter Canada and will issue your study permit. You should:

  • check the study permit to make sure your personal information is accurate and
  • check the expiry date on your study permit. You must leave Canada by this date.

Citizens or residents of the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland do not need a passport or a temporary resident visa to enter or return to Canada. However, you must provide proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.

Disclosure of funds

If you arrive in Canada with more than C$10,000, you must disclose this information to the CBSA officer. If you do not disclose this information, you could be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • negotiable instruments in bearer form, such as bankers’ drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders.

Understanding the terms and conditions of your study permit

The conditions listed on your permit tell you:

  • the educational level you are permitted to study at;
  • that you must remain enrolled at a designated learning institution;
  • that you must continue making progress toward completing your program;
  • if you are allowed to work in Canada;
  • whether you need to report for a medical examination, observation or treatment;
  • if your travel within Canada is restricted; and
  • when you must leave Canada.

If you wish to change any of the terms and conditions on your study permit, including your level of study, you must submit a completed Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada.

If you are a post-secondary student with a valid study permit, you do not need to submit an application if you want to change your program of study or the institution where you are studying. You need to notify CIC through your MyCIC account if you are transferring from one designated learning institution to another, though.

It is an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act if you do not comply with the conditions imposed on you when your entry into Canada was authorized, or when your study permit was issued.

You may voluntarily leave Canada, or you may be subject to an inadmissibility determination or hearing. This could lead to your removal from Canada. You will lose your temporary resident status and any permit you have, if you break any of the conditions of your stay.

Leaving and coming back to Canada

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • a valid study permit if you are returning to study in Canada and
  • a valid temporary resident visa, if you are a citizen of a designated country for which Canada requires a visa (unless you travel solely to the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon and return to Canada within the validity period of your study permit).

Health insurance

The Government of Canada does not pay for the medical costs of foreign students. Health coverage for foreign students varies among the provinces. Contact the school to which you are applying to receive more information about medical coverage and health insurance.

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