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 officer will ask to see your passport or travel documents. Even if you do not need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visa to enter Canada, the officer will ask you a few questions. The officer will make sure that you meet the requirements to enter Canada.
You will not be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. You must demonstrate to the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada. You will also have to demonstrate to the officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your approved stay.
Children under 18 should have valid identification with them. The documents a minor child needs to present depend on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone. Find out about the specific requirements for minor children.
The officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. The period is usually six months. In some cases, the officer may limit or extend this period to cover only the planned purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you are not sure about anything.
If you do not obey the conditions of your eTA or visa, we will ask you to leave Canada. Most people asked to leave Canada have the right to a fair hearing to review the decision.
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. Note: If you have an approved eTA, it will be linked to the passport that you used to apply for your study permit.
- 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.
Disclosure of funds
If you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000, you must disclose this information to the CBSA officer. If you do not, you could be fined, and your funds could be seized. These funds could be in the form of:
- securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills), or
- 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,
- a valid eTA, if you are from an eTA-required country as of March 15, 2016,
- a valid visitor visa, if you are from a visa-required country (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).
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.
Prepare for life in Canada
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