What happens when you arrive in Canada

When you arrive, we will check your identity to make sure that you are the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

How this is done will depend on where you enter Canada.

  • At 8 major Canadian airports
    • your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk
    • the system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted
  • At smaller airports and all land ports of entry
    • your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints

Entry to Canada

Visitors, student and workers

If you pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You are normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.

In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada to cover the planned purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you are not sure about something.

Permanent residents

If you applied for permanent residence outside of Canada and you arrive in Canada for the first time, see the entry requirements for your program to find out more about the process:

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