Extend your study permit: Traveling outside Canada and then re-entering
Some DLIs are reopening to international students
DLIs with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory are able to reopen to international students who are currently outside Canada.
If you plan to come to Canada as an international student after October 20, 2020:
- Your DLI must be on the list of DLIs with approved COVID-19 readiness plans before you travel to Canada.
- You must have a valid study permit, or have been approved for a study permit.
This applies to all international students, whether you’re travelling from the United States or from any other country.
This change doesn’t affect study permit holders already in Canada.
If you’re already in Canada, you can continue studying at any DLI. If you leave Canada, you may not be able to return if your DLI doesn’t have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory in which you live.
A study permit is not a travel document. It doesn’t give you the right to travel to Canada. Along with your permit, you need either:
- a temporary resident visa or
- an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Possession of an eTA or a visa, in addition to your study permit, doesn’t guarantee that we will let you back into Canada. You must show the border services officer that you meet all the requirements before we will let you re-enter.
If you are from a visa-exempt country:
Along with your study permit, you need:
- a valid passport and
- an eTA (if you plan to travel to Canada by air)
You don’t need an eTA if you’re arriving by land or sea (for example, by car, bus, train or boat).
If you received your initial study permit before August 1, 2015, you need to apply for an eTA if you haven’t already done so.
If you received your initial study permit on or after August 1, 2015, you already have an eTA. We automatically issued it to you when we approved your initial study permit. It’s valid for 5 years or until your passport expires. See your letter of introduction for details.
Renewing your study permit
If we issue your renewed study permit on or after May 1, 2017, we will automatically issue you an eTA as well.
If we issued your renewed study permit before May 1, 2017 and you don’t already have an eTA, you will need to get one before you return to Canada by air.
If you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States:
Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to fly to Canada. If you received your study permit before August 1, 2015, you need to apply for an eTA if you:
- don’t already have one and
- plan to travel from and return to Canada by air.
If you received your study permit on or after August 1, 2015, we automatically issued you an eTA.
Your eTA is linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit. When flying to Canada you must travel with:
- the valid passport you used to apply for your study permit and
- your proof of status in the U.S. (like a valid Green Card)
You don’t need an eTA when driving to Canada or arriving by train, bus, or boat. However, you will need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card).
If you are from a visa-required country:
You’ll need a valid visa and a valid study permit to return to Canada to study. You don’t need a valid visa if you return directly from a visit only to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. You must re-apply for a visitor visa if your visa:
- has expired; or
- was only valid for a single entry to Canada.
As of May 1, 2017, eligible citizens of select visa-required countries will receive an eTA when renewing their study permit. The eTA is electronically linked to the passport that you used to renew your permit and is valid for five years or until your passport expires. You can only use the eTA when you fly to, or transit through, Canada by air. You will receive a letter from us with information about your eTA number and expiration date.
Note: if you already have a valid visitor visa, you can use it to travel to Canada until it expires. A visitor visa will allow you to travel to Canada by any means: plane, car, bus, train or boat.
United States citizens should carry:
- a valid U.S. passport when flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
- the right travel documents when driving or arriving in Canada by train, bus or boat
Find out about Canada’s re-admittance conditions if you’ve:
- applied to extend your status and
- need to travel outside Canada before you get your new permit because of an emergency.
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