Extend your study permit: Traveling outside Canada and then re-entering

Only some DLIs are able to reopen to international students. Before you leave Canada, make sure your DLI is on the list of those with approved COVID-19 readiness plans. You won’t be able to re-enter Canada if your DLI isn’t on this list.

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:

Having an eTA or a visa, along with your study permit, doesn’t guarantee that we’ll let you back into Canada. You must show the border services officer that you meet all the requirements before we’ll let you re-enter.


You must use ArriveCAN before checking in at the airport or crossing the border to submit your

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan
  • COVID-19 symptoms self-assessment

Please bring your ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper) with you to show the border services officer upon arrival.

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.

U.S. Citizens

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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