Study permit: Prepare for arrival

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Before you arrive, read the pre-departure guide for tips and information about student life in Canada.

Arriving in Canada

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer. The officer will:

  • ask to see your passport or travel documents,
  • ask you a few questions, and
  • make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada.

You’ll also have to show the officer that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your stay.

Changes to impaired driving and cannabis-related crime laws

New penalties for impaired driving and cannabis-related crimes may affect your immigration status in Canada. If you commit one of these crimes, you may not be able to come to or stay in Canada.

If you need proof that you entered Canada

Your school or training facility might need you to prove you entered Canada. If you need proof of entry, make sure a border services officer stamps your passport before you leave the airport. You may also be able to use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to stamp your passport.

Documents you need

When you meet the border services officer, you may have to show them:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • the letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit (this letter has your permit reference number which we use to issue your study permit)
  • a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from your school
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada
  • letters of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring, and
  • either a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa (temporary resident visa)
    • If you have a valid eTA, it’ll be linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit.

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 requirements for minor children.

Keep the documents with you

Carry these items and all other valuable papers, cash and traveller’s cheques with you at all times. Don’t 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.

How long you can stay in Canada

The officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. Usually, this will match the length of your study permit. Ask questions if you aren’t sure about anything.

If there aren’t any problems, the officer will let you enter Canada and will issue your study permit. You should check your study permit:

  • to make sure your personal information is correct and
  • for the expiry date.

You must leave Canada, apply to extend your study permit, or change your status to a visitor or temporary worker by the expiry date.

Disclose your funds

You must tell the border officer if you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000. If you don’t, we may fine you and seize your funds. This amount can include:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you (stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • bankers’ drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders

Your study permit conditions

As a study permit holder in Canada, there are a number of conditions you need to meet. If you don’t meet these conditions, you may lose your student status and study permit. You may also have to leave Canada.

Find out what these conditions are and what can happen if you don’t meet them.

Travelling outside of Canada

To be able to re-enter Canada if you travel outside of Canada while you’re studying or on a leave, you must have a valid:

  • passport or travel document
  • study permit if you’re returning to study in Canada, and
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa, depending on which document you need

The only exception to needing a valid visitor visa is if you travel only to the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon and you return to Canada with a valid study permit. This exception doesn’t apply for eTAs.

Your study permit is not a visa.

Health insurance

The Government of Canada doesn’t pay for medical costs for foreign students. Health coverage for foreign students is different depending on where you live in Canada. Contact your school in Canada for information about health insurance.

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