Prepare for your arrival

Before you come to Canada

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

To help ensure a smooth arrival in Canada, please check the Canadian Border Service Agency’s information for international students, and download their PDF pamphlet (PDF, 592 KB).

How early can you arrive in Canada before you start studying

There is no set time frame for you to arrive in Canada before you begin your studies. You should just arrive to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare before you start studying.

You are not allowed to work on or off campus until you begin your studies in Canada.

Changing your designated learning institution if you’re outside Canada

If your application for a study permit has been approved and you change your designated learning institution, you must submit a new study permit application with a new letter of acceptance. You must also pay all the fees for the new application.

When you arrive in Canada

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer who will make sure you meet some basic requirements. To enter Canada, you must

If you need proof you entered Canada

Your school or training facility may 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 Canadian customs. You may also be able to use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to stamp your passport.


Some people are inadmissible—they’re not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity, in human rights violations or in organized crime.

You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. Find out more about inadmissibility.

Page details

Date modified: