Prepare for your arrival
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Documents you need before you travel to Canada
In some situations, you’ll need to bring documents with you when you travel to Canada.
Situations where you may need extra documents on arrival
If either of the following situations applies to you or someone you’ll travel with, have the documents indicated in hand.
You have a child under the age of 18 (a minor child)
In Canada, a child under the age of 18 is considered a minor.
You may need to show
- a letter that authorizes the minor child to travel to Canada, and
- other documents, such as adoption papers or a custody decree, depending on if the minor child travels alone or not
You were invited to come to Canada
If you got a letter from a person or company that invited you to Canada, bring that letter with you. A border services officer may ask to see it.
Your arrival in Canada
A valid visa and travel document don’t guarantee that you can enter Canada.
We determine if you meet all entry requirements
When you arrive, we’ll check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.
- If you enter Canada at one of 4 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.
- If you enter Canada at a land port 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.
When you enter Canada
If you pass the identity check, health assessment, and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer may stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You’re normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada, depending on the purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.
You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. The officer must be convinced that
- you’re eligible for entry into Canada
- you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved length of stay
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