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Arriving in Canada

  • What to expect at customs and immigration

    Fill out your Canada Customs Declarations Form

    • Before you land in Canada, the flight attendant will provide you with a Canada Customs Declarations Form (also known as the Customs Card).
    • The Canada Border Services Agency website provides information about this declarations form. Fill out this form on the flight.

    Go to Customs/Immigration

    • When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will see signs in both English and French to direct you. Follow the signs that read Arrivals and Customs (also known as the immigration area).
    • When you arrive at Customs, there will be lines for Canadian citizens and non-Canadian citizens. Make sure you get in the appropriate line.

    Get your study permit (if applicable)

    • At Customs, you must indicate that you are coming to Canada to study. They will then tell you to present your travel documents and study permit.  
      • If it is your first time studying in Canada and you applied for your study permit outside of Canada, you will not yet have your study permit. You will instead have a Letter of Introduction which confirms your study permit was approved. Show the officer this letter. 
    • Next, you will speak to an immigration officer at your port of entry (most likely your port of entry will be in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver).
      • The immigration official will examine your documents. If everything is correct, the official will give you your study permit. 
  • Review your study permit for accuracy

    Although you will probably be tired from your flight, be sure to read your study permit carefully and ask the immigration official to explain anything you do not understand.

    Check your study permit to make sure the following items are correct:

    • The spelling of of your name and all of your personal information
    • The expiration date on your study permit: 
      • The date should match your expected date of graduation from UOIT. If your passport expires before your expected date of graduation, the study permit will be issued to expire at the time of your passport. If your study permit expires earlier, ask the immigration official there, as it will be easier and faster to correct.
    • Work eligibility conditions:
      • If you are an international student (not on exchange), make sure one of the following two conditions is written on your study permit:
        • May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of Immigrations and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
        • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per section 186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

    It is your responsibility to understand and comply with immigration regulations while you are in Canada.


Required documents

  • Travel with these documents

    When you arrive in Canada, you must go through Canada Customs and Border Services. 

    Carry the following documents with you on the plane so you can show them to the examining officer or immigration official at Canada Customs and/or at your port of entry. Do not pack them in your checked baggage.

    • Valid passport or travel document.
    • Valid temporary resident visa (also referred to as a Canadian entry visa), if required. Find out if you need a visa.
    • Original or copy of your UOIT – Letter of Acceptance.
    • Proof of adequate funds for your stay in Canada. Learn more about proof of financial support.
    • Your Letter of Introduction issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and given to you at the Canadian visa office in your country.
    • Any other documents recommended by the visa office that processed your study permit application.
    • A list, in duplicate, of all items you are bringing with you to Canada, including the approximate value of each item and serial numbers, where applicable.
    • The address of the place you will be staying (temporarily or permanently).

    This information and more can also be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Study in Canada page under Prepare for your arrival.

    Respond to all questions the immigration officer asks you with simple, clear answers. Service is available in English and French. If you do not understand questions clearly, ask for an interpreter. They are available in many languages.


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