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The Centre for International Experience is currently closed for in-person activity until further notice. All programs and appointments are continuing remotely.

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Entering Canada

With the exception of American citizens, as an international student, you will need to have either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV – also known as a visitor or entry visa) or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), in addition to the relevant study or work permit.

Whether you need a TRV or eTA depends on your country of citizenship. The Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website can help you identify whether a visa is required for entry into Canada.

A successful study or work permit application made outside Canada will automatically include a TRV or eTA (if required).

IMPORTANT: Pandemic Travel Restrictions

Canada has implemented travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be additional requirements to what is listed here. Please monitor the Government of Canada’s travel restriction and exemption information for international students and the Vice-Provost Students’ COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for the most up-to-date details. 

What to expect when entering Canada

Current COVID-related travel restrictions have changed the process for entering Canada. Please review the links above for up-to-date information about the basic requirements.

In addition, we strongly recommended that you have the following documents with you in your carry-on luggage:

  • A valid Letter of Acceptance and Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (for admitted students);
  • Confirmation of enrollment from ACORN or your Registrar’s Office (for current students);
  • Proof of finances (eg. letters of support, bank statements, scholarship letters); and,
  • Proof of completed immigration medical exam (if you have been in a ‘designated’ country for at least 6 of the past 12 months).

The Border Services Officer will review your documents and make the final decision about whether you are admitted to Canada. If you are entering for the first time, they will send you to the secondary immigration desk where your actual study permit will be issued to you. Be sure to review the permit before leaving the immigration desk and ask for errors to be fixed. 

The Canadian Government provides general guidance about what to expect when entering Canada

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Watch our guide on Part I: Your Canadian Legal Status: Preparing to Enter Canada (25 minutes) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)

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Watch our guide on Part II: Your Canadian Legal Status: Your Obligations and Rights as an International Student(19 minutes) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)