A passport is an official document containing a given person's identity and nationality issued by the country of citizenship, which allows a foreign nation to travel internationally. Most passports have a validity period.

As an international student, you must know the expiry date of your passport. Your immigration status in Canada (issued by IRCC – i.e., study permit, co-op work permit and TRV) is not going to be issued longer than your passport validity.

It is important to plan and have a passport that will be valid during your stay in Canada. If you need to renew your passport during your stay in Canada, contact your country's embassy or consulate in Canada at least six months before it expires. Please visit the Global Affairs Canada page for a list of foreign representatives in Canada.


Documents to Travel to Canada

Before travelling to Canada, ensure you have all documents ready to provide to the Canadian border services officer at your port of entry and that you have the authorization to enter and remain in Canada.

Please visit Study permit: Prepare for arrival to and Study in Canada: Pre-departure guide to better prepare for your trip.

Below, please find a list of documents to support your travel to Canada:

  • A valid passport.
  • A valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) - (unless you don’t need one, i.e., Citizens of the United States).
  • A valid Study Permit or initial Study Permit approval port of entry (POE) letter of introduction – (unless you don’t need one).
  • Your VCC COE (Confirmation of Enrolment) if you are a current student (already started your program).
  • Your VCC LOA (Letter of Acceptance) if you are a newly admitted student and coming to Canada to start your studies. Note that we do not issue a VCC COE for new students who have not started their program yet.
  • Up-to-date proof of financial support.
  • Proof of medical exam, if required (Medical exam results are valid for 12 months).

Important Tip: always keep your documents with you. Do not put them in your checked luggage.

Don’t travel if you feel sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.


Additional Documents and Items

  • Other immunization records
  • Private medical insurance coverage for your first 3 months
  • Identity document from your country such as a driver’s license
  • Marriage certificate and English translation (if applicable)
  • Toiletries
  • Medication
  • Weather appropriate clothes - Canadian Weather can go from a heatwave to a freezing cold
  • Any electronic that enables you to access the internet (smartphone or computer)
  • Credit Card and/or cash


At the Port of Entry

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. The officer will:

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

Please note that entry to Canada is at the discretion of a CBSA officer. The CBSA officer will review all your supporting documents and decide whether you can enter Canada at your port of entry. They must be satisfied that you meet the requirements to enter Canada, and that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

We recommend students review the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) guidelines. The Government of Canada provides customs services and information about Entering Canada, including steps if you arrive by air or land.


If you arrive in Canada by air, you will need to declare your travel information at the primary inspection kiosk. The following steps will include picking up your luggage and proceeding to immigration. At the CBSA officer desk, you will present your initial study permit approval port of entry (POE) letter of introduction and any additional documentation. If your entry into Canada is approved, the CBSA officer will issue you your study permit and your co-op/practicum work permit (if applicable). Review your documents before leaving to ensure that all personal information, conditions, and remarks are correct. If something is incorrect, please notify the CBSA officer. 

If you have a valid study permit, ensure all documents are ready to provide to the CBSA officer.


If you arrive in Canada by land: There will be no kiosks. You may answer the CBSA officer's questions and let them know if you need a study permit.




The content on this page reflects the information available at the time of its publication. It is important to acknowledge that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other government departments regularly revise their policies. For the latest information, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Latest Updated: 18-December-2023