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 in Canada, you must be aware of the expiry date of your passport. This is because the validity of your Canadian immigration documents, such as your study permit, co-op work permit, Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), cannot extend beyond your passport's expiry date. 

To ensure your stay in Canada is uninterrupted, it's advisable to maintain a passport that is valid throughout your period of stay. 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. 


Key Documents to Travel to Canada

Before travelling to Canada, ensure you have all necessary documents ready to present to the Canadian border services officer at your port of entry upon arrival. 

Please visit Study permit: Prepare for arrival 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 exempt, i.e., Citizens of the United States. 
  • A valid Study Permit or a port of entry (POE) letter of introduction as known indicating initial Study Permit approval, unless exempt. 
  • A Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) from VCC if you are a current student (already started your program), or a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) if you are a newly admitted student yet to commence their programs. Please note COE is not issued for new students who have not started their program yet. 
  • Recent proof of financial support. 
  • If required, valid immigration medical exam results, which should be valid upon entering Canada. Remember, these results are only valid for 12 months; if they expire before your entry, a new medical exam is necessary even if your POE letter is valid. 

Important tip: Always carry these documents on you during travel; do not place them in checked luggage to avoid potential issues at entry.  


Additional Documents and Items

  • Other immunization records 
  • 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 devices that enables you to access the internet (i.e. smartphone, laptop, tablet) 
  • Credit Card and/or Cash (must declare if bringing more than CAD$10,000) 


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. 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 familiarize themselves with the guidelines set by the . The Government of Canada offers detailed information on customs procedures and what to expect when entering Canada, whether 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: May 26, 2024