Travelling outside Canada

Whether you plan to travel for a few days or a few months, if you're an international student, there are things to consider before you leave and re-enter Canada.

Have your documents in order

You need the right documents to re-enter Canada if you leave, so be sure to check your document expiration dates and renew them if necessary before you travel.

Learn what immigration documents you need to return to Canada and what documents to bring by visiting the Travelling to Canada guide.

In general, it’s best to renew your immigration documents before you leave Canada, if possible. If your immigration document(s) will expire while you are outside Canada, or you’ve applied for an extension of your document(s) before they expired and must leave Canada, contact International Student Advising before travelling for support.

If you’ve applied for a study permit extension before it expired and your application is still being processed, you will lose maintained status when you leave Canada and will not be able to resume studies until your study permit has been issued. Check maintained status to learn more.

Check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s estimated processing times to plan ahead.

Visiting the United States

Entering the United States

Citizens of some countries require a US visa. Citizens of other countries may be required to get an ESTA and/or complete a Form I-94/I-94W. Always check with the US Consulate for the most up-to-date information before beginning your visa application. See the US Department of State website and United States Consulate-General Vancouver for more information. All US immigration questions should be directed to the United States Consulate-General Vancouver. UBC does not provide advice on US immigration issues.

Reentering Canada after travelling to the United States

If you have a valid study permit or work permit, or hold valid visitor status in Canada, and you leave Canada and visit only the United States, you do not need a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada, provided you return to Canada by the end of the authorized period of your stay in Canada. [See the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Part 9, Division 5, Section 190(3)(f)].

If you are waiting for your study permit extension application (maintained status) and need to travel to the United States, connect with International Student Advising before traveling.


International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide