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 proper 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. If your study permit will expire while you are outside Canada, you should speak with International Student Advising before travelling. It is possible to apply for a new study permit (not a study permit extension) while outside of Canada, but it may take longer depending on your location.

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

It is best not to leave Canada while an immigration document extension is being processed, especially if your current document will expire while you would be abroad. Connect with an International Student Advising for support if you need to travel under these circumstances.

Due to travel restrictions might be in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, before arranging any travels, check if you’re eligible to enter Canada, prepare documents to support essential travel, create and submit a self-isolation plan if needed, and know what to do upon arrival at the airport or border by visiting the Travelling to Canada guide.

Visiting the United States

Entering the United States

Citizens of some countries require a US visa. Citizens of other countries may be required to complete an ESTA or an I-94/I-94W form. All US immigration questions should be directed to the United States Consulate-General located in downtown Vancouver, as UBC does not provide advice on US immigration issues.

Always check with the US Consulate for the most up-to-date information before beginning your visa application. 

If you have a summer internship in the US, contact the US Consulate’s visa section to find out the type of visa you will need.

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 on 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