While you travel to Canada

Make sure you're prepared before you leave.

Before boarding the plane

You should not travel to Canada if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you experience symptoms during your travel or on arrival, learn what to do.

You will need to show documentation to airline agents prior to being permitted to board your flight, who may not have in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration laws. If you should be eligible to travel and have issues boarding your flight, firmly request that the airline staff contact CBSA to confirm your eligibility to travel—airlines have a direct phone number for this purpose.

All travellers are encouraged to wear a well-fitted mask or respirator.

What to expect at the airport or border

If you need a study permit

You’ll need to get your study permit at your first airport of arrival in Canada. For example, if you arrive in Toronto and then take another flight to Vancouver, you must get your study permit in Toronto.

  1. Answer questions on the electronic Primary Inspection Kiosk
    You must declare if you have brought with you currency equal to or greater than CAD $10,000 and/or any food, plant, or animal products.
  2. Present your kiosk receipt to an officer
    Let them know you need a study permit, and the officer will direct you to immigration.
  3. Pick up your checked luggage, if you have any
  4. Proceed to immigration
    Present your Letter of Introduction (study permit approval letter) to the officer.
  5. Check your study permit before you leave the officer’s desk
    Confirm all personal information and conditions are correct. If they are not, notify the officer. If you leave the airport with incorrect documents, it can take months to correct them.

    Degree-seeking and exchange students are eligible to work on- and off-campus. Other non-degree seeking students, such as VIRS or unclassified students, are eligible to work on-campus only. To prevent delays in starting work, ensure your study permit includes at least one of the following conditions:
    • “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria”
    • “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”
    • “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies”

If you arrive by car, there are no kiosks. Answer the officer’s questions, let them know you need a study permit, then proceed to secondary examination for your study permit.

If you have a study permit

Have all your documents ready to present on arrival in case the officer asks, even if you have a valid study permit.

If you are a US citizen, US permanent resident, or have an eTA and want to apply for a work permit

If you are a US citizen, US permanent resident, or have a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and want to apply for a co-op work permit, or Post-Graduation Work Permit, or your spouse is a US citizen, US permanent resident, or has an eTA and wants to apply for a spousal work permit, you can apply for the work permit in person on arrival in Canada at the airport or border crossing. Prepare your application and documents in advance then bring all original, printed documents with you. Follow the steps above to proceed to immigration to apply. If the officer approves, you will receive the work permit on the spot.

If you are from an eTA expansion country, you are not eligible to apply for a work permit upon entry to Canada.

See full details of who can apply upon entry.

Visit working in Canada for more information about these work permits and for tutorials to prepare your application.

This information is accurate as of Tue, Jul 11, 2023, and is subject to change. Follow the latest updates for any travel restrictions due to COVID-19.