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August 16, 2016
2 mins read

What to expect at the Canadian border

As you prepare for your arrival to Canada, you might be wondering what to expect when you get to the border. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has some helpful tips. Here is some additional information on how to prepare for crossing the Canadian border.

  1. Get your immigration documents in order
    Before leaving for Canada, make sure that you have your passport; Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) (if you require one); UBC Admission Letter; and Letter of Introduction with you. Find out more by visiting the International Student Guide. You will need these documents to enter Canada and obtain your study permit from the border officer. Also bring proof that you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  2. Check the terms outlined in your immigration documents
    Make sure your name, dates, and other information is correct.
  3. Visit the Canadian Border Agency website
    For travel tips and customs regulations. You may want to make a list of items in your luggage and fill in the form BSF186 for the valuables you are bringing to Canada.
  4. Answer every question truthfully and consistently
    You may be asked what you will do and how long you are going to study in Canada. Service at the border is available in English and French. If you don’t understand what is being said, ask if an interpreter is available.
  5. If you are arriving to Vancouver by plane
    If you are making your own way to UBC from the airport, visit the Vancouver International Airport website, as well as the Translink Trip Planner to map out your route from the airport. You may also consider taking a taxi.

If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, Greenland, St. Pierre or Miquelon, you can apply for a study permit at the border at an international airport in Canada or at most major US/Canada border crossings.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact an International Student Advisor by emailing (with your student number in the subject line).

We look forward to meeting you soon!