If you are travelling home for a few months, or going to a conference for a few days, before you leave Canada, make sure your immigration documents are valid for return to Canada.

If you need to extend any of the immigration documents before you leave Canada, make sure to check the IRCC processing times to avoid travel delays.

 If you need to extend any of the immigration documents before you leave Canada, make sure to check the IRCC processing times to avoid travel delays.

Valid documentation for re-entry

 If you leave Canada, you need proper and valid immigration documentation to re-enter Canada so be sure to renew your documents before you travel.

If you leave Canada, you need proper and valid immigration documentation to re-enter Canada so be sure to renew your documents before you travel.

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have a:

  1. Valid passport
    • It is your responsibility to keep your passport valid at all times and to contact your country’s embassy or consulate in Canada for instructions on how to renew your passport
  2. Valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) 
    • A valid TRV is required upon every entry into Canada if you are from a visa-required country. If your TRV has expired, you must apply for a new one, either from within Canada (before leaving) or outside of Canada before you travel to Canada.
  3. Valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  4. Valid study permit
    • If your study permit will expire while outside Canada, you should renew it before leaving Canada.

Important to remember: 

  • It is not advisable to leave Canada while an immigration document extension is being processed and your current document will expire while you are abroad. If you think you will be facing this situation, please consult the Implied Status and Travelling Outside Canada by IRCC and come to ISSAC to speak with an International Education Officer. 
  • While it is possible to apply for a new initial study permit (not a study permit extension) while outside of Canada, the processing times will vary depending on where you are applying from so make sure to plan travels accordingly.

Re-entry into Canada

Upon all entry and re-entry to Canada, you will speak to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer.  The following are considerations and preparations to make for re-entry to Canada:

  1. Plan your travel in accordance with Canada customs regulations and entry requirements.
  2. Review information on IRCC website.
  3. Make sure your immigration documents are valid as per above.
  4. Review your immigration documents and verify that your name, date of birth and all other information is correct.
  5. When asked questions by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer, always answer every question truthfully, consistently and calmly.
    • The officers can provide services in English and French.
    • They might have an interpreter on site who speaks your language so ask if this is an option when you do not understand what is being asked.
  6. Border crossings can be very busy so expect to spend a couple hours while being processed during which time you might not be permitted to leave the immigration and customs controlled area.

Tip: Have the most up to date Confirmation of Enrolment Letter with you in case the CBSA officer has any questions about your student status and returning to Canada as a student.

Travelling to the United States

If you are planning to travel to the United States, it is your responsibility to have the most up to date information regarding visa and entry requirements. Therefore, please consult the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada website.

Re-entering Canada after travelling to the United States

If you have a valid study permit and leave Canada to visit only the United States, St. Pierre and Miquelon, you do not need a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada, provided that you re-enter Canada before the expiry of your study permit. (See the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation, Section 190-3f).

Safe travelling

It is your responsibility to take care of your safety and security while travelling. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Be aware of the latest travel safety alerts and plans your trip ahead of time whenever possible.
  • Have you emergency contacts in Canada always at hand.
  • Have your country’s consulate contact information always at hand.
  • Be in the know of Canada Visa Offices abroad.
  • Make sure your family back home and your contacts in Canada have a copy of your immigration documents and your trip itinerary.
  • Do not take immigration advice from your friends. When in doubt, contact the appropriate authorities or come to ISSAC to speak with an International Education Officer before you travel.

Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.

ISSAC