Travelling outside Canada


What to expect at the Canadian border

Prepare for your border crossing by reading Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s helpful tips. Below is some additional information to help you prepare for your initial entrance to Canada:

  1. Get your immigration documents in order. Before leaving for Canada, make sure that you have your passport,Temporary Resident Visa or eTA (if you require one), and an up-to-date UBC admission or enrolment letter. To obtain your study permit from the border officer, you will also need the letter of introduction issued by the IRCC. Consider also bringing 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 are 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 B4 for the valuables you are bringing to Canada.
  4. At the border, answer every question truthfully, consistently and calmly. 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 do not understand what is being said, ask if an interpreter is available. Expect to spend 1-3 hours at the border during busy periods, during which time you may be unable to use the telephone or leave the immigration area.
  5. Plan your journey from the border to your destination


Make sure your documents are in order before you go

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 an international student advisor before traveling. It is possible to apply for a new study permit while outside of Canada, but it may take longer depending on your location.

It is best not to leave Canada while an immigration document extension is being processed, especially if your current document will expire while you will be abroad. Please see an international student advisor for details.

Check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s 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 complete an ESTA or an I-94/I-94W form. All US immigration questions should be directed to the United States Consulate-Generallocated 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. According to our information, applicants for US visas must submit an online US application. Following the online application, applicants must schedule a visa interview at the Consulate General of the United States. Be sure to book your visa appointment long before you travel, as your US entry visa may take several months to process. 

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.

Re-entering Canada after travelling to the United States

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

if you are on implied status and need to travel to the United States, see an international student advisor before travelling. 




Last reviewed shim6/5/2018 10:48:18 AM

How to apply for a new TRV from outside Canada

If you are outside of Canada (e.g., you are in your home country on a visit and require a TRV to return to Canada), you should apply through the nearest Canadian visa office which serves your country of residence or country of nationality and pay your fees based on the requirements of the specific office where you’re submitting your application. For further details, see the visa offices outside Canada.

Please note: Each Canadian visa office may require additional documents for TRV applications.