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International Student Guides

Travel to Canada Guide

International Student Guide - Travel to Canada

Updated: March 19, 2024

See below for details about what documents are necessary for traveling to Canada and some important considerations to prepare for your arrival in Canada. Whether you are a new student or returning to BCIT, we advise you to carefully review all of the information in this guide and at all of the links provided.

Before you travel

To learn more about eligibility and requirements to enter Canada, use IRCC’s Come to Canada Tool.

Review our Pre-Departure Checklist to help stay on track with your preparations.

Prepare your required documents

Carry your important documents with you at all times and do not put them in your checked luggage. You may not be allowed into Canada if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letters of reference is incorrect.

Make sure to have all of the following documents before you travel to Canada:

*Not required for US citizens.

**Not required for 1-term Exchange or Study Abroad students, or for diplomats and their family members.

Other considerations

Click the topics below for additional helpful information to help you plan for your trip to Canada

Arrival in Canada

When you arrive at the port of entry, be prepared to present to a Border Services Officer all of your required documents and to answer questions about your purpose of travel and your intended stay in Canada. We suggest to keep you answers simple, brief, and honest. If you are issued a study permit and/or co-op work permit upon arrival, quickly check to make sure that the information appears to be correct.

If you are new to BC, make sure to apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). It is legally required for all residents who stay in BC for over 6 months including international students. Note that Exchange or Study Abroad students studying at BCIT for only 1 term (less than 6 months) are not eligible for MSP and must have alternative medical insurance.

If you are new to BCIT make sure to register for upcoming International Orientation events and also check out our online International Student Guides including:

Please feel free to contact us at the International Student Centre for additional support!