Checklist: Everything you need to do before going to Canada
immigration • August 4, 2023
Congratulations – You’re heading to Canada! This is an exciting opportunity. Here’s a full guide to everything you need to do before you arrive in Canada.
Verify your passport
You’ll need a valid passport to enter Canada. After you arrive, you may need your passport to apply for scholarships, or as another form of identification. Make sure that your passport is valid up until at least six months after your arrival to Canada. It’s also a good idea to create paper copies of your passport in case of an emergency.
Apply for a study permit or visa
You’ll need a permit or visa to study in Canada. Before you apply for a permit or visa, you must have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian college or university.
Once your school gives you your letter of acceptance, you’ll need to find out:
- If you need a study permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- If you can get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream
- How to get your documents ready and apply online
Arrange your flight
There are hundreds of flights every day to cities across Canada. Make sure to book a flight that gives you time to settle in before your studies begin. Here are some resources to assist you in your travels to Canada:
Arrange for health and travel insurance
Your health insurance while in Canada depends on your province or territory of residence. Before you arrive, make sure to check with your institution about what health insurance options are available to you.
If you plan on being in Canada for less than a year and visiting different parts of the country, you may also need to arrange travel insurance.
Bring your medical and immunization records
Before you arrive, ask your doctor or health clinic for the following documents:
- A copy of medical records, especially for ongoing health conditions
- A list of prescription drugs you need in Canada
- Your immunization records
There are no national vaccination requirements in Canada, but your institution may require you to have certain vaccinations. Before you arrive, make sure to contact your institution to learn of any immunization requirements.
When you arrive in Canada, you will need a place to stay! Talk to your institution about student accommodations on campus. If you do not wish to live on-campus, you may find private housing. You can look on social media or your institution’s message board for fellow students looking for roommates.
Learn more about living off-campus in private housing.
Prepare a list of contacts
Make sure to keep a list of emergency contacts with you while in Canada. This list should include:
- Your name and your address in Canada
- Contact information for any personal contacts in Canada (family member or friend)
- Contact information for your institution of study
- Contact information for your embassy in Canada
Arrange money and banking
Consider setting up a Canadian bank account in advance. Even if you have a banking card already, opening a Canadian bank account will help you avoid foreign exchange fees and other complications. Lean more about the Canadian banking system and how to open a Canadian bank account. If possible, it’s also a good idea to arrive in Canada with some Canadian currency.
Meet with someone from your institution
After you’ve completed all the steps above, make sure to book a virtual appointment with a counsellor from your college or university. The counsellor from your institution will be able to answer any other questions you have. They can give you a better idea of what to expect when you arrive on campus. Finally, it’s a good idea to schedule an in-person meeting with a counsellor from your college or university shortly after you arrive in Canada.
Enjoy Everything Canada has to Offer!
Once you’ve arrived in Canada and settled in, you can start to enjoy all the amazing things about our beautiful country. While you’re here, you can:
- Discover exciting career opportunities
- Explore the outdoors and immerse yourself in a diverse culture
Welcome to Canada, we know you’ll love it!
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