Possibly one of the worst fears that daunt international student as they pack their suitcases to go to university in Canada for the first time is that they would forget an important travel document at home, or lose it in transit, and reach Canada only to be sent home because they are not eligible to enter. Even a small mistake such as a misspelled name, or wrong date, in any of the documents needed to gain entry could cause immigration issues at the port of entry. The best way to tackle this fear is to check all names, dates, details of the institution, etc as soon as you receive them, and inform the admin staff of any mistakes. Once you have all documents in this checklist, you are ready to travel!
Keep these documents close as you travel to Canada for a smooth entry in the country. These documents may be required by the immigration officials at multiple points to validate your identity and confirmation of admission etc.
1. Valid passport: Make sure your passport doesn’t expire before your degree ends. If it does, you’ll have to apply for a new passport and a new student visa while in Canada. Skip the hassle and renew your passport before you apply for the visa.
2. Valid Canadian Temporary Resident Visa: This is what you applied for in your country of residence which allows you to enter Canada. Make sure that the duration of this visa extends up to the end of your degree.
3. Letter of Introduction issued by Canadian Visa Office: This comes with your student visa and is to be shown to the Immigration Officer when you arrive in Canada for the first time. This will be exchanged for an official Study Permit which is needed for re-entry every time you leave Canada.
4. Original copy of Letter of Acceptance from the university: This is required to show that you are accepted at a Canadian University to pursue higher education.
5. Proof of funds for tuition, boarding, food: Bank statement, scholarship or assistantship letter to show that you can fund your degree in Canada and stay for the entailing duration. You will also require a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) of CDN $ 10,000 to show proof of funds needed to cover living expenses in Canada.
7. Medical records (if applicable): If you have a medical history, or come from a region in which getting a vaccine before entering Canada is applicable, then you need the valid records to show it.
8. Any other documents that the Visa Office asked to bring with you: Such as marriage certificate, documents from your previous school, letters of reference etc.
It is important that you have these documents on you at all times when you are travelling to Canada. Don’t keep them in check-in baggage and definitely make copies of all these documents – keep the originals and one copy with you, and leave some with friends and family as well.