Documents to present to Canadian Border Services Agency


Due to the pandemic, you may not be allowed to travel to Canada. To learn about changes in the immigration process and changes affecting insurance, see the “Impacts of COVID-19 on international students” page. To learn about the steps to come study at Université Laval, see the “International Students: All you need to know” page.

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you have all documents related to your stay in Canada. Check the section “Documents required to enter Canada” on the International Students page for all the details.

When you enter Canada, you must have the following documents available with you:

  • Passport
  • Letter of introduction from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirming the approval of your study permit or a valid study permit (except if you are taking part in an exchange program for less than 6 months)
  • Québec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) (except if you are taking part in an exchange program for less than 6 months)
  • Temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Autorisation (eTA). This document is delivered at the same time as your study permit is approved. American citizens are exempt from the obligation to get either of these documents in order to enter in Canada.
  • Acceptance letter from Université Laval and a proof of enrolment if you are already studying (order through monPortail)
  • Quarantine plan
  • Proofs of how you will finance your studies as well as the other documents you presented to obtain your study permit
  • Non-medical mask or face covering

It is imperative that you have all the required documents with you. If you report to Canadian Border Services without the appropriate authorizations and documents, you could be sent back to your home country.

What it will be like arriving in Canada

When you arrive in Canada, you will probably need to pass through two identity checks.

Primary inspection

This first step is normally carried out using automated kiosks. At these kiosks, you will have to answer a series of questions. Once you are done, you will receive a receipt that you will have to take to a border services officer when you leave the secure area.

If you had to provide your fingerprints to obtain your Canadian immigration document, you will have to have them verified at the inspection kiosk.

If you are coming to study for less than 6 months, this is probably the only check you will have to complete. For more information on primary inspection kiosks, go to:

Secondary inspection

If you are coming for more than 6 months. You have to show a letter of introduction to obtain your study permit, the border services officer at the end of the secure area will send you to secondary inspection where your documents will be examined and you will be given your study permit.

You may also be sent to secondary inspection even if you do not have a permit to print. Waiting time at immigration can be anywhere between 1 to 3 hours.

You can reduce considerably this time by registering to Accueil Plus in Montréal or landing directly in Québec City. As it is a smaller airport, waiting time is shorter.


Tip for the study permit

You must ensure to have obtained your study permit before leaving the Canada Border Services Agency area. Please verify that your personal information appearing on the study permit is accurate and that the mention/comment regarding your right to work is clearly indicated, in case you plan on working here during your stay.

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