You have been waiting a long time to get your LOA and your Study Permit, but finally you got approved and your intake take is getting closer.
First of all, congrats on getting approved! You must be very excited. So now just book a flight and show up right? Well pretty much yes, but hold on and read these pieces of advice, that will help you avoid many issues you might run into when travelling to, and arriving here in Canada.
Flights and airports
If you are coming from the Philippines the most common Airlines to get to Canada are: Philippine Airlines, Japan Airlines or Korean Air.
Avoid transit through the USA: Sometimes you might see better deals but they transit through the USA. Be aware that for many nationalities a US visa is required, even if you are just catching a connecting flight and are not planning to leave the airport. So definitely less hassle if you avoid the US completely.
Bring time when transiting in Canada: Your Study permit is being issued at your first point of entry. So If you fly to Toronto and have a connection to Halifax, make sure you have at least 4-5 hours in Toronto, as you will have to wait in line for while and who knows how long the Border officer will take to issue your study permit. You don't want to miss your connecting flight after that.
What documents will the Border Officer want to see?
This is what they definitely want to see, and there can be others, but these are the main ones:
- Letter of Acceptance from your School
- Study Permit Approval Letter
- Proof of funds, tuition fee receipt, GIC, bank certificate etc.
- Travel/Health Insurance, at least for the first three months (Depending on the province it can take a while to get your provincial health insurance, and if its from the school, it likely won't start until your first day of school)
- Obviously you should have all documents that you received from the school on you.
If you changed your intake, or your program, you have to let the Border Office know that. They can amend the Study Permit accordingly.
Many people might not expect this but the Study Permit is being issued at the airport by the Border Officer, it does not come to you in the mail.
What else will they ask me?
- Where are you going to stay? If you are staying with a relative or friend, have their name and contact information ready. Are they your sponsor? Have their letter of support ready. If you are staying in a Hotel or Airbnb, have the receipt ready.
- How are you going to support yourself? Again have all your Proof of Funds ready, be prepared to answer questions on that
- Especially if you arrive way before your school starts (We would not recommend to be more than two months early, they might send you back) Remember you can can not work until your first day of school.
What you can and cannot bring to Canada ?
Cash: Some people might think of bringing their Proof of Funds in Cash. This is not recommended for security reasons and also if you bring more than CAD $10,000 in cash onto the plane, you have to declare it.
Filipinos love their food and might think of bringing a suitcase full of their favorite Filipino food with them, as they may not find it here.
In general, you cannot bring any raw food or fruits and vegetables. There are also Filipino Stores in many cities and the bigger Grocery stores carry some Asian imports.
For detailed info on what you can bring, see here:
Do you have any other tips or questions on this topic? Let us know in the comments!
Do you plan on studying in Canada?
Make sure you start the process early so that you have plenty of time to gather all the required documents. And if you have any questions about program options and locations, don't hesitate to reach out to us for guidance.
Here are some of the mentors that will help you make the perfect choice for you, click here to fill out an application and speak to a real human (ex-international student - Mc, and Dex) - and see if we're a fit to work together inside the SLE Premium Coaching Program.
Each student has a unique story and something valuable to share - hearing these testimonials will give you insights into studying at a university in another country, suggest potential challenges and rewards, and show you that no matter where you are from or what your background is, there are others just like you who have succeeded in doing so. Read on for some amazing stories!