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Travel - FAQs

1. Are you travelling outside of Canada while waiting for your study permit extension or restoration application to be approved?

For students with a pending study permit extension application made from inside Canada

If you plan to return to Canada after your study permit has expired, you will not benefit from maintained status upon your return. As a result, you may be denied entry to Canada. If you are allowed to enter Canada as a visitor, you will not be authorized to study or work in Canada until your new study permit has been issued.

This applies to you if your study permit has already expired OR will expire before you leave Canada OR will expire while you are outside of Canada.

NOTE: Your study permit extension application will continue to process even if you leave Canada.

U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply for a new study permit at their Port of Entry.

For students with a pending study permit restoration application

If you leave Canada before a decision is made on your restoration application, your application will become invalid. You will need to withdraw your application via the IRCC Web Form and will have to submit a new study permit application from outside Canada. You can only resume your studies once a new study permit has been issued.

NOTE: U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply for a new study permit at their Port of Entry.

*IMPORTANT FOR ALL RETURNING STUDENTS*

If you will be travelling, you must have a valid eTA or TRV to return to Canada (US citizens and permanent residents are exempt). When applying for a study permit from inside Canada (extension or restoration), you will have to apply separately for a TRV once your study permit application is approved. Please make sure that your documents are valid before leaving.

2. Are you still waiting for your study permit to be approved?

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
McGill does not recommend arriving more than one week past the start date of the semester. Depending on how late you expect to arrive, you may wish to consider requesting a deferral. Make sure to respect the deadline for deferral requests: August 31st for Fall admissions and December 31st for Winter admissions. For more information about deferrals, contact the deferral [at] mcgill.ca (Deferral Coordinator).

GRADUATE STUDENTS
For international graduate students, deferrals and academic accommodations for late arrivals are handled at the Departmental level. For questions regarding deferrals and/or academic accommodations for late arrivals, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator directly.

3. What documents should I have with me when travelling to Canada?

When entering Canada make sure that you bring all the following documents with you:

  1. a valid study permit or a copy of your Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (study permit approval letter)*;
  2. a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from McGill and proof of enrolment, if you are returning student;
  3. proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada;
  4. valid immigration medical examination results** if you have resided in a designated country or territory (meaning a country or territory for which they are required) for more than 6 months within the past year, or if you will be employed in a position that puts you in close contact with people, for example as:
    • a medical student
    • a student in a health sciences field who will have placements in health-care or home-care settings
    • an education student who will have placements in primary or secondary schools
  5. your CAQ (or CAQ approval letter);
  6. valid eTA or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)ONLY U.S. Citizens and permanent residents are exempt from needing an eTA or a TRV. For more information on entry requirements, see IRCC’s website;
  7. your passport;
  8. all other supporting documents you included in your study permit application.

4. Can the airline deny me boarding my flight to Canada?

Everyone travelling to Canada by air is required to have the proper health and immigration documents before being allowed to board their flight. Airline officials are tasked with ensuring that all passengers meet these requirements. Anyone who does not meet these requirements may not be allowed to board their plane.

5. Do I need an eTA or a TRV to travel to Canada?

Most travellers require an eTA or a TRV to travel to Canada. To find out which one you require, please refer to IRCC’s Entry Requirements page. You can also use the Find out if you need a visa to travel to Canada tool. Please note that U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S are exempt from both the eTA and TRV requirement.

When applying for your study permit from outside of Canada, an eTA or a TRV will be issued to you upon the approval of your application.

6. Can I enter Canada as a visitor while I wait for the approval of my study permit application submitted from outside of Canada?

It is NOT recommended that you travel to Canada as a Visitor:

As the purpose of international students is to enter Canada to study, they should not be entering Canada as a visitor (i.e. without a valid study permit or study permit approval letter) as it is very likely that entry to Canada will be denied. In addition, international students who do not hold a valid CAQ and study permit cannot study in Canada, whether their classes are in-person or remote.

7. Can I apply for my Study Permit and TRV/Entry Visa at the same time?

It depends where you are applying for your Study Permit:

  • If you are applying for a Study Permit outside of Canada, your TRV is included in the same application and you are exempt from paying the TRV application fee. 
  • If you are applying to renew your Study Permit inside Canada, you will have to wait to receive the new Study Permit before you apply for your new TRV.  Read the TRV application guide for instructions.

8. Can I travel to the US if my TRV has expired?  Will I be allowed back into Canada?

First, make sure you have the required documents to enter the US. You can re-enter Canada with an expired TRV after a trip only to the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon as long as you have a valid Study Permit or Work Permit.  See the IRCC website for details.

9. I applied to extend my study permit inside Canada before it expired. Can I travel and re-enter Canada to resume studies while my application is processing?


It depends.

If you leave Canada while your study permit extension application is processing, you may lose the right to study and work in Canada. You may also be denied entry to Canada.

Before making travel plans, see which example below applies to your situation:
 

  1. You plan to return to Canada before your current study permit expires. You can re-enter Canada and resume your studies. You will benefit from maintained status from the date your study permit expires until a decision is made on your application as long as you remain in Canada. Under maintained status, you can continue to study and work as per the conditions of your previous study permit.
     
  2. You plan to return to Canada after your study permit has expired – e.g. your study permit expired while you were in Canada or will expire while you are outside of Canada. You will not benefit from maintained status. If you had maintained status before leaving Canada, you will lose this status when you leave Canada. This means that:
    • You will not be authorized to study or work in Canada until your new study permit has been issued.
       
    • You may be denied entry to Canada. If you are allowed to enter Canada, you will not be authorized to study or work in Canada until your new study permit has been issued.
       

NOTE: Your study permit extension application will continue to process even if you leave Canada. Once your application has been approved, the actual study permit will be mailed to the Canadian address you included in your application form. If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) based on your country of citizenship, you will have to apply for one separately, after your study permit has been approved. If you require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), it will automatically be renewed with your study permit. See IRCC’s website for more information on entry requirements, including TRV and eTA exemptions.

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