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What to Expect at Customs and Immigration

Arriving with Carry-On Baggage at Airport

Going Through Customs & Immigration

Documents To Have Ready: 

After landing at the airport, you will pass through Immigration and Customs. Be sure to carry the following documents in your hand luggage as you will require them at the Canada Immigration post:

  • Passport
  • Offer of Admission letter from Ryerson
  • Proof of funds available for support (examples: bank statement, traveler’s cheques)
  • Letter of Introduction from Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Study Permit, if necessary 
  • Proof of Negative Covid-19 Pre-Entry Molecular Test and submitted proof of Covid-19 Vaccination through ArriveCan App. 

For more information, see  the COVID-19 Entry Requirements section under the Before Your Arrive chapter of our manual. 

Travelling with a disability

If you have a disability and would want/need assistance to go through customs and immigration, feel free to reach out to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) upon your arrival. 

If traveling by air, you can use the special services counter line that is clearly identified in all CBSA primary inspection areas. A CBSA officer can assist you with: 

  • the steps of the border clearance process, including assistance in completing your declaration and providing verbal or visual cues or additional instructions
  • providing you with instructions in writing or, if possible, in American, Quebec or Indigenous sign language
  • directing you, and any support person you are travelling with, to an alternate line to help you move more quickly through customs, if you have difficulty waiting in line for disability-related reasons
  • placing and retrieving personal items on a counter for inspection, if you must undergo more extensive clearance

For further information, please refer to the Travelling with a disability (external link)  website.

What to expect after landing: 

1. Step One

Fill out the Declaration Card (external link)  which will be provided by your airline or in the airport.

2. Step Two

Proceed to the first Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) checkpoint. A border services officer will examine your Declaration Card, identification and other travel documents.

 When you are directed to a booth, you may be asked a series of questions to determine your immigration status, the nature of any goods you are bringing with you, your duty-free allowance and personal exemption entitlements.

If you have anything to declare, including purchases and food, plants, animals and/or related products of any kind, make sure to inform the officer.

Provide honest, consistent and accurate information at the border. Be prepared to answer questions about what you will do and how long you are going to study in Canada.

  • An interpreter may be available if you do not understand the questions; however, service is typically available in English and French.
  • If you need a study permit: Inform the Immigration Officer that you are here to study in Canada. Provide your travel documents, and Letter of Introduction from Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
    • They will then provide your study permit. Check the conditions on your study permit.
    • Check that the spelling of your name and personal information is correct.
    • Make sure the details under the “Client information” section are correct.

3. Step Three

Proceed to the baggage claim area. If required, you can pay duty and taxes while waiting for your luggage.

Once you have picked up your luggage, proceed to the next CBSA checkpoint, where you will show the officer your Declaration Card and your receipt if you paid duty and taxes.

TIP: Be patient at the border. During peak periods, you can expect to spend a few hours waiting. During this time you may be unable to leave the immigration and customs area.

For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s Entering Canada webpage (external link) .