Baggage: Airlines restrict the weight of the baggage that may accompany you on your flight, and charge heavily for an excess. Forwarding your belongings by sea may be the cheapest way to send what you cannot take with you on the flight. Be sure to make an itemized list and retain all way-bills for everything you ship separately.
Customs regulations: There are restrictions on the import of certain items into Canada, such as plants, food, drugs, some technical equipment, and so on. Information on customs regulations should be obtained at a Canadian diplomatic mission. Students travelling to cities beyond their initial entry point into Canada should allow at least two hours for customs and immigration clearance formalities.
After being accepted by an institution for a program of study in Canada, the student should apply for a study permit at the nearest Canadian diplomatic mission. For expedient processing, it is recommended that applications be filed at least three months prior to the commencement of classes. For nationals of some countries, visitor visas are also required; these are issued at the same time as the study permit. In order to apply for a study permit, you need the following documents:
A valid passport
An original letter of acceptance from a university, college or other institution
Evidence of adequate funds to cover tuition and living costs for you and your dependents, including return transportation
For students going to Québec institutions, a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from Québec immigration authorities
If applicable, a letter from your sponsor
A letter of reference from a dependable person in your community will help.
In some cases, a medical examination by a doctor designated by the Canadian government may be needed. The immigration officer will provide information on this requirement. There is a processing charge of $125 (2002) for the study permit. There is no fee for the visa when it is issued with a study permit.
A personal interview with a visa officer may be required; any documentation which might be useful as a demonstration of strong ties to your country of origin may be of assistance at the interview.
Under no circumstance should a student come to Canada without a valid study permit (and visa if required). Citizens and permanent residents of the United States, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland may, however, apply for the study permit at a Canadian port of entry. The same documentary and fee requirements apply as for all students.