What To Expect: Your Arrival in Canada

Whether you’re arriving in Canada on a flight that lands in Halifax or you are connecting through another Canadian city first, the process of entering Canada will be similar.

Onboard Your Flight

On an international flight that is arriving in Canada you will be provided with a Declaration Card, take the time to complete the form carefully. The cabin crew on board may be able to assist you with this form. If you are unable to complete the form on your flight, ask for help at the Customs & Immigration desk once you are in the airport terminal.

The staff on your airplane will also provide instructions to you on where to go and what to do within the airport terminal. Make sure you pay attention so you know what gate number you are arriving at, and where you will eventually collect your luggage.

Customs & Immigration

Once you have left the plane you will enter the airport and enter the Customs & Immigration are for international arrivals. You will need to present the following items to Customs staff:

  • Passport
  • Canadian Visa (if applicable)
  • Letter of acceptance to your school
  • Information on your accommodations while attending school (including address)
  • Proof of return flight
  • Declaration Card (you completed this on the flight)

The Canadian Border Services Agent will ask you what you are bringing with you into Canada. It’s important to declare everything you are bringing in, even food items.

Collecting Your Luggage

Once you’ve finished speaking with the Customs & Immigration agent at the desk, you will be directed to collect your luggage. You should be able to find your luggage with the information given to you during the last few moments of your flight, but if you have any questions you can ask at the Information Desk and you’ll be given instructions to find the right luggage carousel.

When you leave the luggage collection area, another Customs Agent will take your Declaration Card from you.

It is not unusual for a Customs Agent to check your luggage at this time. They may take you to a separate area to do this.

Important Tips

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from any airline or airport staff. They will direct you to someone who can answer your questions.

Don’t be afraid to say you don’t understand a question, or are having trouble answering one.

If for some reason you are missing any of your luggage be sure to report it to the desk of whatever airline you traveled on. Again, ask for help if you need it.

Once you have passed into the airport terminal, follow the instructions from your school to help you meet the person picking you up, or to find the ground transportation option that you’ve arranged in advance.

Print this arrival package and keep it with you, it will help you navigate the airport and arrive at your school.