Information for ALL International Students Travelling Outside of Canada
Most students require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada.
If you are planning to travel outside of Canada be aware of the expiry date of your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV-this document is the sticker in your passport) and your current Study Permit (the paper that CIC usually staples to your passport). If you have submitted an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a Study Permit extension, it is recommended that you do not leave Canada prior to approval of the new permit, as you may have difficulty re-entering Canada.
A Study Permit does not allow you back in the country, you must have a valid TRV to re-enter Canada, except if you are visiting the United States. THIS IS AN EXCEPTION and only applies if you are traveling from Canada to the USA and back to Canada. You must have a valid US Visa to enter the USA.
If you are unsure which documents you require, bring your documents to your international office advisor and we'll be able to help you.
When crossing the border (whether you're driving to the USA or travelling by air or train), you will be asked to show proof of your status. Always carry your original and valid Study Permit with you, along with your passport that has a valid TRV (if you are from a country that requires a TRV for entry into Canada). CIC officials may ask you to prove that you are a student at Centennial College. You may show them a copy of your timetable, transcript or proof of payment of your fees for the next semester.
Border-crossing etiquette in Canada may be different from what you have experienced elsewhere. The following are some tips to ensure that your border experience is as smooth as possible.
Current Students - Taking a Break and Travelling During the Semester
Students sometimes take a short break from their studies because of an illness, academic pressure, or a family emergency.
Travelling After You Complete a Semester
You may travel after you complete your semester and before your next semester starts.
School letters are not required documents for travel. CIC officials may ask you to prove that you are a student at Centennial College. You may show them a copy of your timetable, transcript or proof of payment of your fees for the next semester.
Taking a Semester Off
According to the rules of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), international students can take one semester off if they have completed two consecutive semesters.
You must consult with both your program advisor and an international student advisor if you are considering taking a semester off.
Students are not permitted to take two consecutive semesters off.
Taking semesters off will have implications for your Off Campus Work Permit and your Post Graduation Work Permit. If you have an Off Campus Work Permit and take a break from your studies, you may have to return your work permit to CIC. Speak with your international student advisor for more information.
School letters are not required documents to travel. CIC officials may ask you to prove that you are a student at Centennial College. You may show them a copy of your timetable, transcript or proof of payment of your fees for the next semester.
Travelling After You Complete Your Program
We STRONGLY encourage you to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) before you travel outside of Canada. You can apply for your PGWP online and anywhere in Canada. Once you have a PGWP, your status changes from a student to a worker. If you are from a country that requires a TRV, you will need to apply for a new TRV that reflects the change in your status.
Travelling on a Post-graduation Work Permit is different than travelling on a Study Permit. You may leave and re-enter Canada when you have a PGWP, but you must always carry:
If you must leave Canada and have not received a Work Permit, please consult with an international student advisor.