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Moving to Canada

Airplane

Immigration assistance

For detailed information about UVic's immigration assistance please visit our guide to immigration on the main VPAC website.

Please be sure to review the information in the "after arrival" section about social insurance numbers. In order to work and get paid in Canada, you need to have a social insurance number (SIN). You can't apply for this number from outside Canada, so you should apply as soon as possible after you arrive.   

Bringing a pet into Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency establishes import requirements for the most common types of pets, including birds, cats, dogs, fish, horses (from the US), pet rabbits (but don't bring them to UVic), guinea pigs, gerbils and other rodents, pet primates, reptiles, amphibians and spiders. Check their website for the most current information.

Bringing a vehicle into Canada

Importing a vehicle from the United States

If you are importing a vehicle from the United States, please check with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) for a list of vehicles admissible from the US before your arrival in Canada. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles regulates vehicles including cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc. that are less than 15 years old and buses manufactured after January 1, 1971.

Make arrangements with the RIV for obtaining the proper vehicle registration and certification well before you plan to come to Canada. At the border, you will need the RIV documentation as well as your vehicle ownership certificate, sales receipts, registration and proof of insurance.

Important: You will also need to advise US Customs that you are permanently exporting a vehicle from the United States. Submit the required documentation to US Customs at least 72 hours prior to export, and present the vehicle to the Customs officer at the border at the time of export.

US Customs also recommends that you contact your expected port of crossing to determine the exact documents required and hours of operation.

Importing a vehicle from other countries

Under current legislation, vehicles manufactured outside Canada or the US do not comply with the standards set out by the Canada Safety Act; they cannot be modified to comply and therefore cannot be imported into Canada. The only exceptions are vehicles 15 years old or older, buses manufactured before January 1, 1971, and vehicles entering Canada temporarily. For further information, please visit:

These government websites will have the most up-to-date information; please check them for any changes to legislation and regulations.

Information about Canada for kids

  • Canada for Kids - This website explains our form of government and provides interesting information for kids.
  • The Prime Minister of Canada's Family Centre
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