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Planning your travel

Refer to the COVID-19 information for international students for the latest updates on border and travel measures.

Confirm entry requirements

Before you travel, you should ensure that you meet the requirements for entry to Canada.

International students must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, unless you are exempt (for example, if your program of study is 6 months or less).
  2. Depending on your citizenship, you may require a valid temporary resident visa (also known as a visitor visa, student visa, or TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.

Know your travel options

UVic is located in Victoria, British Columbia. Victoria is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

Travelling to Victoria by air

You may be able to fly directly to the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) depending on your airline and departure city.

The airport is approximately 25km north of Victoria, so you will need to consider your transportation options for when you arrive.

Travelling to Victoria from Vancouver

The City of Vancouver (and its international airport) is not located on Vancouver Island. There is no fixed connection (bridge or roadway) connecting Vancouver Island to mainland BC.

If you are flying to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you will need to make arrangements to travel onward to Victoria.

Travelling to Victoria by sea

There is regularly scheduled ferry service from Vancouver and the Gulf Islands:

There is also regularly scheduled ferry service from Washington State:

Pick your travel dates

You should plan to arrive in Victoria 2-4 weeks before the start of term so you have time to settle in, find a place to stay, recover from travelling and participate in orientation events.

If family members will accompany you to Canada, you may need to allow more time for settling in. The Family Centre at UVic is an inclusive family resource centre that supports a diverse student family community living both on and off campus.

Note: You may want to arrange for appropriate travel insurance in case your situation changes.

Submit travel information

ArriveCAN is a federal government app you can use to submit travel information if you are flying into select airports in Canada. (Use of ArriveCAN is not mandatory.)

  • if your initial flight into Canada will arrive at one of the following airports, you can use ArriveCAN to complete an advance customs and immigration declaration, which may help you save time upon arrival:
    • Vancouver international airport (YVR)
    • Toronto Pearson international airport (YYZ) (Terminals 1 and 3)
    • Montreal-Trudeau international airport (YUL)
    • Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG)
    • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
    • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
    • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
    • Ottawa International Airport (YOW)
    • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
    • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)
Using ArriveCAN is free! Do not engage with any websites or apps that demand payment for using ArriveCAN.

Review documents for entry

You must carry supporting documents to show you meet the requirements for entry to Canada.

Ensure you have the following documents with you:

  • valid passport or other accepted travel document
  • valid temporary resident visa or eTA (if required)
  • valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows you have been approved for a study permit
  • Verification of enrolment (VOE) at UVic for the current or upcoming term
    • as soon as you have course registration with UVic, you will have access to your term-by-term VOE through Online Tools > Online Request Forms
  • valid letter of acceptance or study permit information letter from UVic, if applicable
    • If your study permit information letter has expired and you would like to request a new one, you may do so through Online Tools > Online Request Forms
      • this letter takes multiple business days to process; please submit your request well in advance
  • proof of a valid immigration medical examination (if required)
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Advance Declaration confirmation email, if you submitted an Advance Declaration through ArriveCAN

If you have questions about your travel documents, connect with an International Student Adviser before travelling.

Other documents

You should also bring any of the following documents that apply to your situation:

  • birth certificate or baptismal certificate
  • driver's licence
  • vehicle registration, licence and insurance papers
  • immunization, vaccination, dental and health records
  • health insurance documents
  • marriage certificate or proof of common-law status
  • separation or divorce papers
  • adoption papers
  • language proficiency scores
  • official school records or academic transcripts (for anyone studying in Canada)
  • medical or psychological documents if you plan to access accessible learning services for students with a disability or short- or long-term health issues
  • letters of reference from former employers
  • letters of reference for future landlords, if you will be looking for housing after arrival
  • documents required for entry into other countries you plan to visit
Make copies of all important documents and keep the copies in a safe place, separate from the originals.