Landing in Canada as an Immigrant: What Documents Will You Need to Have?

Landing in Canada as an Immigrant: What Documents Will You Need to Have?

You have been approved for permanent residence in Canada through one of its many avenues of application, have received your permanent resident card and are all ready to leave for Canada! But there may still be some questions that you have about this stressful process, including "what documents will I need when I arrive in Canada?" Here, our Ottawa and Orleans doctors explain.

While the application process may be behind you, the final step of attaining permanent resident status in Canada is to actually arrive in the country and become a resident! While this part may be very stressful, as travel often is, you already have everything you need to successfully gain access to the country and begin your new life in Canada!

When you arrive at the Canadian border, whether you are crossing by car, by boat or by plane, you will need to answer some questions and produce some documents and information for a Canadian border official before you will be granted access to the country.

What Documents Do I Need When Landing in Canada?

 You will need to have a collection of documents to present to Canadian border officials after landing in Canada. While the collection of documents that will be required is relatively extensive, you will already have had to collect most of them as part of your application for your permanent resident visa!

That being said, the most important thing to remember when it comes to the documents you need to present after landing in Canada is that you need to keep them together and on your person during your travel. Do not store them in your luggage, where they may be inaccessible or become lost.

Primary Documents

The following is a list of documents you will need to present to Canadian border officials after landing in Canada:

  • Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
  • Your Canadian Immigrant Visa
  • Your Passport

The above documents will be checked to ensure they have not expired. Ensure that, before you travel to Canada, all of your documentation is valid and isn't at risk of expiring before you arrive.

Secondary Documents

The following list of documents may be required to be shown to a Canadian border official depending on what information you included in your application for permanent residence. These include:

  • Birth certificate or adoption papers
  • Family records (such as, marriage certificate or divorce papers)
  • Medical records (such as immunization records)
  • Dental records
  • Official school records for children
  • Diplomas, degrees and transcripts
  • Academic credentials evaluation report (if you had your education assessed before coming to Canada)
  • Reference letters from previous and current employers
  • Professional or trade licences or qualification certificates
  • Up-to-date résumé or summary of work experience
  • Valid driver's licence or other identification documents
  • Vehicle registration documents (if you are importing a vehicle into Canada)

As a rule, if you have access to any of these documents, bring them with you to be presented once you have landed in Canada. While not all of them may be applicable to your permanent residence application, many of them will.

2 Copies of a Detailed List of Your Belongings

Finally, you will need to make sure you create a detailed list of the belongings that you are bringing into Canada before you leave for the country using the BSF-186 Personal Effects Accounting Document. You will need to bring two copies of this list with you to present to the Canadian border official when you land in Canada.

As part of this list, you will need to provide the value of each of the items in Canadian Dollars as well as a sum total of the value of all the belongings you are bringing into the country.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Landing In Canada?

Use ArriveCAN to Provide Mandatory Information Before Arrival in Canada

Unless you have accessibility issues (outlined here), you need to use either the ArriveCAN mobile app or web page to provide border officials in Canada with critical information about your health, pre-entry COVID-19 test results, quarantine plan, and travel information. 

You will be prompted to fill out the requisite information by the app or web page. Once you have successfully filled out the required information, you will be provided with a digital receipt. Make sure you keep this receipt to present both when beginning your journey to Canada and when speaking with Canadian border officials.

Be Prepared to Declare Money You Are Bringing to Canada

In addition to your personal effects and documents, you may be bringing some money or financial instruments like cheques, securities in bearer form, cash or bank transfers with you into Canada. If the total of this money and financial instruments equals or exceeds 10 000 Canadian Dollars, you are legally obligated to inform the Canadian border official. 

If you don't inform the border official that you have this money or financial assets, it may be seized and/or you may be fined. Make sure you speak to your financial institution before coming to Canada about the amount of money you are bringing with you into the country.

Are you going to be arriving in Canada soon and want to ensure you have all the documentation you need? Our Ottawa and Orleans immigration doctors can ensure you have up-to-date copies of your medical certifications and tests to present to Canadian border officials. Contact us today to learn more. 


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