If you want to work, study, do business or live permanently in Canada, you will need to apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC is responsible for processing all immigration applications to Canada and issuing visas and/or work permits.

Immigration programs

There are different immigration programs through which you can apply to come to Canada. Each program has different application and eligibility requirements. IRCC's Come to Canada tool can help you determine what program you can apply for, and how to submit an online or paper application. Following are the types of immigration programs:

Once you have applied for immigration to Canada, you can check the status of your application with IRCC.

Immigration rules may change without notice so check the IRCC's website regularly and update your information. The IRCC Help Centre can help you find answers to frequently asked immigration related questions.

Documents to bring

As a permanent resident or temporary resident, arriving in Canada, you must carry the following documents:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence for yourself and each family member travelling with you (temporary resident visa, if coming on a visa student or foreign worker)
  • A valid passport or other travel document for each family member traveling with you

Personal effects list:

Before you arrive, you should prepare two copies of BSF186 - Personal Effects Accounting Document, where you list any goods with you and the goods that you will send later. Find out more on how to bring your belongings when you come to Canada. Be detailed as far as possible - show each item's value, make, model and serial number

Give this form to the border services officer when you first get to Canada, even if you are not bringing in any goods at that time. Do not pack these documents in your luggage. Keep them with you at all times.

Disclosure of funds

Tell a Canadian official when you arrive in Canada if you are carrying more than CAN $10,000. Non-disclosure can lead to fine or seizure of funds.

Find out more about your duty to disclose funds either before you leave or once you arrive in Canada.

Health documentation

Children in Canada are vaccinated (immunized) starting when they are newborns. Vaccinations help to prevent serious infections or diseases. When you travel to Canada, bring official documents that state what vaccinations you and your family have already had.

In Canada, your children need immunization or vaccination records to enrol in school.

Other documents

Other documents you may need include:

  • marriage certificates
  • adoption, separation or divorce papers
  • birth certificates or baptismal certificates
  • letters of reference from former employers
  • trade or professional certificates and licences
  • car registration documents (if you are importing a motor vehicle into Canada)
  • school records, diplomas or degrees for each family member traveling with you
  • a list of your educational and professional qualifications and job experience for your résumé
  • driver's licence, including:
    • an International Driver's Permit
    • a reference from your auto insurance company

Make photocopies of all these types of documents, in case the originals get lost. Be sure to keep the photocopies in a separate place from the originals.

At the airport:

Our at the Airport page provides more information on the landing process and the documents you need for the Immigration interview. 

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