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Arriving in Canada

Making travel arrangements

  • Making travel arrangements

    There is no set time frame for you to arrive in Canada before you begin your studies. You should arrive to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare before you begin classes. 

    Things to be aware of when planning your travels to Canada:

    1. Ontario Tech's Important dates and deadlines to ensure you come to Canada before your classes begin.
    2. You will be enrolled in University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP). It’s important to pay attention to the start date of when UHIP gets activated. If you come to Canada before the start date of when UHIP gets activated you will need to purchase your own health insurance for the time being.
    3. You are not allowed to work on or off campus until you begin your studies in Canada. Find more information on working eligibility in Canada in the Working in Canada section. 
    4. It’s highly encouraged you to arrive in Canada in time for Orientation. International Orientation is usually held the week before classes start. 
    5. Know when the residence move-in day is or have off-campus accommodations.
      • Request an early move-in day so you can make the Orientation events!
    6. Be aware of the holiday in September called Labour Day where the university, banks and most businesses will be closed.
    7. Make sure you have all of your documentation to ensure customs and immigration is a smooth process.

    More information can be found on the Study Permit: Prepare for Arrival web page.

    Before you travel, you can also contact the Border Information Service for more information. 

    Please note: A Border Services Officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.


Arriving at the airport

  • Arriving at the airport

    The closest international airport to Oshawa is Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, Ontario. There are two terminals at the airport: Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. There is a free, fully accessible train (the Terminal Link train) that connects both terminals.

    The Toronto Pearson interactive maps tool includes all amenities, restaurants, retail and security checkpoints. You can use this tool to search for the service or amenity that you need, then create step-by-step directions to help you navigate the facilities at Toronto Pearson with ease.

    Make sure you have all of your documentation to ensure customs and immigration is a smooth process.


What to expect at customs and immigration

  • Step 1: Fill out your Declaration Card
    Before you land in Canada, the flight attendant will provide you with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Declaration Card.

    The CBSA website provides information about this Declaration Card. Fill out this form on the flight.
  • Step 2: Go to customs and immigration
    • When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will see signs in both English and French to direct you. Follow the signs that read Arrivals and Customs (also known as the immigration area).
    • When you arrive at customs, there will be lines for Canadian citizens and non-Canadian citizens. Make sure you get in the appropriate line.
    • Respond to all questions the Immigration Officer asks you with simple, clear answers. 
      • Service is available in English and French. If you do not understand questions clearly, ask for an interpreter. 
    • Be patient as there could be a long waiting period.
  • Step 3: Get your study permit
    • At customs, you must indicate that you are coming to Canada to study. Show your Letter of Introduction which confirms your study permit was approved.
    • Next, you will speak to an immigration officer at your port of entry (most likely your port of entry will be in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver). The immigration official will examine your documents. If everything is correct, the official will give you your study permit. 

    Note: Inbound exchange students coming to Ontario Tech for one semester do not require a study permit since their length of stay is less than six months. Inbound exchange students coming to Ontario Tech for two semesters will require a study permit. Questions can be directed to internationalexchange@ontariotechu.ca

  • Step 4: Review your study permit for accuracy

    Although you will probably be tired from your flight, be sure to read your study permit carefully and ask the immigration official to explain anything you do not understand.

    Check your study permit to make sure the following items are correct:

    • The spelling of your name and all of your personal information.
    • The expiration date on your study permit: 
      • The date should match your expected date of graduation from the Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). If your passport expires before your expected date of graduation, the study permit will be issued to expire at the time of your passport. If your study permit expires earlier, ask the immigration official there, as it will be easier and faster to correct.
    • Work eligibility conditions:
      • If you are a full-time international student, make sure one of the following two conditions is written on your study permit:
        • May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if you meet the criteria outlined in section 186(v) of Immigrations and Refugee Protection Regulations.
        • May accept employment on or off-campus if you meet the eligibility criteria as per section 186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria below.

    It is your responsibility to understand and comply with immigration regulations while you are in Canada.


Arranging travel to Oshawa

  • Planning your route

    Ontario Tech is located in Oshawa, Ontario, about an hour east of Toronto. Our campus is easy to get to from all points in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond, whether you decide to get here by car or by transit. Learn more about directions and transit on our website.

    The Google Transit Trip Planner is a useful tool to help you plan your bus routes from your location to your destination. View the Google Maps Transit.

    The university's interactive map is also a great tool for finding your route to the university. Select, from an address and choose Toronto Pearson Airport as your starting point.

    Note: The prices may vary, depending on what route you choose to take and how many different transit lines it requires.

  • Public transportation

    There are a number of options for public transportation:

    Taxis from the airport are approximately CAD$120. For your safety and security, please ensure you choose a licensed taxi. They accept all major credit cards, cash or Canadian bank cards, and meet safety requirements.

    Rideshare costs vary. If you use a ride-sharing app, such as Uber or Lyft, you can request a pick-up from Pearson Airport. For your safety and security, please ensure you verify the license plate and name of the driver before entering the vehicle. In addition, please share your location with a friend or family member.

    Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)https://www.ttc.ca/ is the main transit system in Toronto, including buses, streetcars and subways. View the TTC Fare website for cost.

    GO Transit is the network of trains and bus lines that operate in the Greater Toronto Area. This system connects surrounding cities with Toronto. View GO Transit fares for cost.

    Durham Region Transit (DRT) is the transit system for Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and other cities in the Durham Region. View the DRT fare website for cost.

    Learn how long it takes to get to campus by visiting the Ontario Tech website.