Canadian Customs/Border


Canadian Customs/Border

Are you coming to study at Providence? Coming to Canada begins with a stop at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) “port of entry.” Good planning will help ensure that you have a worry-free border crossing. Here are a few tips to help you. 

List Your Goods

Prepare a list of all the goods you are bringing into Canada including the value, make and model/serial number of the items, where applicable. Upon your arrival give your list of goods to the Canada Border Services Agent at the “port of entry.”  Depending what is on your list, the Border Services Agent may give you a Temporary Admission Permit (Form E29B). In certain circumstances, a refundable security deposit may also be required. If you ship your goods by a commercial carrier, you may choose to have the goods cleared at the first point of arrival in Canada or have them sent to the CBSA office nearest to Providence (in Winnipeg). The carrier will notify you when the goods arrive and you can clear them through border services. 

Carry Appropriate Identification

Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. To enter Canada you will require a valid passport and, depending on your citizenship, you may also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). To find out if you require a TRV refer to the list of Countries/Territories Whose Citizens Require Visas to Enter Canada.

Identify your Children

All parents travelling with children should carry identification for the children travelling with them regardless of their age. If you plan on arriving as a single parent travelling with your child/children, a letter of permission may be required that contains contact information of the other parent or legal guardian. If you have legal custody of the child/children or if you share custody, have copies of relevant legal documents, such as custody rights.

If you plan to travel to Canada with children who are not your own or for whom you do not have full legal custody, CBSA may require you to present a notarized letter of consent from the child’s parents or legal guardians.

What Can I Bring?

As a student you may bring personal items for your stay in Canada. You can temporarily import your personal and household items free of duty and taxes. This means that in addition to clothing you may also bring furniture, tableware, silverware, appliances and even motor vehicles. The following conditions will apply to the goods that you bring with you:

  1. The goods cannot be used by a resident of Canada,
  2. you are not permitted to sell or dispose of the goods in Canada; and
  3. you must take all non-consumable items with you when you leave the country at the end of your stay.

You may also bring gifts worth up to CDN$60 each for your friends or relatives in Canada without paying duty, as long as these do not consist of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. Do not wrap gifts until after you have cleared the border, since an examination may be required.

Crossing the Border with $10,000 or more?

If you are importing or exporting monetary instruments equal to or greater than CDN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), whether in cash or other monetary instrument, you must report this amount to the Canadian Border Services Agency when you arrive or before you leave Canada. For more information, refer to the publication called Crossing the border with $10,000 or more? 

Public Health

If you are suffering from an illness upon your arrival in Canada, or if you have been in close contact with someone with a communicable disease, you must inform a border services agent, who can determine if you require further assessment.

Restricted Items 

There are many restrictions on the importation of items into Canada. Restrictions apply to firearms, weapons, explosives, fireworks, ammunition, obscenity, hate propaganda, child pornography, illicit drugs and other products that pose a danger to the public. There are also controls and restrictions on the importation of plants, animals, animal products, and food items. Without the proper documentation, the CBSA may seize or order the removal of certain food, plants, animals or their related products. You can avoid problems by not bringing these kinds of items into Canada.

In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. Drugs that are available without a prescription in one country may require a prescription in Canada. Canada has restrictions on the quantities and types of health products that can be brought in. Bring any required medications in the original containers (with labels) and show them to the border services agent. 

If you have any questions, contact the 24-hour telephone Border Information Service (BIS) line within Canada at 1-800-461-9999 or from outside Canada by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Refer also to: CBSA Entering Canada to Study or Work at:



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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
Phone: (204) 433-7488 or (800) 668-7768
Fax: (204) 433-7158
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