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Prepare for your arrival

What to pack

  • Important documents

    You should bring the following documents with you. Before you leave, have these documents translated into English. Although you can translate the documents when you arrive, this can be very expensive in Canada.

    • birth certificate
    • driver's license (especially if you intend on getting a Canadian license)
    • immunization record
    • marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • international driver’s license (you can get this in your home country and it will allow you to drive in Canada for 60 days)

    Please visit the Government of Canada’s Prepare for Arrival page to learn more about the documents you need to enter Canada and what to expect at the airport.

  • Cell phone

    In general, each country has a different company that provides cell phone service. If you leave your home country, your phone will probably not work because it will be locked. 

    You should speak to your cell phone service provider about how to unlock your phone or what options you have. You may be able to use your existing phone and register with a service provider in Canada. Otherwise, you may need to get a new phone upon arrival in Canada.

  • Power adaptor

    You should purchase a power adaptor or transformer to ensure your computer and electronic equipment work.

    Canada and the United States have the same electrical supply and electrical outlets (sockets, wall plugs).

    The electrical supply is 110 volts and 60 hertz (cycles per second).

  • Comforts of home

    When you make your housing arrangements, you should find out what will be available to you. This will help you plan better and pack everything you need. For example, sheets, towels, blankets, pillows and shampoo may not be provided, so it will be helpful to bring this with you.


  • Carry-on luggage

    Your carry-on luggage is the bag you take with you in your hand on the plane. Since this bag will always be with you, you should pack some clothes and all your valuables in it. Check your airline requirements for carry-on luggage size. 

  • Baggage allowance

    Visit your airline website and check how many pieces of baggage you are allowed to bring with you, and what the weight limit is. Each airline has different rules about baggage allowance. If your luggage weighs more than the limit, the airline company will charge you.


  • Seasons

    Canada has four seasons, so make sure you are prepared for whatever season you arrive in. You should pack clothes for warm, cool and cold weather.





    September to November

    7 to 20°C (cool)


    December to February

    -25 to 5°C (cold)


    March to May

    7 to 20°C (cool)


    June to August

    20 to 30°C (warm)


  • Contact your bank

    You should visit your local bank before you leave. You can talk to them about:

    • How to use your bank card in Canada.
    • How your family can send you money (e.g. through the bank or a wire transfer. Note: This can be very expensive).
    • How your family can put money into your account.

    Please review all your options and make arrangements before you arrive. 

  • Contact your credit card company

    You should contact your credit card company before you leave. You can talk to them about:

    • How to use your credit card in Canada.
    • How much it will cost to use your card.

    Important: If you do not contact your credit card company to tell them you are traveling, they may cancel your card and you will not be able to use it.