A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Visiting Canada

With Canada being just an hour and a half away many international students ask about visiting.  Before you consider going to Canada, please be sure to follow the instructions below.

  1. Determine if you need a visa to enter Canada by visiting the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Visa Requirements List.  If you don't need a visa, then be sure to follow the normal procedures for exiting and re-entering the US.
  2. Students needing a visa should download the Visa Instruction Guide and must complete an Application for a Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257).  For any confusing questions, please consult with the Director of Intercultural Student Programs.
  3. Before applying for a Canadian visa, gather all required documentation, including;
    • Completed Application for a Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257)
    • Completed Family Information (IMM 5645)
    • Completed Schedule 1 (if applicable--probably not)
    • Your physical passport - not a photocopy
    • 2 passport size photos (write your name and date of birth on the back of just one of these photos)
    • Photocopy of your F-1 passport visa
    • Photocopy of your I-94
    • Your physical I-20 with a current signature
    • Proof of current student status - a copy of your registration for the current or upcoming term will work
    • Proof of financial support while in Canada - This should either be a copy of your recent bank statement, or a signed letter from someone else (along with a copy of their bank statement) stating that they will be paying for your expenses while in Canada.
    • Photocopy of your flight itinerary - if flying to Canada
    • Visa fee - This should be in the form of a money order (which can be obtained at the downtown Houghton post office), and must be payable to "Canadian Consulate General."  Visit the Canadian Immigration Fee Schedule for current fee amounts in US Dollars.
  4. Decide whether you will apply in person or through the mail.  
    • Students applying via mail should send the above documents to the address listed at bottom.  Applying by mail can take 2 - 4 weeks, but is more convenient for most students. 
    • Students applying in person should visit the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo between the hours of 8 - 11 am Monday - Friday.  An appointment is not needed.  Most in-person visa applications are processed on the spot.
  5. When visiting Canada be sure to bring your passport and I-20 with you.  You should also ensure that your F-1 Passport Visa does not expire while outside the United States.  Renewing your passport visa in Canada is complicated, expensive, and requires traveling to Ottawa.  You are allowed to travel to Canada and to re-enter the U.S. with an expired passport visa, but only if your stay in Canada does not exceed 30 days, you do not depart Canada for another country, and you do not attempt to apply for a new U.S. visa while in Canada.  If you will be traveling to Canada with an expired passport visa please consult with the Director of Intercultural Student Programs.

Consulate General of Canada
Immigration Regional Program Centre
1 HSBC Center
Buffalo, NY 14203-2884