What to Expect at Customs
Going Through Border Control
If you are crossing a border to come to the University of Toronto, you will need to pass through Border Control. While relatively simple, the process can be intimidating for some. As such, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the process and be prepared.
In order to facilitate an easy passage through customs (or border control), you should have all of your important documents with you and ready to be shown to the customs official. This means that if you are flying, all of your documents should be in your carry-on bag and not in your checked luggage. You should have the following documents ready to present at customs:
- study permit documents,
- visa (if necessary),
- acceptance letter from U of T, and
- a declaration card (which will be given to you on the plane).
Occasionally, you may be required to go through a more thorough customs investigation after picking up your bag. This is nothing to be concerned about, but might be surprising if you were not expecting it. Agents may ask to inspect your bags to ensure that you are not brining anything restricted or illegal. To help expedite the process, it is useful to have all items easily accessible (but not so accessible, that you are vulnerable to theft along route) and have receipts for any recently purchased expensive items, such as electronics.
What You Can Bring With You
You are permitted to bring as much clothing, books and electronic items for personal use as your baggage allowance will allow. There are however, a number of other types of items which are restricted. Familiarize yourself with what is allowed and not allowed to be brought into Canada. Visit the Canada Border Service website for detailed information. Likewise, airlines will have additional restrictions concerning the transportation of certain items.
One of the frequent topics of concern for newly arriving international students is in regards to access to favourite foods. Relax! The University of Toronto is located in one the worlds most culturally diverse areas and along with it, students literally have access to kitchens and shopping places representing cuisines of all tastes! Likewise, you can readily purchase items that you will need during your stay. Need a winter coat? Why not wait until you arrive and purchase it here — our staff will gladly help you find stores that match your budget!