Planning for arrival


All the important things you have to do before you leave home and after you arrive on campus. Make this the top of your "to-do" list.


Our helpful tips can help answer many of your questions about Dal, from getting your bus pass to accessing campus WiFi and where to buy groceries. Make sure to check out the tips for international students.


Welcome to Nova Scotia, Canada!

The moment you have been waiting for is finally here! Your plane has landed at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and you can't wait to get to your new home. Once you have made your way through Canadian Immigrations and Customs (where you will get your study permit), you will need to know how to get to Campus.


Get your Study Permit at Canadian Immigration

When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will pass through Canadian Immigration. Tell the immigration officer that you are coming to Canada to study and present to the officer the following documents.

  • Letter of Introduction from the Canadian Consulate or High Commission:
    This is the letter you receive from the visa office if you applied, and have been approved, for a study permit. It is sometimes called the letter of introduction or introductory letter. Officially, it is called the Port of Entry (POE) Introduction Letter.
  • Valid passport, with Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)/entry visa (if required).
  • An original or copy of your letter of acceptance from Dalhousie University.
  • Evidence of financial support (proof of funds documents)
  • Letters of reference or other documents recommended by the Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission.
  • Record of Health Immunizations (if required)

Keep all these items in your carry-on luggage, as well as cash, traveller’s cheques, and other valuable documents with you. Do not put them in your checked baggage.

Respond to all questions the immigration officer asks you with clear, simple answers. Service is available in English and French. If you do not fully understand the questions, ask for an interpreter. They are available in many languages.

After the officer processes your information, they will give you a Study Permit (a piece of brown paper that is often stapled to your passport).

DO NOT leave the airport or border until you have a Study Permit issued by an immigration officer.

You should check your permit for errors before leaving the immigration officer. It is much easier to have the Officer fix them immediately, than to try to get them fixed later.

If you are a student who expects to work during your time in Canada, it is very important to check for conditions that include the words “may work” or “may accept employment.” If your study permit does not include those words, please tell the immigration officer who issued your permit, as all post-secondary students should include such conditions.

Declare your personal items at Canadian Customs

When you arrive at the airport, you will have to declare your personal items with the Canadian Border Services Agency

Prepare a list of all the goods you are bringing into Canada in advance (e.g., clothing, electronics, etc.) including vehicles. Be prepared to show your list to the Canada Border Services Agent. Make two copies of the list. You can bring in other non-consumable goods (e.g., clothing, electronics, etc., BUT NOT food items from your home country) after your initial arrival, but you must report these goods to the Canada Border Services Agency. They will require a refundable deposit.