Arrival & Departure Information
Before Making Travel Plans
Before you make travel plans, check that you understand when to travel and know your approved arrival dates. Students staying with a Comox Valley Schools approved host family, are permitted to arrive up to two days prior to their program start or orientation.
The 2023-2024 approved arrival dates are:
August 30 or 31, 2023
January 27 or 28, 2024
The 2024-2025 approved arrival dates are:
August 27 or 28, 2024
January 25 or 26, 2025
Students who arrive earlier than their approved arrival date may be subject to additional fees.
Booking Your Flights
Your final destination must be the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ). This is where your host will meet you. A minimum of three to four (3-4) hours is needed to clear Canadian Immigration upon your arrival at your Port of Entry (POE). Give yourself enough time to make your connecting flight after your initial arrival to Canada.
Send your complete flight itinerary to firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication and Relationship Building with Your Host Family
Connect with your host family. Use WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to get to know one another. Speak with your host about your arrival. Exchange emails and phone numbers and save the information on your mobile phone.
CVISP also sends your arrival itineraries to your host.
Packing & Departure
In addition to your personal items, you must ensure you have the following packed in your carry-on luggage for assessment by Canada Border Service Agents (CBSA) at your Port of Entry (POE):
- IRCC Letter of Introduction OR Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) if studying for 5 months or less.
- Custodianship documents
- Letter of Acceptance
- Homestay Profile and contact information
- Contact emergency information sheet for CVISP staff
ArriveCAN – although not required, ArriveCAN is a useful app to save time at the border. You can use the ArriveCAN customs and immigration feature to complete your declaration in advance if you’re flying into a participating international airport.
Keep a backup of your documents on your phone and computer.
While in transit to the airport, in airports, and during the flight(s), keep in mind:
Bring some food as restaurants or stores may be closed
Be prepared for airline delays, re-routing, and cancellations
Keep mobile phone charged if using throughout the flight to watch movies or play games
Arrival in Canada
When you arrive in Canada, you will undergo a document examination by a Canadian Border Services Agent. Have your documents outlined in “Packing & Departure” ready to provide to the immigration agent. Those who have a study permit approval letter will present the Letter of Introduction to the immigration agent, who will then issue a Study Permit.
Do not leave immigration without exchanging the Letter of Introduction for the Study Permit.
3, 4, 5, & 10-month Program Students
3, 4, 5, & 10-month Program Students – depart 1-2 days after their Program End Date. Refer to your LOA for your program end date.
Graduation Program Students
Graduation Program Students – should plan to depart 2 – 3 days after their last exam or by June 30th.