Published On: May 30th, 2022 / Last Updated: May 29th, 2022 / 4.9 min read /

What to bring to Canada for the first time

If you are landing in Canada as a Permanent Residence (PR) or as an International Student, we take a quick look at some do’s and dont’s what you should bring and what you should avoid, to make it inside Canada with ease.

Pre-Departure from your home country

Clothing & Accessories

Make sure you bring enough winter clothing if you are coming in winter months, check the weather before you come and bring accordingly.

Make sure you have your smartphone charges. Even more important is that you have a universal adaptor which can convert various plug formats to one another, if you use UK / India standard power cords, your laptops and smartphone chargers wont work, because you need a universal adaptor to be able to Canadian power source.

Arrange accommodation before you land

It is a good idea to arrange accommodation for yourself and your family (if any), before you land in Canada. Whether it is a hotel or airbnb or a friend, make sure you have the address and contact number of the person. Just in case if you need it.

Drivers License in your home country

If you drive in your home country check, if your home country has agreements to recognize your home country driving experience in Canada this way you can save on one test. If you get a letter from your country that you have 2 years of driving experience, you can give a knowledge test and g2 exot road test, immediately without waiting 8 months.

Checked Baggage

Please ensure you only pack items that are allowed for entry into Canada.


Make sure you have all your documents like COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) for PR, educational documents, birth certificates, proof of funds, goods to follow list (see below for more).

If you are coming as an international student to study make sure you have all your letters from college, like letter of acceptance, college fees invoice and receipts of paid tuition fee, your proof of funds, like GIC or bank account statements, any letters given to you by the Canadian embassy in your home country.

Please also make sure you keep these documents in your hand carry and don’t keep it in checked luggage, because you will not have access to the checked luggage before immigration formalities are completed, you will need the above for completing the formalities on arrival.

Goods to follow list

Did you know you can actually move all of your belongings to Canada when you come as PR. That too without paying any customs duties. But you have to follow a simple procedure.

If you are coming to Canada as PR for the first time, it’s a good idea to make a “goods to follow list”, it is an itemized list of your belongings, that you wish to bring to Canada at a later date after becoming a Permanent Resident. Please ensure you have at least 2 copies of the original.

You can list all the items you are going to bring to Canada later, it can include Cash, Jewellery, any belongings, like clothes, shoes, furniture, books, you name it and you can list it, once you arrive at the airport.

You should list the following details in each row.

  • Serial No.
  • Description of the goods or items
  • The value of the Item in CAD$, can be an estimated value

Once you land at the airport you can simply hand over the list to the officer who will stamp all pages of the list and give it to you for your record, in future, you can ship out the items to Canada, and will not have to pay any customs fees on those items listed in the Good to Follow List.

Post-Arrival at the airport in Canada

Fill in the customs declaration

Fill the declaration card, which is usually provided by the airline, you can put your home country address, for the first, it does not to be a Canadian address for first-time PRs or international students.

Make sure you are not bringing in prohibited items, if at all you are by any chance you missed it please tick the box on the declaration card, this will save you a heavy fine later if the officer happens to open your luggage.

Please ensure if you are carrying cheques, drafts. money orders, or simply cash in any currency, to declare, if they Canadian Dollars $10,000 or more.

If you have any doubt you can always ask the officer at the counter.

Get your SIN

After you finish your immigration check you are welcomed as a PR or an international student, you can apply for your SIN at the airport itself. Airports like Toronto Pearson have that facility available, this will save you a trip, later. Ensure you take it for all family members including children.

Next Steps

Insurance for 90 days 

Most provinces don’t offer insurance straight away for new Permanent Residents, you better have insurance for at least 90 days

Open a Bank Account

Immediately after you land, you should open a bank account in any bank in Canada, they will usually need your SIN number your Passport and COPR to open the account.

Get going you are now in Canada

Once you have completed all these steps you are now prepared to explore Canada. If you are a student focus on your studies. If you are a PR, then it’s time to economically establish yourself, either search for a job or launch a new business venture.

Need a hand with your immigration application, contact us today.  Turningstone Immigration Consulting is a full-service Immigration consultancy. Our services are provided by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC).

We deal in all types of immigration-related applications, like Permanent Residence (PR), Study Permits, Visit Visa (Temporary Resident Visas), Super Visa, Family Sponsorships for PR Applications, Refusals and much more. Give us a shout.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!