What you can bring with you to Canada

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What you can bring with you to Canada?

Whether you are a Visitor, Temporary Resident (student/worker) or a new Permanent Resident, the Government of Canada has certain regulations on what you can and cannot bring (import) into the country.

These restrictions are based on Canada’s laws and are in place to protect the best interests of Canadians.


As a visitor, you can transport specific goods into Canada for your own individual use as “personal baggage”. Personal baggage includes cameras and personal computers, clothing, camping and sports equipment. This category also includes aircraft, vehicles and private boats.

When you arrive at a port of border entry, you must declare all goods you have with you. Border services officers do perform inspections of goods being imported and will want to confirm declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive to Canada and take them back with you when you leave the country, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes.

When you bring in your personal baggage, these goods cannot be:

  • disposed of or left in Canada;
  • used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
  • used by a resident of Canada;
  • be given as a gift to a Canadian resident.

A border services officer may request that you leave a security deposit for your goods. This deposit will be refunded to you when you export (or bring the items with you when you leave the country) the goods from Canada.

If you are asked to leave a security deposit, the border officer will issue a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. They will keep a copy of the form and give you a copy of the form for your records. When you leave Canada, you will present your goods and your copy of Form E29B to the border officer who will give you a receipt copy of the form and your security deposit will be refunded by post.


If you would like to bring a gift for a friend in Canada you can. The gift can be Canada duty- and tax-free as long as the gift is worth CAN$60 or less. If the gift’s value is more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duty and taxes on the extra amount. You cannot declare alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or business-related items as presents.

Work or Study in Canada

If you are entering Canada to study or work for less than 36 months, you may be able to temporarily import (or bring with you) personal and household goods (such as appliances, tableware, furniture, silverware and motor vehicles) duty-and tax-free. You can bring these items into Canada as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The goods cannot be used by a resident of Canada
  • You must take all non-consumable items with you when you leave the country at the end of your stay
  • You are not allowed to sell or otherwise leave the goods in Canada.

Temporary Residents Preparing to enter Canada

Prior to your arrival to Canada, you should bring two copies of a list (if possible typewritten) of all items brought into Canada. On your list you should note (if possible) the estimated value, make, model and serial number of each item.

If you are bringing jewelry into the country, it can be a challenge to describe the item accurately. If possible, have your jewelry appraised before you leave your country and bring the document with you to show the border service officer.

New Permanent Residents entering Canada

For information on what you can bring as a new permanent resident, or if you are returning to Canada see the Canadian Border Service Agency’s guide here. If you are entering Canada as a new Permanent Resident the same general restrictions will apply for your entry to the country.

Alcoholic beverages

You must be the minimum age to bring alcoholic beverages into Canada. The age is regulated by each of the provincial or territorial authorities. You must be18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec; and 19 years for the other provinces and territories in Canada.

You can bring with you only one of the following quantity of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:

  • Up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale
  • 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine

A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages

Tobacco products

You are permitted to bring with you all of the quantities of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 200 tobacco sticks
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • 50 cigars

Monetary instruments and Cash

If you are bringing into Canada or leaving Canada with currency equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you have to report the amount to a border officer when you either arrive or prior to leaving Canada. This policy applies to either cash or other monetary instruments.


They are certain goods which are restricted to bring into Canada. You will have to declare these items when you bring them into Canada and may be required to bring additional documentation with you.

Restricted items in Canada include (but not limited to):

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
  • Radio transmitting equipment
  • Items imported for commercial use
  • Goods subject to import controls
  • Prohibited consumer products

Food products, plants, animals and related products

Prohibited Goods

They are certain items which you cannot bring into Canada with you. These items include; obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography.

Other items which you cannot bring into the country with you:

  • Used or second-hand mattresses
  • Health products (prescription drugs) – In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. Make sure to check if you are allowed to bring your health products or prescription into the country.
  • Cultural property – Some cultural objects or antiquities which are considered to have historical significance to their country of origin, cannot be imported into Canada without the proper export permits.

For more information on what you can bring with you to Canada during your stay please visit: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pdt-pdt-eng.html#_s3


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New regulations for international students will take effect on June 1

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New regulations for international students

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Announced the new rules for international students that designed to intensify Canada’s reputation as a choice of high-quality education destination for prospective international students. These changes will take force on June 1, 2014. The new regulations will improve services to genuine students that willing to study in Canada,  and reduce the potential for fraud and misuse of the programs. Here is a summarized chart for the New Regulations: International Student Chart




















The finalized announcement also pointed that the designated educational institutions will be determined by provincial and territorial governments in coming months. Once the new regulations come into force, current international students who are studying at a non-designated institution with a valid study permit, will be permitted to complete their study for up to 3 years after the regulations take effect; Students in the same situation, holding an Off-Campus Work Permit or a Co-op Work Permit, will be permitted to continue to use or renew if necessary, their work permit until they complete their program, for up to 3 years after the new rules take effect. Additional operational regulations will be announced closer to June 1, 2014, when the new rules come into force. Source: cic.gc.ca   Contact us for more information.

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Changes to the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NS PNP)

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Nova Scotia Introduced New Immigration Stream

Note: As of April 28, 2014, The Government of Nova Scotia announced that the Reginal Labour Market Demand Stream is now closed for this year. Applications that are not received in the office and/or postmarked by April 28, 2014 will not be accepted. The stream will re-open on January1, 2015. 

A new immigration stream under Nova Scotia Nominee Program was launched on March 6, 2014. As a replacement of The Community Identified Stream, the new Regional Labour Market Demand stream is designed for foreign skilled workers who meet the local labour market needs, are intend to work full-time and permanently, and establish themselves in Nova Scotia. There is a 150 application cap under this Stream in the year of 2014.

There is no local job offer requirements under the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream. However, applicants do need to show their intention to work in an occupation that is demanded in Nova Scotia.

You may qualify for this stream if you have a continuous 2 years of full-time work experience in the past five years  in one of the following eligible occupations:

  • Managers in Health Care
  • Retail and wholesale trade managers
  • Restaurant and Food Service Managers
  • Financial Auditors and Accountants
  • Other Financial Officers
  • A Civil Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)
  • Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
  • Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • Software Engineers and Designers
  • Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  • Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Information systems testing technicians
  • Specialist Physicians
  • General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • Medical Laboratory Technologists
  • Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists and Cardiopulmonary Technologists
  • Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Medical Sonographers
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment includes massage therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Early Childhood Educators and Assistants
  • Retail Trade Supervisors
  • Chefs
  • Cooks
  • Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
  • Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  • Industrial Electricians
  • Welders and related machine operators
  • Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  • Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
  • Crane Operators
  • Supervisors, Other Mechanical and Metal Products Manufacturing

Other requirements including a CLB5 minimum language proficiency, the intention of live in Nova Scotia. Contact us for more information under this stream.

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Canada’s Shift to Multiple-Entry Visas

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Visitors to Canada will be Automatically Considered for Multiple-Entry Visas

Visitors to Canada now will be automatically considered for a multiple-entry visa. Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced this change on February 6, 2014. Canada’s shift to multiple-entry visas allows qualified applicant to visit and stay in Canada for maximum six months each time, in an up to 10 years period  without having to reapply each time.

Processing fee for the a Multiple-Entry Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) will be dropped from $150 to $100. Besides the fee change to TRV, a number of other Government processing fees for Temporary Residency are increased in order to be competitive with peer countries. Below is a charting showing the fee changes to Canada and a Comparison with several peer countries:

ApplicationIncreased amountAmended Processing Fees
Study Permit$25$150
Work Permit$5$155
Extensions to remain in Canada as a Visitor$25$100
Maximum fee for a Family to apply for TRVSIncreased by $100 to $500
Maximum Work Permit fee for a group of performing artist and their staffsIncreased by $15 to $465

For more information about Temporary Residency in Canada, please contact us.

Find out if you qualify

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