Immigration, Visas and Work Permits

What you will need to get started

CBU has a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant on staff in the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, as well as advisors, to assist students with immigration concerns regarding study and work permits and citizenship processes. As an international student planning to study in Canada, you must apply for a study permit and either a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If you choose to apply to CBU and get accepted, you will need your letter of acceptance to start the study permit application process, and you should begin the process four to six months before you plan to arrive.

A study permit allows you to study at a college or university and is a requirement for you to remain in Canada for the duration of your studies. A visa or eTA allows you to enter Canada. Depending on your citizenship, you may need a visa or eTA in addition to a study permit in order to enter Canada as an international student.

Visit for more information as well as a list of countries that require visas to enter Canada. For immigration information specific to Nova Scotia (the province where CBU is located), you can visit

Immigration Process

Moving to a new country is a big step. There is excitement, anticipation and probably a few questions. How cold is it there? Can I work while studying in Canada? What’s the food like? We will help you to make a smooth transition into our community. The best way to do this is preparation.

Travel Plans

When booking your travel tickets, if possible, plan to arrive during campus business hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Many of you will fly into the Halifax International Airport before connecting to Sydney. This is a 4-hour drive from Sydney, so do not plan to take a taxi to Cape Breton from the Halifax airport. The simplest plan is to book your air travel all the way into Sydney. The JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport (YQY) in Sydney is located just minutes from Cape Breton University.

Fill out the International Student Orientation & Airport Pickup Form AT LEAST 10 days before your arrival, to ensure one of our staff will be at the airport to welcome you to Cape Breton and transport you to campus – your new home. If you forget to fill out this form, a taxi ride to the university should cost on average $10 per person.

Customs Regulations

While still in your home country, you will have applied for and received your study permit.

Depending on the country, a short term entry visa may also be required.

The above documents and your passport will need to be shown in the airport. Carry these with you, do not pack them in your checked baggage.

Canadian Border Services allow a reasonable amount of personal effects to enter the country. Tobacco and alcohol of restricted quantities are allowed. Most fruit, vegetables and plants are not permitted across the border. Consult for the most up to date information.

Airlines charge different amounts for excess baggage, be sure to check the regulations for the flight on which you are booked.

USA Students

Cape Breton University participates in the US Department of Education William D. Ford Direct Loan program. US citizens may learn more about potential funding through and can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at this site.

Students may also obtain funding through the Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan. Information on this funding can be obtained through

If you are a US citizen that will be applying for funding please contact Sheryl Trimm, Manager, Student Financial Services at for further information.
Below are links to required resources for participating in the Direct Loan program:

United States Department of Education Return to Title IV (R2T4) Regulations

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Regulations for US Financial Aid Recipients

Consumer Information for US Financial Aid

Working while studying in Canada

You are able to work in Canada if you are a full-time student and hold a valid study permit. You will need to obtain a Social Insurance Number once you arrive in Canada in order to work. To learn more, visit

Post-graduate work permit

After completing an academic degree, diploma or certificate program in Canada that is at least eight months in length, you are eligible to receive a work permit that allows you to work full-time in Canada for up to three years through the postgraduate work permit program.

International Medical Plan

Once you arrive at CBU and have registered for your courses, you will automatically be enrolled in our international health plan. The plan provides both medical and dental coverage with an option for dependent or family coverage as well. At CBU, we ensure that our students are taken care of and that they have the coverage they need in case of illness or emergency.

I found lots of opportunities for work on campus and in the community. I really enjoy that I get to work with first- year and returning students from various countries. I like helping people, and that’s what I am doing as a student advisor.

Moses Mallam (Home country: Nigeria)
Bachelor of Business Administration
Class of 2016