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Canadian Entering the U.S. as a Student? Here’s What You Need To Know.

With a new year and a new semester just around the corner, many Canadians will be preparing to cross the border to pursue their studies in the U.S. as F-1 students. While most F-1 students must first obtain F-1 visas from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, Canadians have the privilege of being visa-exempt for most U.S. nonimmigrant visas categories.

So how is this advantageous for Canadians? Since Canadian citizens are visa-exempt for most nonimmigrant categories including F-1, they may apply directly for admission at any U.S. port of entry.

To avoid any complications when seeking admission to the U.S., Canadians entering as F-1 students should carry and present the following documentation to CBP:

  1. Proof of Canadian citizenship (passport);
  2. Original valid SEVIS Form I-20 obtained from their school’s Designated School Official (DSO);
  3. Proof of SEVIS fee payment; and
  4. Proof of financial stability.

Proof of financial stability should document sufficient funds to cover up to one year or the length of the academic program, whichever is shorter, and may include but is not limited to family bank statements, financial aid letters, and/or scholarship letters.

Upon entry, a Form I-94 Admission/Departure card will be issued showing legal status in the U.S., which should also be double-checked via CBP’s online I-94 portal to ensure there are no discrepancies.

Stay tuned for the latest from the MPC immigration team as we closely monitor updates and for any other significant changes in US and Canadian immigration!

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