Canadian entry to USA
Information for Canadian students about visa and entry formalities to USA
No visa is required in advance for Canadian citizen students to enter the USA to study at Concordia with F-1 student status, but you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before you make your first entry. This can be done online using a credit card with your I-20 form available at www.fmjfee.com. If you are a landed immigrant in Canada, a visa will be required and can be obtained at US Embassy or Consulates in Canada, and different entry procedures will apply for you.
American Customs and Border Protection and our current students provide this information for Canadian citizen students about border crossing:
1. Initial entry to USA in student status - the first time you enter the USA to attend Concordia you should inform the officer you are making your initial entry as a student. You will need to show your Canadian passport, I-20 form and SEVIS fee receipt (see above), and you will complete an I-94 entry card. You should get your passport and I-20 stamped that you are entering with F-1 student status. This process will likely take a few more minutes than usual when crossing, and you may have to pull out of line. We suggest you attach the I-94 card to the I-20 and SEVIS fee receipt and keep these documents together.
2. Travel outside USA while a student - Before leaving Concordia, be sure your I-20 form has been signed during the most recent semester. When you enter Canada (or other countries) you need only show your Canadian passport, and you should keep your I-20 and I-94 cards with you (they should be available if requested, but it is not needed to present these to Canadian or other country officials).
When you return to the USA, you should present your Canadian passport, I-20, and I-94 card, and inform them you are returning to study. If you have been outside the USA more than 30 days, some ports of entry may ask you to complete a new I-94 card, but it seems many ports of entry prefer you re-enter with your prior documents. While studying at Concordia it is vital you have F-1 student status, and not be in the USA simply as a visiting Canadian or in some other status.
A mistake in USA entry procedure can cause problems if you end up with anything other than F-1 student status.