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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Arriving at Vancouver Airport

Most international students arrive in British Columbia at the Vancouver International Airport and clear customs there. Once you arrive at the airport, you can easily make a connection to Kamloops. This is a 45-minute flight. Air Canada makes a few flights each day between Vancouver and Kamloops. The following instructions show you where to go once you arrive at Vancouver International Airport.

A few resources that are available to you are:

Entering Canada and going through customs

After your arrival to Vancouver International Airport, you will need to follow the “All Passengers” signs. This will lead you to a Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) Officer.


Line up at the port of entry which where you will prepare to see the CBSA officer. The officer will ask you for your travel documents and your Customs Declaration Card. Having your documents ready will speed up your entry into Canada. If you need English translation, you may ask for an interpreter.


Now you must go to Canada Immigration to get your study permit. This is where you give the officer your study permit approval letter.


Pick up your luggage at the Baggage Claim section.


After picking up your luggage, go to “Domestic Connections”. Go to Air Canada’s counter and check-in your luggage and present your ticket or you can get your boarding pass here if you did not have one.


Continue to follow the signs until you reach the Domestic Terminal.



Go through one more security check and then head to your gate. This information is on your boarding pass. Flights to Kamloops are sometimes through gates C-34 or C-35.




Questions that may be asked by CBSA officers

The following are important sample questions that might be asked during your interview. Make sure you answer ALL the questions truthfully.

How are you doing?

Tip: You don’t have to be nervous and answer in a formal way. This question is basically asked to make you comfortable.

What are you planning to do in Canada?

Tip: Study.

Where are you planning to stay in Canada? or Where are you going?

Tip: You should know and be able to share a few things about the town/city you are going to stay in as well as about your accommodation, including your future address.

Have you ever been to Canada previously?

Tip: Answer truthfully.

Why did you choose this college / university of Canada?

Tip: You should be able to share a few things about the institution you are going to attend, as well as about your program of study.

Are you planning to work in Canada?

Tip: Answer truthfully.

Lost luggage

Lost luggage will need to be reported at the “Lost and Found” department. At Vancouver International Airport the Lost and Found is located at the Customer Service Counter on Departures Level 3 of the International Terminal. Different airports will have their lost and found departments in different locations

Once you are at the Lost and Found, you will need to present your baggage tag to begin the claim process. You will be asked about the color, shape and size of your lost bag. The Lost and Found personal will give you further instructions on how to proceed.

Lost passport

Your passport is a valuable document and should be kept safe at all times. Lost passports will need to be reported but please understand that once reported the passport will no longer be valid and you can not use it for travel. Please check your embassy’s website and follow their instructions on how proceed. Some embassies will require:

  • Personal photo for a new passport
  • Police report of lost passport
  • Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, etc.
  • Application fee
  • Note that some countries will not issue a new passport but a travel card instead

This process could take a few weeks.

Looking for help at the airport

Airports provide many services to help travellers. In case you need assistance contact the supports available. The following are links to the four main airports in Canada.

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