International Students

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9. Welcome to Montreal

Your plane has just touched down on Canadian soil. At last, you’ve reached your destination. However, you still have a few more steps to take before you have truly “landed!”

At the Airport

Travellers to Canada must clear customs before they can retrieve their baggage. A Canada Customs official will check your passport and, if applicable, your temporary resident visa (entry visa). The official will also question you about your reasons for coming to Canada.

If you are an international student who does not require a CAQ or study permit, it is important to show your letter of admission to the customs official, who may ask to see it before stamping your passport. The school needs to see this stamp to corroborate your entry into Canada. Make sure you have it before you leave the airport.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
For students holding a CAQ and study permit, the next step is extremely important and must not be neglected. After clearing customs, you need to go to the nearby Citizenship and Immigration Canada office. An immigration officer will ask to see your passport, CAQ and letter from the Canadian embassy or consulate indicating that you have been granted a study permit. The officer will also ask to see your letter of admission to École Polytechnique and proof of your financial means. After verifying your papers, the officer will complete your study permit (IMM1442) and issue the document.

IMPORTANT: Do not leave the customs area without completing this step. If you forget, you’ll have to go to the Canadian border to have your papers properly completed.

Getting Downtown

From the airport
From Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, a taxi downtown generally costs between $40 and $50 CAD. The airport is approximately 20 km from the city centre. You can also take the 747 Express Bus, a shuttle bus that travels between the airport and the Métro (subway) stations Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM at a cost of $10 including 24hrs access to buses and métro in Montreal.

For more information, visit the Aéroports de Montréal (airport authority) website at

Arriving by bus or train
If you come by bus, you’ll arrive at the central bus terminal, adjacent to BERRI-UQAM métro station downtown. Trains arrive at the Gare Centrale (Central Station), connected with BONAVENTURE métro station (orange line), also downtown. The immigration procedures by bus or train are to be done when crossing the US-Canada border.

Getting to Polytechnique Montréal

Where am I?
Montréal is served by a city-wide bus and métro network that will take you to just about anywhere you want to go. École Polytechnique is located near UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL métro station on the blue line. Travelling from BERRI-UQÀM to UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL takes 30 minutes, including changing lines at JEAN-TALON station.

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the local public transit authority, has an interactive map of the Montréal métro system on its website. There’s also an online trip planner on the website of STM.

Here at last!
We ask that you present yourself at Polytechnique for the new-student orientation activities

During this process, you will also be asked to complete any remaining administrative formalities.  You must notably provide a copy of your CAQ and study permit before the regulatory deadlines and each time you renew your immigration documents, from your first semester at Polytechnique and onward. If you do not require a CAQ or study permit, you must provide a copy of your passport or visitor visa. If you qualify for coverage under Québec’s public health insurance plan, don’t forget to apply for your card and withdraw from the school’s mandatory healthcare plan. You must show your Québec health insurance card to the Registrar’s Office by required dates.

Lastly, please provide us with your Montréal address as soon as you’ve found accommodation. This can be done in person at the Registrar’s Office or online by modifying the personal information in your student file through the student portal.