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Landing in Montréal: What to do first

After arriving at the airport


Proceed to collect your study permit

When you approach customs, make sure you have the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
  • Letter of introduction for your study permit (sent to you from the government)
  • HEC Montréal admission letter

If you have signed up for the free Accueil Plus service, your study permit will already be ready for collection. 

In case you have not signed up for it, go to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office in the airport, to collect your permit from an agent.


Visit the Accueil Plus counter (fall term only)

They will help you navigate your first few days in Montréal. You can also use their Internet and make a call home.

If you have not already done so, sign up for Accueil Plus.


Getting to Montréal

The 747 bus is a very affordable way to travel to downtown Montréal.

A taxi is a safe and relatively affordable transportation option. A fixed rate of $40 will take you downtown.

Your first days in Montréal


Validating your admission

Get your admission to HEC Montréal validated by uploading your immigration papers to HEC en ligne.

See academic calendar for deadlines


Prepare for your first days – with some reading

The hec.ca site is full of information to help make those first days at HEC Montréal less overwhelming.

Visit the Students portal and click on the following pages:

Newly Admitted Students

Campus Life


Register for the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ) – for those who are eligible

This applies only to students who are citizens or residents of one of the signatory countries that have an agreement with Quebec.

Step 1: Schedule an appointment with RAMQ

Students who do not need a CAQ or study permit must schedule an appointment with RAMQ. Tel: 1 877 992-5233

From mid-August to end of September:

Winter term:

Step 2: Go in person to RAMQ with the required documents

Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec
425 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W
3rd floor, suite 301
Place des Arts Métro (north side of Bleury exit) or McGill station (Union St. exit)

Find it on Google Maps

Required documents

You will need to provide RAMQ with a Montréal address to which they can send your Health Insurance Card. Commercial addresses (such as hotels, youth hostels or universities) are not acceptable. Please note: Immediately notify RAMQ of any change of address.

Step 3: Send us your RAMQ confirmation

You will need to upload one of the following two documents to HEC en ligne (click on the section “Insurance – proof”):

  • Official proof from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
  • A photo of your Health Insurance Card

Send these documents before the deadline for tuition fee payments.


Open a bank account

We strongly advise you to open a Canadian bank account for your financial transactions. Not only is it safe, it will also save money on bank fees.

How to do it

Before selecting a financial institution, compare student rates. Two banks, in particular, offer attractive packages to HEC Montréal international students:

Using an ATM from a bank other than yours can be costly. The School has National Bank and Desjardins bank machines.

To open an account, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Study permit
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
  • School admission letter
  • Proof of address: lease, an invoice or attestation to prove that you are registered as a full-time student.

Things to know:

  • You can make deposits at ATMs (cheques and cash).
  • You can pay bills through online banking.
  • Cheques are rarely used, except for paying rent.
  • Receiving international wire transfers is subject to fees.
  • Be aware that a deposited cheque can be held for between 5 and 30 days.
  • Do not confuse a debit card with a credit card. A debit, or ATM card allows you to make deposits, withdrawals and purchases (through the Interac system). A Canadian Visa or MasterCard credit card lends you funds for purchases, often with very high interest rates.

Send funds to Canada

  • You might want to send funds to Canada in order to cover some of the fees and other expenses you may need to pay during your stay in Montréal.
  • Exchange rate fluctuations can negatively affect your monthly budget. To keep on top of the current rates, visit the Bank of Canada’s exchange rates and currency converter page.

Canada does not have exchange controls but be aware that such controls may exist in your country.


How to do it

Transferring funds
You can transfer funds into a Canadian bank account. You can also have money sent to a Canadian bank before you leave your country, to have it deposited in your Canadian account once it is opened.

You can pay your HEC Montréal tuition fees via electronic transfer.

Bank drafts (certified cheques)
You can use bank drafts in your name, which can be cashed at a Canadian bank. Some banks wait up to 30 working days before granting access to your funds.

International money order
Using this is strongly discouraged.


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