Crossing the border
IMPORTANT: Before planning your trip to Canada, check all border crossing requirements on the Canada Border Services Agency Website.
To help you cross Canadian borders with minimum hassle, we've provided basic travel tips plus a direct link to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
Where are the border crossings located, and what are their hours?
Click here for border crossing information. If you cannot locate the information you require, please contact the Border Information Service (BIS) at 1-800-461-9999.
What documentation do U.S. citizens require to enter Canada?
When you enter Canada from abroad, a passport and a valid visa may be required.
If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, air travelers from the U.S. require a passport or other secure document to return home by air as required by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). If you are arriving by land, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you must bring your permanent resident card (i.e. green card) with you.
IMPORTANT: Before planning your trip to Canada, check all border crossing requirements on theCanada Border Services Agency Website.
What documentation is required to re-enter the United States?
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is a U.S. law that requires all travellers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the United States from within the western hemisphere.
When entering the United States by land or water, Canadian citizens are required to present one of the following valid documents: a passport, a NEXUS card, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card or an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card or a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (when this certificate is available and approved by the United States).
Canadian citizens flying to the United States must present a valid passport to confirm their citizenship and identity. A NEXUS card is also acceptable when using a self-serve kiosk located in the pre-clearance area at designated Canadian airports.
The Government of Canada continues to recommend that Canadian citizens carry a valid Canadian passport for all visits abroad, including visits to the United States. A passport is the only universally-accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada. To find out how to obtain a Canadian passport, visit Passport Canada's Web site (www.passportcanada.gc.ca).
Members of the NEXUS program are still required to carry appropriate documentation when travelling into Canada by air in addition to their NEXUS card.
Click here for more information.
What documentation do U.S. Citizens not born in the United States require?
U.S. visitors not born in the United States should carry their Certificate of Naturalization and permanent residents should also bring their Green Card. Temporary residents of the U.S. must carry a passport and may also require a Visa, depending on their country of citizenship.
Who needs a Visa to enter Canada?
Citizens from abroad are required to show a valid passport in order to enter Canada; some may require a Visa. Go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a list of countries and territories whose citizens require Visas.
International visitors to the U.S. from Visa Waiver Program countries are now required to apply for travel authorization online. Click here for more information.
What documentation is needed for children visiting Canada?
Adults travelling with children must carry identification for each child (a Birth Certificate for American citizens, a passport for citizens of other countries). Divorced parents with shared custody rights and non-custodial parents should carry legal documents establishing their status; a notarized letter authorizing the child to travel with that parent is required. Unaccompanied children should carry a letter of permission from their parents or legal guardian.
What can I bring? What can't I bring?
The Canada Border Services Agency has detailed information related to visiting Canada.