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 (Toll-free within Canada), 1-204-983-3500 and 1-506-636-5064 (Outside Canada), 1-866-335-3237 (hearing impaired).Identification requirements for U.S. citizens and permanent residents
If you are a U.S. citizen, ensure you carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.
For all modes of entry, we recommend you carry a valid passport for all travel abroad, including visits to Canada from the United States. A passport may be required by your airline or alternative transportation authority, as it is the only universally accepted identification document.
Citizens of the U.S. who are members of the NEXUS program may present their membership card as proof of identification and as a document that denotes citizenship, when arriving by air (when coming from the U.S.), land, or marine modes.
Citizens of the U.S. who are members of the FAST program may use their cards as proof of identity when arriving by land and marine modes only.
Permanent residents of the U.S. who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.
Permanent residents of the U.S. who are members of NEXUS also need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) when flying to or transiting through Canada. Citizens of the U.S. are exempted.
All visitors arriving from or transiting through the United States are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, and the requirements to enter or return to the United States.
Identification requirements for international visitors
The Government of Canada requires that all travellers carry a valid passport because it is the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel.
International transportation companies such as airlines may require travellers to present a passport. Therefore, travellers may face delays or may not be allowed to board the aircraft or other mode of transportation, if they present other documents.
When you enter Canada, a border services officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country for which one is required). We remind all travellers you must carry proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) since March 15, 2016. Exceptions to this include citizens from the United States and travellers with a valid visa. For more information, click here.
IMPORTANT: As of December 2018, a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense is considered a serious crime in Canada, and no longer qualifies as an offense that is automatically Deemed Rehabilitated after 10 years. As a result, a visitor with even a single DUI/DWI that occurred more than a decade ago can still be denied entry into Canada.
Travel with minors
Border services officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you.
We recommend that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If you share custody and the other parent is not travelling with you, or if you are travelling with minors for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, we recommend you carry a consent letter to provide authorization for you to take them on a trip and enter Canada.
A consent letter must include the custodial parents' or legal guardians' full name, address and telephone number. Some travellers choose to have the consent letter notarized to further support its authenticity, especially if they are undertaking a significant trip and want to avoid any delay.
When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as their children or any minors they are accompanying.
Travel.gc.ca provides information about travelling with children.
Travel with pets
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada.
The CFIA provides information about importing domestic pets on its website.