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Do You Need A Passport To Go To Canada? A Complete Guide For Entering Canada

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This is the complete guide to entering Canada so you can present the correct documents when you arrive at immigration. Canada has strict border enforcement policies which can impact your ability to enter the country. 

Do You Need a Passport to go to Canada?

Canadian law requires that all persons must have a valid passport to enter Canada. Your passport must be a minimum of 6 months before the expiry date. The passport needs to be in good condition with no tears or stains. If you're arriving in Canada on a visa, your passport must have at least one blank page. 

The only exemption to this requirement is children under the age of 16 from the U.S.A will only need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. U.S citizens can also present a Nexus card or Passport Card for entry into Canada.

Canada Border Patrol

Do You Need a Passport to go to Canada by Car?

U.S.A citizens by birthright do not need a passport to enter Canada by car. While a passport is be the easiest and most secure way to enter Canada, you may be able to use a combination of documents that prove your citizenship such as your birth certificate and drivers license. A passport is strongly recommended by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Tip: Always check with your local government before booking a trip as entry requirements can change. 

64200 American Residents Crossed The Canadian Land Border In June

How Long Can You Stay In Canada?

Most visitors from visa exempt countries can stay for up to 180 days in Canada. 

Which countries Do NOT Need a Visa to Enter Canada?

IMPORTANT REQUIREMENT: All persons from visa EXEMPT countries that are arriving in Canada by AIR must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). You can apply online for an ETA here.
  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • British citizen
  • British National (Overseas)
  • British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
  • British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in one of the British overseas territories of:
    • Anguilla
    • Bermuda
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Cayman Islands
    • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
    • Gibraltar
    • Montserrat
    • Pitcairn Island
    • Saint Helena
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • British Subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR.
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel, must have a national Israeli passport
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania (electronic passport holders only)
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan, must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States, lawful permanent resident of
  • Vatican City State, must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican
Visa Required For Canada
A visa is required to enter Canada for all countries below

Which Countries Need a Visa to Enter Canada?

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil (note: some Brazilian citizens may be eligible for an eTA if they meet certain requirements)
  • British subjects, subject to control
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon, Republic of
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China, People's Republic of
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of
  • Congo, Republic of
  • Costa Rica, Republic of
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel, must have a valid Israeli “Travel Document in lieu of National Passport”
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea, North
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Macao Special Administrative Region
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives Islands
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia, Fed. States
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Authority
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Romania (holder of a non-electronic passport, such as a temporary passport)
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tomé e Principe
  • Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent)
  • Sudan
  • Surinam
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan, must have a passports other than ordinary passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that include their personal identification number
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
IMPORTANT NOTE: You do NOT require an Electronic Travel Authroization ETA if you have a valid visa for Canada. 
Canada Border Services

Top Tips For Crossing The Canada Border

  • Always be respectful, friendly and patient during inspection. Being rude, obnoxious or angry will slow the entry process and may have you going through additional security screening procedures.
  • Always have your travel documents ready to present to border officer
  • Research what items you are not allowed to bring to Canada
  • Do not wear sunglasses or a hat while being questioned
  • Do not carry any illegal items or transport bags for others unless you know the contents
  • Declare any firearms with appropriate paperwork
  • Always be honest when questioned
Canada Border Crossing

Crossing the Canadian Border with Cannibis

 The use of recreational cannibis is now legal in Canada, however transporting it across the border is still ILLEGAL. 

According to the Canadian government website “Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis into Canada is illegal and can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. This is the case even if you are travelling from places that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Transporting cannabis used for medical purposes is also illegal.”

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