What Are the Requirements for a US Citizen to Enter Canada?


Quick Answer

A U.S. citizen entering Canada must carry proof of citizenship and identity such as a U.S. passport, passport card or Nexus trusted traveler program card. U.S. citizens do not need visas to visit Canada for less than 180 days. No vaccinations are required.

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Full Answer

Canada requires U.S. citizens to carry both proof of citizenship and photo identification. Passports, passport cards and Nexus cards count as both, but birth certificates, naturalization certificates, U.S. Permanent Residency Cards, Certificates of Indian Status and certificates of citizenship along with photo identification are also acceptable. To qualify for the Nexus pre-screened traveler program and receive a card that allows expedited passage through United States and Canadian border checks, individuals apply on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website or the Global Online Enrollment System.

Although U.S. tourists visiting Canada for less than 180 days generally do not need visas, they are required for those entering Canada to study, work or immigrate. Those traveling with minor children who are not theirs must carry a notarized affidavit of consent from the parents. Those who have criminal records may need to pre-apply to a Canadian visa office for individual rehabilitation to obtain permission to enter Canada. This restriction not only applies to crimes such as theft, assault and manslaughter, but also certain driving offenses such as dangerous driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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