Entering Canada

Need a visa application form? Not sure if you need a passport for your destination? We've put all the information you need at your fingertips.

Travelers Arriving from the US

Traveling by Air
As of now a passport is required for air travel to or from Canada.

Traveling by Land or Sea
U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.

For international travel updated in the Western Hemisphere click here

For detailed information about obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services Office, or access U.S. passport application services from the United States Postal Service.

For detailed information on entry requirements, including medical exams, working or studying in Canada, and what you are permitted to bring into Canada, visit the Canada International website.

Canada-US Border Requirements Toolkit

International Visitors to Canada

International visitors to Canada must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Citizens from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and others do not require a visa to enter Canada. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a complete listing of countries whose citizens require visas to enter Canada.

To learn more about Canadian customs regulations, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Travelers With Children

If you are traveling with children, you must carry identification, such as a birth certificate, proof of citizenship or student visa for each child under 18 years old. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians must have written permission from the parents or guardians to accompany the children. When traveling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children for border crossing.

Customs officers are often looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are traveling with you.

Customs and Duty

Visitors are allowed to bring certain goods as part of their "personal baggage", but some products are limited and, in some cases, prohibited by Canada Customs.

Products that are banned include obscene materials, hate propaganda, most weapons and firearms and goods harmful to the environment.

Importing Items
The following is a list of items you are allowed to bring into Canada tax-free if you are over 19:

  • 200gm tobacco, OR
  • 200 cigarettes, OR
  • 20 cigars, OR
  • 200 tobacco sticks per person;
  • 1.5 litres of wine OR
  • 1.14 litres of liquor per person;
  • gifts for relatives and friends, tax-free as long as each gift is valued at CAD $ 60.00 or less.

Canadian custom brokers or a Canadian Customs office can provide information on transportation companies that offer efficient, cross-border delivery of materials for time-sensitive meetings or exhibits.

Returning Home

The following is a guideline for visitors returning home from Canada and may change at any time. Contact your local embassy or consulate, before returning home, if you are unsure of an item you are bringing back home.

USA Residents

Every 30 days, returning U.S. Citizens are allowed to bring back duty free $400 worth of retail merchandise, provided they have been outside the U.S. for 48 hours. If the length of stay is less than 48 hours, $200 worth of merchandise may be taken back to the USA.

UK Residents

Citizens of the U.K. returning from a non-EU country have a customs allowance of 200 cigarettes, OR 50 cigars, OR 250g of smoking tobacco; 2 liters of still table wine; 1 liter of spirits or strong liqueur (over 22% volume); 2 liters of fortified wine, sparkling wine, OR other liqueurs; 60cc (ml) perfume; 250cc (ml) of cologne; AND £145 worth of all other goods, including gifts and souvenirs. People under 17 cannot have the tobacco or alcohol allowance.

EU Residents

Each passenger over 17 years of age from a non-EU country is entitled to import the following articles duty-free; in 200 cigarettes, OR 50 cigars, OR 250g of tobacco (or a mixture of all three if their combined weight doesn't exceed 250g); 2l of wine, and 1 l of spirits with an alcoholic content exceeding 22% vol, OR 2 l of spirits/aperitifs with an alcoholic content less than 22% vol, OR 2 l champagne/sparkling wine/liqueur wine; 50 g of perfume; 0.25 l cologne; gifts of a value not exceeding approximately ECU 175. Limits cannot be added for passengers travelling together.

Australian Residents

The duty-free allowance in Australia is A$400 OR, for those under 18, A$200. Personal property mailed back from abroad should be marked Australian goods returned to avoid payment of duty. Upon returning to Australia, citizens can bring in 250 cigarettes OR 250g of loose tobacco; and 1.125ml of alcohol. If you're returning with previously owned valuable goods, such as foreign-made cameras, file form B263.

New Zealand Residents

The duty-free allowance for New Zealand is NZ$700. Citizens over 17 can bring in 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, OR 250g of tobacco (OR a mixture of all three if their combined weight doesn't exceed 250g); plus 4.5 liters of wine and beer, OR 1.125 liters of liquor.

New Zealand currency does not carry import or export restrictions. Fill out a certificate of export, listing the valuables you are taking out of the country; that way, you can bring them back without paying duty.

Visitors to Canada from countries not listed here should check before they leave what their limits are for duty-free.