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Travel documents

Travel documents

Canada – Visa RequirementsIncludes information on what is needed to travel to the country/economy.

Entry into Canada is determined solely by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials, in accordance with Canadian law. Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing by U.S. and Canadian officials via dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry; at NEXUS kiosks at Canadian preclearance airports; access to TSA Pre✓™ at US airports; and at marine reporting locations. NEXUS – Trusted Travelers may see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (USCBP) “NEXUS” webpage for more information and to learn how to enroll. The Beyond the Border initiative facilitates cross-border movement of business travelers by allowing travelers to submit applications for a TN (Trade NAFTA) visa prior to arriving at the border and by promoting greater consistency in the processing of NAFTA travelers. For more information, please see the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) “TN NAFTA Professionals” webpage.

If a U.S. citizen traveler to Canada does not have a passport, passport card, or NEXUS card, a government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license) and proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate, can be presented. Minors under the age of 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada for visits of less than 180 days. Anyone seeking to enter Canada for a purpose other than a visit (e.g., to work, study, or immigrate) must qualify for the appropriate entry status, and should contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate. Because visas may take several weeks to process, applications should be submitted as far in advance as possible.

When returning to the United States from Canada, U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport if they are re-entering the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land or sea border, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or other identificationWestern Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Compliant Document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens younger than 16 (or younger than 19, if traveling with a school, religious group, or other youth group), who need only present evidence of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate. U.S. citizen travelers are urged to obtain WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) compliant documents before entering Canada well in advance of their planned travel.

In most cases, Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements for travel to the United States. Canadian citizens wishing to enter the United States as a Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor must obtain a visa. Companies applying for an initial E1 Treaty Trader or E2 Treaty Investor visa are processed at the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto; visa renewals and visas for family members are processed in Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. U.S. companies that require non-Canadian foreign business associates to travel to the United States should be advised that visa processing times can vary and may require additional time for administrative processing.

For more information, please see the U.S. Embassy in Canada’s “Treaty Trader and Investor Visas” webpage.

United States Visas

For more information, please see the U.S. Department of State’s “U.S. Visas” webpage or contact Consular Services at any of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide.