Advice for Visitors to Canada

Americans Visiting Canada

Travel between Canada and the United States is common and fairly straightforward. Nevertheless, if you are an American visiting Canada, there are some regulations you should be aware of, and being informed will make your journey simple and easy.

Americans Visiting CanadaVisa and Passport
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens visiting Canada, providing their stay does not exceed 180 days. However, if you are coming into Canada for reasons other than a pleasure trip, such as to work, study, or immigrate, then you must qualify for the correct entry status. In such a case, you should contact the Canadian Embassy, or a nearby consulate, in order to obtain the appropriate answers to your questions, and get the necessary application forms for a visa.

Americans visiting Canada for a vacation must hold a valid passport or a Nexus card. Make sure that your passport is up to date at the time of travel. A Nexus card acts as a substitute for a passport as it proves both your identity and citizenship. Like a passport, the Nexus card is scanned at land border crossings and at airports. The card costs $50.

Each Canadian province has its government-operated health care plan, and every Canadian citizen holds a Medicare card that gives them access to the benefits of that plan. If you are an American visiting Canada, and you require medical attention during your stay, you should be prepared to pay, in cash, the amount required for medical services, at the time that the service is performed. Canadian health care providers do not accept U.S. domestic health insurance.

It is always a good idea to purchase medical travel insurance, even if your trip is a short one. It is best to be prepared.

In Canada, possession and use of firearms is more strictly controlled than in the United States. Since January 2001, visitors bringing firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow or use firearms while in Canada, must make a declaration in writing on the appropriate forms, which must be signed by a border patrol officer at the point of crossing. If your firearms are not declared, they may be confiscated and will not be returned to you. Moreover, you could be arrested and face possible jail time.

If you are an American visiting Canada and you would like additional information on matters concerning travel to Canada, you can go to the Canadian Embassy’s website in order to find a bureau near you, or you can contact them at:

501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 202-682-1740

It is important to remember that while traveling to another country, you are always subject to that country’s laws and regulations.

Super Visa InsuranceUSA visitors visiting relatives in Canada
Currently visitors from the USA do not require an entry visa. However, USA parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents are also eligible to benefit from the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa provisions. US citizens who wish to visit Canada for up to two years without the need to renew their authorized stay should consider applying for an extended authorized stay by proving that the requirements for the Super Visa are met. See more on the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa.