Visiting friends or relatives in Canada this summer?

A visit to Canada begins with a stop at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) port of entry

Identification requirements for U. S. citizens and permanent residents read more...

If you are a U.S. citizen, ensure you carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.
Whether you’re entering by air, land or water, we recommend you carry a valid passport for all travel abroad, including visits to Canada from the U.S. A passport may be required by your airline or alternative transportation authority, as it is the only universally-accepted identification document.

Citizens of the U.S. who are members of the NEXUS program may present their membership card to the CBSA as proof of identification and as a document that denotes citizenship, when arriving by air, land, or marine modes.

Canadian citizens who are members of the FAST program may use their cards as proof of identity when arriving by land and marine modes only.

Permanent residents of the U.S. who are members of the NEXUS or FAST programs must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, and may be asked to present these documents to the officer upon arrival at the border.

All visitors arriving from or transiting through the U.S. are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, and the requirements to enter or return to the U.S.

DUI?

Please Note: Anyone with a criminal record (including misdemeanors or alcohol-related driving offenses) may not be able to enter Canada without first obtaining a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel. To determine whether you may be inadmissible and how to overcome this finding, please refer to the Canadian citizenship and immigration website.

Carry identification for all children travelling with you, regardless of their age Canada Border Services Agency Officers watch for missing children and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you. All adults travelling with children should carry identification for the children travelling with them regardless of their age.

Please read more on the CBSA website to ensure you have the required documents.

Bring vaccination certificates for pets

Dogs and cats from the U.S. that are at least three months old need signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying that they have been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years. The certificate must clearly identify the animal. If your dogs or cats are less than three months old, you do not need a certificate of rabies vaccination - however, the animals must be in good health when they arrive. Assistance dogs that are certified as guide, hearing or other service dog are not subject to any restrictions for importation where the person importing the dog is the user of the dog and accompanies the dog to Canada.

What can I bring with me?

Generally speaking, you are allowed to bring personal goods for your trip into Canada. This may include camping and fishing supplies, but you cannot bring firewood or various kinds of live bait, and you should ensure that equipment, vehicles and boats are free of pests. Please refer to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website on plant and animal pests at  and the Environment Canada website on Invasive Alien Species .

Alcohol and Tobacco

As long as you meet the age requirements set by the province or territory you are visiting, you can bring with you a limited amount of alcohol and cigarettes, free of duty and taxes. For more details on the rules and requirements.

You can bring in more than the free allowance of alcohol except in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. However, the quantities have to be within the limit set by the province or territory where you will enter Canada. If the value of the goods is more than the free allowance, you will have to pay both CBSA and provincial or territorial assessments. For more information, check with the appropriate provincial or territorial liquor control authority, before coming to Canada. You may bring in additional quantities, but you will have to pay full duty and taxes on the excess amount.

Gifts

You may also bring bona fide gifts worth up to Canada (see values) for your friends or relatives in Canada without paying duty, as long as these do not consist of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products. If the gifts are products made of endangered species of animals or plants controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), they must be declared to the CBSA. Export permits from the country of origin may be required for some of these goods. Please check the Environment Canada CITES website. Please do not wrap gifts until after you have cleared the border, since an examination may be required.

Crossing the Border with $10,000 or more? 

All importations and exportations of currency and monetary instruments equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency), whether in cash or other instruments, MUST be reported to the CBSA at the time of your arrival in Canada, or prior to your departure from Canada. For more information, read the Crossing the border with $10,000 or more?

Weapons

Before you attempt to import a firearm, we recommend that you contact a chief firearms officer at the Canada Firearms Centre for information. For more information on declarations by visitors, please call the Canada Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000, or visit their Web site at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/information/visit/index-eng.htm

FAQ for non-residents visiting with firearms.

Don't forget!

You may qualify for a rebate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) you pay on accommodation and purchases you make while in Canada. For more information on rebates, please ask one of our officers for our brochure Tax Refund for Visitors to Canada. It is also available on our Web site at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/rbts/vstrs/trprtr/nnrs/menu-eng.html

When you arrive at the CBSA port of entry, if you are not sure if you should declare an item, declare it first and then discuss it with the officer. For more information on visiting Canada, please visit the cbsa site.

Welcome to Canada and have a pleasant stay!