US Visitors to Canada

Soon Americans returning home via land and sea from any international destination will need to show a passport or other secure travel document.

As of Jan. 23, 2007, a new American law, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requires anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by air to have a passport or a NEXUS card when used at a NEXUS kiosk at designated airports.

By June 1, 2009, anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea will need to have a passport or other appropriate, secure document.

Visit the U.S. Department of State website frequently for international travel updates.

For detailed information about obtaining or renewing your US passport, visit the U.S. Department of State, National Passport Information Center website, or access US passport application services from the United States Postal Service.

The NEXUS program is open to citizens or permanent residents of Canada and the United States, and citizens of a country other than Canada and the United States who plan to temporarily reside lawfully in Canada or the United States. For information on how to apply, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

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 Government of Canada's Requirements to Enter Canada page.

International Visitors to Canada

International visitors to Canada (not US citizens or US permanent residents) must carry a valid passport and, if required, a visa. Citizens from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, 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.

All other visitors should contact their Canadian consulate or embassy to learn what documents are required. Contact information for Canadian embassies around the world can be found at the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.

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

Passports & Visas FAQ

1. Do I need a passport to enter Canada?

US citizens only need a document such as a birth certificate and government-issued photo identification (e.g., driver's license) to enter Canada. However, as of Jan. 23, 2007, a new American law, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requires anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by air to have a passport or a NEXUS card when used at a NEXUS kiosk at designated airports.

By June 1, 2009, anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea will need to have a passport or other appropriate, secure document.

International visitors to Canada who are not US citizens must carry a valid passport and visa (if required). 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 Citizenship and Immigration Canada online for a complete listing.

2. What are the requirements for children entering Canada?

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 and a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent allowing the child to be taken out of the country. 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.

3. New US passport rules will come into effect soon. Will these rules affect my trip to Canada?

Yes. As of Jan. 23, 2007, a new American law, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), requires anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by air to have a passport or a NEXUS card when used at a NEXUS kiosk at designated airports.

By June 1, 2009, anyone, including US citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea will need to have a passport or other appropriate, secure document.

Visit the U.S. Department of State website frequently for international travel updates.

4. When the new US passport rules come into effect, will my children require passports?

Currently, all children, regardless of age (including newborns and infants), must have their own passport to enter the United States by air. US travelers to Canada are reminded that divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents and a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent for children less than 18 years old. 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.

5. Where can American travelers get a US passport?

First-time passport applicants need to apply in person to one of 8,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States. Applicants should bring two regulation-size photographs of themselves, proof of US citizenship and a valid form of photo identification, such as a driver's license.

US passport renewals can be done by mail if the recent passport is available to submit, is not damaged, was issued within the past 15 years and you were over age 16 when it was issued.  Applicants must either still have the same last name or can show legal proof of name change.

For detailed information about obtaining or renewing your US passport, visit the U.S. Department of State, National Passport Information Center website, or access US passport application services from the United States Postal Service.

For more information visit:

U.S. Department of State

Countries Requiring Visas

Canadian Visa Offices

Canada International Website

Canada Border Services Agency

Immigration to Canada