You will find this helpful if you are:
- a non-resident Canadian visiting Canada;
- a foreign national visiting Canada and your stay will not exceed one year;
Identification documents required
When you enter Canada, a border services officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required). If you are a United States citizen (U.S.), you do not need a passport to enter Canada; however, you should carry proof of your citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as a photo ID. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you must bring your permanent resident card with you.
All travellers, including U.S. citizens, are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Web site at www.cbp.gov for information on the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and its traveller requirements to enter or return to the United States.
Bringing children into Canada
Border services officers are on alert for children who need protection. Children under the age of 18 seeking to enter Canada are classified as minors and are subject to the entry requirements set out under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
A more detailed examination will be conducted for minors entering Canada without proper identification or those travelling in the company of adults other than their parents or legal guardian(s). This additional scrutiny helps ensure the safety of the children.
Minor children travelling alone must have proof of citizenship. We also strongly recommend that the children carry a letter from both parents (if applicable) that authorizes the person meeting them to take care of them while they are in Canada. The letter should include the length of the stay and the address and telephone numbers of the parents.
If you are travelling with minors, you must carry proper identification for each child such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status. If you are not the parent or guardian of the children, you should also have written permission from the parent/guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.
Divorced or separated parents should carry custody or legal separation documents and/or a letter of authorization to facilitate their entry into Canada.
If you are travelling with a group of vehicles, make sure you arrive at the border in the same vehicle as your children, to avoid any confusion.
If you are suffering from a communicable disease upon your arrival to Canada, or if you have been in close contact with someone with a communicable disease, you are obligated to inform a border services officer or a quarantine officer, who can determine if you require further assessment. If you become ill after your arrival in Canada, consult a Canadian doctor and inform the doctor where you were and what, if any, treatment or medical care you’ve received (e.g. medications, blood transfusions, injections, dental care or surgery).
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