Canada International Travel Information (2024)



Travel Advisory July 17, 2023 Canada - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions


Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Read the Country Information page for additional information on travel to Canada.

If you decide to travel to Canada:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Canada.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel. Exercise normal precautions in Canada.


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Embassy Messages


Quick Facts


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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ottawa

490 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8
+1 (613) 688-5335
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (613) 238-5335
Fax:+1 (613) 688-3082

The Ottawa consular district includes the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont in Eastern Ontario, and those parts of the Québec regions of Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue near Ottawa.


U.S. Consulate General Montreal

1134 Rue Ste- Catherine West
Montréal, Quebec H3B 1H4
+1 (514) 398-9695
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (416) 645-9124
Fax:+1 (514) 398-9748

The Montreal consular district includes Greater Montreal and the regions of Southern Quebec Province (Laurentides, Lanaudiere, Laval, Montreal, Montregie, Estrie, and the southern parts of Centre-du-Quebec), including Joliete, Drummondville, and Sherbrooke.

U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4
+1 (416) 595-1700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (416) 201-4056
Fax:+1 (416) 595-5466

The consular district includes the province of Ontario except for the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont, which are served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

1075 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6
+1 (604) 685-4311
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (604) 685-4311
Fax:+1 (604) 685-7175

The consular district includes British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

U.S. Consulate General Halifax

Purdy's Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7
+1 (902) 429-2480
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1

The Halifax consular district includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

U.S. Consulate Winnipeg

201 Portage Avenue, Suite 860
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3K6
+1 (204) 940-1800
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (403) 266-8962 and press "0" for assistance (Consulate General Calgary)
Fax:+1 (204) 940-1809

The Consulate in Winnipeg provides only emergency services for U.S. citizens. Routine services such as visas, passports and notarials are handled at other U.S. Consulates General, primarily Calgary.

U.S. Consulate General Quebec
2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin
(Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac)
Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9
+1 (418) 692-2095
Emergency After-Hours Telephone:+1 (418) 692-2096
Fax:+1 (418) 692-4640

The consular district includes Quebec City and those regions of Quebec Province to the North and East of the Montreal and Ottawa Districts (indicated above)– to include the area around Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Rimouski and the Gaspé Peninsula – as well as the Territory of Nunavut.

U.S. Consulate General Calgary
615 Macleod Trail S.E., 10th Floor
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4T8
+1 (403) 266-8962
Fax:+1 (403) 264-6630
Email:Canada.ACS@gdit-gss.comThe consular district includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, excluding Nunavut.

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

For tourist visits to Canada of less than 180 days, U.S. citizens do not need visas. Other types of travel generally require visas. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for current information.

If you have a criminal record, you may be unable to enter Canada. To determine whether you are criminally inadmissible and get information about how to overcome this finding, refer to theIRCC website.Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials determine if you can enter Canada in accordance with Canadian law.

Travel Programs:Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join theNEXUS trusted traveler program.

Entry into Canada:Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

Children under 16 only need proof of U.S. citizenship.

Entry into the United States:When traveling by air from Canada, U.S. citizens must present a U.S. passport book or other approved identification document. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website provides a full list of allowable documents.

Travel with Minors:If you plan to travel to Canada with a minor for whom you do not have full legal custody, CBSA may require a letter of authorization from the minor’s parents or legal guardian(s). Please refer to theCBSA websitefor more details.

Private Boaters Entering Canada:Canadian law requires all foreign private boaters, including recreational vessels, to present themselves upon their arrival in Canada to the CBSA. See theCBSA websitefor relevant reporting requirements.

Private Boaters Exiting Canada: Boaters may report their arrival to the United States or apply for a registered boater program using the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (CBP ROAM) app. Please visit theCBP ROAM webpage for more information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Canada. For information on restrictions for HIV positive foreign residents of Canada visit the IRCC website.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

911 is the emergency telephone number in Canada.

Crime: Although Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, violent crimes occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Criminals may target parked cars, especially in large cities and popular tourist destination, for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts. Do not leave unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Some jurisdictions such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver may fine you for leaving your car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view. Pickpockets may target you, especially in popular tourist areas. Exercise caution. Safeguard yourself and your property.

Demonstrationsoccur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

While there is a very small likelihood of violence at a political gathering in Canada, we strongly encourage U.S. citizens to avoid all protests and demonstrations and maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad.

International Financial Scams:See theDepartment of Stateand theFBIpages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +1(613) 688-5335. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

• Help you find appropriate medical care

• Assist you in reporting a crime to the police

• Contact relatives or friends with your written consent

• Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion

• Provide a list of local attorneys

• Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

• Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

• Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

• Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulates for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country.

Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. If you are considering travel outside of populated areas, particularly in the northern Arctic territories, you need to know that search and rescue capabilities are limited because of extreme isolation and the harsh climate. You must be prepared for significant delays in receiving emergency assistance in these areas and plan accordingly.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance.

Local Laws & Special Circ*mstances

Criminal Penalties:You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Controlled Substances:Canadian law prohibits possession and trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including some substances that may be legal to possess under the law of certain U.S. states. Canada has legalized the personal consumption of recreational cannabis, but Canadian law prohibits taking cannabis across Canada’s national borders. Drug smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

Firearms: Canada controls firearms more strictly than the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Visitors bringing any firearms or ammunition into Canada must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. If you plan to borrow and use a firearm in Canada, you must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. You must present these forms in triplicate and sign them in front of a CBSA officer at the border. (It is not possible to make photocopies at the border). Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Program website.

Canadian law requires officials to confiscate firearms, ammunition, and other weapons from persons crossing the border who do not declare having the items in their possession. Officials will not return confiscated firearms, ammunition, and weapons and possession of any of these items may result in your arrest and imprisonment. You should inspect all belongings thoroughly before traveling to Canada to avoid the accidentally importing firearms, ammunition, or other weapons.

LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Canada. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

p*rnography: Canada has strict laws concerning child p*rnography, and in recent years there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada.

Canadian officials may search your computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the device as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Tax Issues:For information on U.S. Federal tax issues, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for international taxpayers.

Travelers with Disabilities:The law in Canada prohibitsdiscrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities and the law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. For more information, visit the Accessibility Standards Canada website.

Students:See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


For emergency services in Canada, dial 911. Ambulance services are widely available.

We do not pay medical bills.Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with Health Canada to ensure the medication is legal in Canada.

Healthcare in Canada: The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Adequate health facilities are available throughout Canada. Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government controlled. Access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of a Canadian province’s government-run health care plan. Many physicians will not take new patients. Specialist care is only by referral and may take months to obtain. Although trauma-care is on par with that in the United States, emergency room waits for non-life threatening problems can be very long. Some health care professionals in the Quebec may only speak French.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Vaccinations:Be up-to-date on all CDC-recommended vaccinations.

Further health information:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Air Quality:Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: We strongly recommend supplemental insuranceto cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.

Pharmaceuticals:U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:If you are considering traveling to Canada to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:As in the United States, all emergency assistance in Canada can be reached by dialing 911.

For detailed information on road conditions throughout Canada, as well as links to provincial government websites, please see the Transport Canada website or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) website. The CAA honors American Automobile Association memberships. Automobile warranties of vehicles purchased in the United States may not be valid in Canada.

Winter travel can be dangerous due to heavy snowfalls and hazardous icy conditions. Some provinces require snow tires. CAA has tips for winter driving. Both winter conditions and wildfires may prompt the sudden closure of highways. Provincial ministries of transport typically post closures and other alerts about road conditions on their websites.

Traffic Laws:Driving in Canada is similar to driving in many parts of the United States. Distances and speeds, however, are posted in kilometers per hour and some signs, particularly in Québec, may only be in French. U.S. driver’s licenses are valid for visitors in Canada. Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted for tourists in Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance, and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization.

Some provinces require drivers to keep their vehicles’ headlights on during the day and some have banned driving while using a hand-held cell phone. Motorcycles cannot share a lane, and safety helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers are mandatory.

It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories, regardless of whether they are used. Police may confiscate radar detectors and impose substantial fines.

Drivers approaching border crossings into the United States may encounter traffic backups. Drivers should be alert, as lane restrictions at border approaches exist for drivers in NEXUS and FAST expedited inspection programs.

Public Transportation: Public transportation options vary across Canada, but all cities and most major towns have a public transit system.

Aviation Safety Oversight:The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Canada’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Canada’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Canada should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Fact Sheet

Please see Fact Sheet for this country/area.

Canada International Travel Information (2024)


How to answer Canada border questions? ›

The usual questions are how long you will be staying, where will you be staying, the purpose of your visit etc. Just answer questions truthfully and as briefly as possible. Going from Canada to the US by car, the first question is usually where are you headed to followed by how long.

Do I need to fill out a form to enter Canada? ›

Submit your customs and immigration declaration online using Advance Declaration up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada. If you choose not to submit your declaration in advance, you can complete it at an airport kiosk or eGate.

What do Americans need to enter Canada? ›

Entry into Canada: Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. Children under 16 only need proof of U.S. citizenship.

What questions are asked when entering Canada? ›

Canada Immigration Questions at Airport for Visitors

Immigration officers typically inquire about the purpose and duration of your visit, accommodation arrangements, financial stability, return plans, and any restricted items in your possession. It's important to answer these questions honestly and confidently.

Do you have to answer Canada customs questions? ›

Canadian Customs Searches

Signs and notices are posted in these areas. Travellers and/or employees in or leaving these areas must identify themselves, answer questions and present their goods for examination if asked to do so by a CBSA officer. They may also be subject to physical searches.

What questions do border Patrol agents ask Canada? ›

You may be asked where you were born, how you entered the U.S. or how long you've been here. You don't ever have to answer those questions. Your responses may be used to detain and deport you. Do not sign anything without talking to a lawyer.

Do I need to complete ArriveCAN app? ›

Who needs to provide information through ArriveCAN? All travelers entering Canada by air, rail, road, or marine vessel, must provide their travel information through ArriveCAN. Only individuals with accessibility needs, asylum seekers, and refugees are exempt from using ArriveCAN.

What documents do you need to travel in Canada? ›

Travel Within Canada
  • One (1) piece of valid (not expired) identification with photo issued by a government authority within Canada* showing the name and date of birth; or.
  • Two (2) pieces of valid (not expired) non-photo identification issued by a government authority within Canada*.

How to fill declaration form at Canada airport? ›

Scan your travel document, take your photo and answer a few questions to complete your declaration. If you arrive at an airport without the kiosks, you will receive a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card to complete before you land.

Can I bring 2 bottles of liquor into Canada? ›

Only one of the following amounts of alcoholic beverages may be imported free of duty and taxes (when stays are more than 48 hours): 1.14 L (40 oz.) of liquor; or 1.5 L (52.7 oz.)

Can I use my birth certificate to go to Canada? ›

For U.S. citizens, a passport or visa is not required. Instead, a birth certificate and one photo identification card may be used; however, a photo identification card by itself is not enough. For permanent residents of the United States, “Green Cards” may be used in lieu of their passports.

What do I need to cross the Canadian border by car? ›

When you enter Canada, a Canada Border Services Agency officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa, if one is necessary. If you are a citizen of the United States over the age of 16, you will need a Passport, a Passport Card or Enhanced Driver's Licence (only issued by certain states) to enter Canada.

Do they check everyone at Canadian border? ›

Safeguarding Canadians

Whether visiting or returning to Canada, you may be subject to an examination by a CBSA officer to determine whether you may be authorized to enter Canada and to assess the admissibility of any goods or vehicles you bring across the border.

Do you have to answer questions at the border? ›

You always have the right to remain silent. However, if you don't answer questions to establish your citizenship, officials may detain you longer in order to verify your immigration status.

Does Canada still require a COVID test to enter? ›

Effective October 1, 2022, COVID-19 border entry restrictions were removed. In addition, testing, quarantine and isolation requirements were removed, regardless of citizenship and vaccination status.

How to answer border patrol questions? ›

You have the right to remain silent or tell the agent that you'll only answer questions in the presence of an attorney, no matter your citizenship or immigration status. You do not have to answer questions about your immigration status. You may simply say that you do not wish to answer those questions.

How do you answer a question at the US border? ›

Try to remain polite and calm and don't take it personally if the officer seems abrupt; CBP officers are trying to screen a lot of people as quickly as possible. Why are you visiting the United States? Your answer must match your visa (or the legal requirements for admitting you without a visa).

Do you have to answer border control questions? ›

You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions asked by immigration officers if you do not want to answer them. This includes questions about your citizenship status, birthplace or place of residence.

Can you refuse border patrol questions? ›

If you are a U.S. citizen, you need only answer questions establishing your identity and citizenship, although refusing to answer routine questions about the nature and purpose of your travel could result in delay and/or further inspection.

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