Travellers
Travel Documents

Make sure you carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to assist in confirming your legal right or authorization to enter Canada.

Residents returning to Canada

Identification for Canada/United States travel

You should carry a valid Canadian passport for all visits abroad, including visits to the United States (U.S.). A passport may be required by your airline or alternative transportation authority, as it is the only universally-accepted identification document, and it proves that you have a right to return to Canada.

Canadian citizens 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 entering Canada by air (when coming from the U.S.), land, or marine modes.

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

Permanent residents of Canada 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.

If you plan to travel to or transit through the U.S., we encourage you 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.

Identification for international travel

The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens travel with a valid Canadian passport because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel. International transportation companies such as airlines may require travellers to present a passport. Therefore, Canadian citizens may face delays or may not be allowed to board the aircraft or other mode of transportation, if they present other documents such as those noted in the previous section.

Visitors to Canada

Identification requirements for United States citizens and permanent residents

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.

Identification requirements for international visitors

The Government of Canada requires that all travellers carry a valid passport because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel.

International transportation companies such as airlines may require travellers to present a passport. Therefore, travellers may face delays or may not be allowed to board the aircraft or other mode of transportation, if they present other documents.

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 for which one is required). Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to find out what travel documents you need to come to Canada. We remind all travellers you must carry proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification.

Electronic Travel Authorization

New entry requirement now in effect: visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Get help if you have questions before, during or after you apply.

Fake websites

Travellers who apply for an eTA are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer help in getting an eTA. These companies are NOT operating on behalf of the Government of Canada. Many have established websites that charge a fee to provide information and submit eTA applications.

This Government of Canada website is the official place to apply for an eTA.

Others

Travel with minors

Border services officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you.

We recommend that parents who share custody of their children carry copies of their legal custody documents, such as custody rights. If you share custody and the other parent is not travelling with you, or if you are travelling with minors for whom you are not the parent or legal guardian, we recommend you carry a consent letter to provide authorization for you to take them on a trip and enter Canada.

A consent letter must include the custodial parents' or legal guardians' full name, address and telephone number. Some travellers choose to have the consent letter notarized, to further support its authenticity, especially if they are undertaking a significant trip and want to avoid any delay.

When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as their children or any minors they are accompanying.

Travel.gc.ca provides information about travelling with children.

Importing or travelling with pets

Under the National Animal Health Program, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes import requirements for all animals and animal products entering Canada- including domestic pets.

These requirements apply to:

Important

The CBSA can refuse entry to animals presented for importation. The Agency may also confiscate any undeclared animals, including family pets, so please make sure to declare all animals upon entry into Canada and possess any required permits/certificates for their entry. Failure to do so may also result in a penalty. The CBSA may also detain animals suspected of being sick or infected with a pest or disease. It is always a good idea to check the health of your pet before any long trip to make sure it is fit to travel.

Import and Travel Requirements by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

If the animal you wish to import is not listed as an animal commonly brought into Canada on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) website, please refer to the CFIA's Automated Import Reference System (AIRS), which provides information on import requirements for all regulated commodities.

If a veterinary inspection is required, travellers must contact the CFIA Animal Health Office closest to the port of entry they intend to arrive at before travelling to Canada, to arrange for a veterinary inspection appointment. The results from the CFIA inspection must be made available to the CBSA before the animals can be released into Canada.

Pets such as parrots, finches, songbirds, turtles, snakes and other reptiles, and small wild cats, such as hybrid Savannah cats, are frequently subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls. Travellers are responsible for determining if their pet is subject to CITES controls and ensuring that they possess the appropriate CITES permits/certificates for importing them into Canada.

Tips for traveling with your pet

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