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What do I need to know about travelling to the United States?

You should check with United States (US) authorities before you try to enter the US. Only American officials can provide authoritative information on visa requirements to travel to the US.

Permanent Residents of Canada

If you are a permanent resident of Canada you may need to obtain a non-immigrant visa in order to enter the US. You must get a visa from the American authorities before you enter the US. It is a good idea to apply well ahead of the time you plan to travel.

You must also have a valid passport from your country of citizenship.

If you are a citizen of a country with a visa waiver agreement, you do not need a visa to enter the US. See a list of countries in the Visa Waiver Program and read more about the program.

No matter how you travel back to Canada, you must satisfy the Canadian border services officer that you have valid permanent resident status. This applies to all family members who are permanent residents, including children.

For more information about documents required to return to Canada, read Do I really need the PR Card to travel back to Canada?

United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT)

The US has security programs at US ports of entry (land, sea and air). Most visitors to the US, including those who are permanent residents of Canada, will have their fingerprints scanned by an inkless device and a digital photograph taken. Read more about US-VISIT from the US Department of Homeland Security.

If you travel to the US frequently, you may want to get more information about Trusted Traveller Programs.

Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need a visa to enter the US unless you plan to work, study, invest or immigrate.

Canadian citizens should carry a valid Canadian passport when entering the US or transiting through the US to another country. Find information and assistance for Canadian citizens travelling to the United States.

If you travel to the US frequently, you may want to get more information about Trusted Traveller Programs.

For More Information

Last Updated: September 29, 2011
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