If you are a US Citizen and you will be traveling to Canada, you need to have acceptable travel documents. This applies to you and all others that will be traveling with you. If you do not have acceptable travel documents you can be refused entry to Canada and may even have a difficult time re-entering the United States. We discuss acceptable travel documents when traveling to and from Canada as a US Citizen here.
Visa Exempt Travel
In general, if you are a US Citizen and will be traveling to Canada as a tourist for less than 180 days a visa is not required. If you are traveling for work or to immigrate to Canada a visa could be required. Otherwise, as a US Citizen, you are able to travel freely to Canada as a tourist without the need for a visa.
What documents can I use for travel to Canada?
The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) requires that all US citizens entering Canada carry proof of citizenship and identity. The following documents can be used by US Citizens for travel to Canada:
- A valid U.S. passport;
- A valid passport card;
- A valid NEXUS card; or
- Enhanced Driver’s License.
Children under 16 only need proof of U.S. citizenship. Proof of US Citizenship can be shown with a birth certificate. If you 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).
What if I don’t have the required documents?
If you don’t carry the required documents for entry into Canada you can be refused and you could face delays re-entering the United States as CBP officers will need to independently verify identity and citizenship.
What if I have a criminal record?
If you, or anyone traveling with you, has a DUI or a criminal record, you may be unable to enter Canada. You should speak with a licensed Canadian Inadmissibility Lawyer before traveling to Canada with a DUI or other criminal record. Even with a DUI or criminal record, you may be able to enter Canada with a temporary resident permit (TRP) or criminal rehabilitation (CR). Plan ahead to make sure your criminal record does not prevent entry to Canada.
Our US Immigration Services for Entry to Canada
Will a DUI, DUAI, DWAI, DWI, OVI, or OWI keep me from going to Canada?
Additional Outside Resources
- DOS – Travel to Canada as a US Citizen
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
- Government of Canada – Temporary Resident Permit
- Government of Canada – Overcoming Criminal Convictions
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 30+ years of experience helping people enter Canada with criminal convictions. Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.