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Entry into Canada is authorized by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) according to Canadian law. U.S. citizens or passport holders are required to present proof of citizenship and proof of identity, and are permitted to enter Canada without a visa, provided that the purpose of the trip is only to visit the country. These can be in the form of a valid U.S. passport, a passport card, a NEXUS card, a government-issued ID with photo such as a Driver’s License, U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or even an expired U.S. passport. Those below the age of 16 are only required to present a proof of U.S. citizenship.
To become eligible to visit Canada, an individual must:
- Present a valid travel document, such as a valid U.S. passport.
- Be in good health.
- Convince an immigration officer that your job, home and family, etc., will ensure your return to your country of origin.
- Convince an immigration officer that you will depart Canada at the end of the visit.
- Have sufficient financial means to support himself/herself for the duration of his or her stay. The amount will vary according to the reasons for visit, the duration of stay, or whether he or she plans to stay in a hotel or with friends/relatives.
Depending on the circumstance, the following may also be required of an individual who wishes to visit Canada:
- Temporary Resident Visa (depending on a person’s citizenship)
- Medical examination
- Letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada
General Requirements – Temporary Resident Visa (Tourist):
- Obtain a temporary resident visa application package. It is imperative that the application guide included in the package be read carefully before completing the form to determine whether a person is eligible for a temporary resident visa before applying.
- Complete the application forms and attach the necessary documents:
- Valid passport
- 2 recent passport-sized photos that meet the requirements set by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- Application fee
- Documentary proof of sufficient funds for the duration of visit in Canada
General Requirements – Business:
- Valid passport
- When applicable: a temporary resident visa
- Letters of support: From parent company and from the Canadian host business
- Copies of contracts or bills supporting visit
- 24 hour contact details of the business host in Canada
- Documentary proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Canada and return trip
- Application fee
General Requirements – Study:
U.S. citizens or passport holders who wish to study in Canada must:
- Submit a fully accomplished and duly signed student authorization from a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office
- Submit a letter of acceptance by a school, college, university or any other educational institution in Canada
- Valid form of identification
- Submit documentary proof of financial capacity to pay for tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and/or family members who come to Canada with you
- Proof of return transportation for yourself and/or family members who come to Canada with you
- Additional requirement: A police certificate to prove that he/she does not any criminal record
- Additional requirement: Undergo a medical examination
- Application fee
- Application fees are non-refundable
- Each individual applicant is required to submit a completed temporary resident visa application form
- Applicants under the age of 18 must have the form signed by a parent or legal guardian
- A delay may be caused by not completing the forms or if not all the required documents are provided
Visa Processing Fee:
Please note that application fees vary on the purpose of visit to Canada. It is advised that applicants visit the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information on the appropriate visa fees, including how to pay them.
- Single entry visa, per person – $75
- Multiple entry visa, per person – $150
- Single entry visa or multiple entry visa for a family – $400
For U.S. citizens, these are the available visa offices and their websites:
- Washington, D.C., U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/washington/
- Buffalo, U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/buffalo/
- Detroit, U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/detroit/
- Los Angeles, U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/los_angeles/
- New York, U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/new_york/
- Seattle, U.S.A. – www.canadainternational.gc.ca/seattle/
Important Notice: Individuals with a criminal record (including misdemeanors, or Driving While Impaired (DWI)) may be disqualified from entering Canada. A special waiver must be obtained well in advance of the trip. For further information on entry requirements, U.S. citizens and passport holders may contact:
The Canadian Embassy, U.S.A.
501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Telephone: (202) 682-1740