Chances are you've heard that entry into the U.S. has become more difficult for Canadian citizens, even for a short visit. After all, no matter how you plan to enter the U.S., whether by land, water or air you basically have to show a passport or some other form of documentation that the U.S. has determined to be equivalent. But what are the travel requirements for travellers with plans to visit Canada?

Travel requirements for Americans entering Canada

Entry requirements for Americans entering Canada have not changed. If you are an American citizen entering Canada, whether by land, water, or air, you do not need a passport. You can enter Canada with:

  • a birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, and
  • a government-issued photo identification
If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., remember you must also bring your permanent resident card (i.e. green card) with you too.

Note: While you may not need a passport to visit Canada, you will want to make sure that you have the documentation necessary to return home. If you are flying you will have to have a valid U.S. Passport with you (or other approved documentation). If driving, remember that U.S. border crossing requirements changed on June 1, 2009. American travellers returning home from Canada must present a U.S. Passport, a U.S. Passport Card, an Enhanced Driver's Licence (EDL), a NEXUS card, or a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card to U.S. border officials.

Visitors entering Canada

When you enter Canada as a non-Canadian (other than a U.S. citizen), the Canada Border Services officer may ask to see both:

  • your passport, and
  • a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required)
If you are a permanent resident of Canada, remember you must also bring along your permanent resident card with you too.

Pack more than your passport

Making sure you have the right travel insurance is just as important as having the right travel documents with you.

If you're planning on a visit to Canada, Visitors to Canada travel insurance is a good idea no matter how long, or short, the visit. Canada's well known health care system does not offer free medical care for visitors or tourists. For people coming to Canada without Visitors to Canada travel insurance coverage, health care can be costly.

Get Visitors to Canada travel insurance quotes from competing travel insurance providers at

Looking for more information about entry requirements when travelling?

For up-to-date information about the documentation you may need to enter or visit Canada refer to the Canada Border Services Agency and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada websites.

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