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Non-Residents Entering Canada Information


Required Documents
When entering Canada from the United States, U.S. citizens must show either a U.S. passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship - such as an original or certified birth certificate together with photo identification. U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for a stay up to 180 days. U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (scheduled to be in full production beginning in July 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate to enter or re-enter the U.S. On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government implemented the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.

As of June 2011, Canadian Customs is still accepting birth certificates with driver's licenses to cross the border from the United States into Canada. They have also informed us that you will be able to reenter the U.S. without a passport because they cannot deny a United States citizen reentry into the United States. But it is best to have at least applied for a passport.

Do you have a criminal record including a DUI? You can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit for hassle free border crossing into Canada by contacting Canada Border Crossing Services, Lucy Perillo, phone- 204-488-6350 or fax- 2040975-0394. You will receive a free consultation.
Address is Winnipeg, MB, Canada

If any of our guests or first time visitors to Canada have a DUI (Drinking Under the Influence) anytime in their past and want to be sure you will be able to enter Canada without problems, please make a simple phone call to either the Pigeon River Customs and Immigration (807-964-2093) or the Fort Frances Customs and Immigration (807-274-3751) to check with a border agent. If you are completely honest about all that is on your record, they will be able to clearly advise you what you need to do or if it will be a problem at all. Please understand that they have access to your complete record, so it is important that you are totally honest with them.

We have had situations where a few of our guests have had to turn around and go back home because they were not allowed across the border. This can put a real damper on your vacation plans and is disappointing for the entire group. We want all your Canadian experiences to be positive and enjoyable.

Traveling with Children
Due to international concern over child abduction, children traveling with one parent, grandparents or other guardians should carry proof of custody or letters from the non-accompanying parent/s authorizing travel. (This is in addition to proof of the child's citizenship.) Travelers without such documentation may experience delays when seeking admission to another country. Any person under the age of 18 and traveling alone should carry a letter from his/her parent or guardian authorizing the trip. Travelers without such documentation may experience delays at the Port of Entry. For more travel information, please see our Links to Additional Travel Information page.

Criminal Record
A conviction by any court (including a drunk driving conviction of ten years or less) may mean that a visitor to Canada is found to be inadmissible when that person attempts to cross the border. In such a case, the visitor may be required to obtain Rehabilitation before being allowed into Canada. Rehabilitation removes the ground of criminal inadmissibility, and means that you live a stable lifestyle, and that you are unlikely to be involved in further criminal activity. For more info about entering Canada for those with a previous criminal record please see this website.

Before approaching the Canadian border, you should double check that you are not criminally inadmissible.  You may be considered criminally in admissible by the Canadian federal government if your record shows a past criminal offense committed in a foreign country.  If you are criminally inadmissible, don't worry! You can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), which is a service provided by the Canadian government that will allow you to enter Canada for a specific reason and for a specified amount of time. To be eligible for a TRP, your sentence must have been completed less than 5 years prior, or more than 5 years prior with no application or approval of criminal rehabilitation. There is a $200.00 processing fee for this government service, and you must demonstrate a significant reason fro entering Canada in your application. You can apply for a TRP at a Canadian visa office or a port of entry. To learn more about criminal inadmissibility or obtaining a TRP, visit

Customs Restrictions
As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as "personal baggage" during your stay. If you declare these goods when you arrive, and take them back with you when you leave, you will not have to pay any duties or taxes. These goods may not be used by a resident of Canada or on behalf of a business based in Canada.

Personal baggage includes things like clothing, camping equipment, sports equipment, personal computers and cameras. It also includes vehicles, vessels, and aircraft. Items for business use in Canada are admissible as personal baggage. You may be required to fill out a Customs Declaration Card.

The Customs inspector may request a security deposit on your goods and may issue Form E29B, the Temporary Admission Permit, as a Customs control of the goods. Present the goods to Customs when you leave Canada and your deposit will be refunded.

You can import gifts for relatives and friends in Canada duty-free and tax-free, as long as each gift is valued at CA$60 or less. You cannot claim alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or advertising matter as gifts. If the gift is worth more than CA$60, you will have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. If you meet the minimum age requirements of the province or territory you are entering, your personal baggage can also include up to 1.5 litres of wine, or 1.14 litres of liquor, or 24 x 355 ml cans or bottles (8.5 litres) of beer or ale. The minimum age requirement is 19 years of age.

Your personal baggage can also include, duty-free, up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks. The minimum age requirement is 19 years of age. Obscene materials, hate propaganda, most weapons and firearms and goods harmful to the environment are prohibited from entering Canada.

For more information, please visit the Canada Border Services Agency's web site.

Fishermen can bring frozen minnows and worms in commercial bedding (no soil) for ice fishing. In regards to food, you may bring up to 10 pounds of potatoes per person as long as they are grown in the U.S. and are commercially bagged. The only other food restriction would be meat. You can bring approximately 20 pounds per person. They judge it in relation to how much you could eat per day for the length of your stay.

Radar detectors are illegal in Canada. The Ontario Provincial Police can tell when you have them turned on and will fine you as well as confiscate your device. It is best to leave them home when coming to Canada.

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