Information for U.S. & International Travellers crossing the Canada / USA Border
Do I need to have a passport to visit Canada?
The U.S. Government requires all of its citizens 16 years or older (returning to the USA from Canada) to have a valid passport. This includes travel by land, air or sea.
While Americans technically do not require a passport to enter Canada, American Law requires you to present a passport to U.S. Customs and Border Officers upon your return to the United States.
For more information visit www.dhs.gov/crossing-us-borders
What identification do I need for my child?
If you are traveling with your own children under the age of 16 and you are accompanied by your spouse, ensure you bring their birth certificates. If you are traveling with a child other than your own or without your spouse, have the child’s birth certificate as well as a letter of permission, including name and contact information for that child’s parents or in the case of your own child, from the child’s parent not traveling with you. This is needed in case Customs Officers decide to verify you have permission to bring the child into Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has useful information about visiting our country at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp
What if someone from our group has a DUI, felony, or misdemeanor conviction?
If you or anyone in your party has a felony or misdemeanor conviction, you may not be allowed into Canada. This includes offenses such as a DUI. Your admissibility to Canada depends on the nature of the offense, how many offenses you have, as well as how long ago it occurred. If this applies to you or someone traveling with you, it is imperative that you contact Canada Immigration well in advance of your arrival. You will likely have to complete some paperwork and Canadian Immigration authorities will then advise you of the likelihood of being allowed into Canada. Final determination of your admissibility into Canada is only made when you cross the border.
Contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp or the Canadian Consulate in Detroit, MI at www.detroit.gc.ca regarding any forms you may be required to fill out. You may also want to call the Immigration Officer at the Fort Frances, Ontario Port of Entry at (807) 274-3655 to discuss your situation.
How do I get a passport?
When getting a passport for the first time, go to the nearest passport acceptance facilities located throughout the USA. Bring two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license. Acceptance facilities include many Federal, state and probate courts, post offices, some public libraries and a number of county and municipal offices.
There are also 13 regional passport agencies, which serve customers who are traveling within 2 weeks (14 days), or who need foreign visas for travel. Appointments are required in such cases.
How do I renew my passport?
You can renew your passport by mail if:
– your most recent passport is available to submit and it is not damaged;
– you received the passport within the past 15 years;
– you were over age 16 when it was issued;
– and you still have the same name, or can legally document your name change.
If your passport has been altered or damaged, you must apply in person.
Do children need passports?
There are special requirements for children under 14 years old and between 14 and 17, see the website below for more info on these requirements.
Main passport website: travel.state.gov/passport
Download an application on-line: travel.state.gov/passport/forms/forms_847.html
Is there anything I’m not allowed to bring into Canada?
Residents of the United States who visit Canada are allowed to bring in a “reasonable” amount of personal goods duty free. Below are the limits you are allowed for some of the regulated items:
- Alcohol: If you meet the age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (19 years old in Ontario), you are allowed to bring in, free of duty and taxes, either 1.5 litres of wine, or 1.14 litres (40 oz) of liquor, or 24 x 355 millilitres (12 oz) cans or bottles of beer or ale. Additional amounts will be subjected to duty.
- Tobacco: If you meet the age requirements of the province or territory where you enter Canada (19 years old in Ontario), you are allowed to bring the following amounts of tobacco without paying duty: up to 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams (7 oz) of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks. Additional amounts will be subjected to duty.
- Food Products: Americans are allowed to bring in beef products into Canada for personal consumption only – up to 5 kg (11 lbs) per person. Be aware that you cannot bring certain foods or goods into Canada from the United States or Overseas. Customs Border Services has an informative website you can visit prior to your arrival at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/noncan-eng.html
- Pets: Residents from the U.S. are allowed to bring their dog or cat to Canada. Animals older than 3 months of age require a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued within the previous 36 months. Animals under 3 months of age do not require a certificate but must appear to be in good health.
What can I bring back to the United States?
Residents returning to the United States are allowed to bring back the following provided they were in Canada for at least 48 hours:
• $400 U.S. worth of merchandise per person duty free every 30 days. Families may combine their $400 exemptions.
• If you have stayed for less than 48 hours or if you have used part or all of your $400 allowance in the previous 30 days the limit is $200 U.S.
More Information: www.cbp.gov
Do I need a fishing license to fish in Canada?
All non-residents of Canada who want to fish in Ontario require a current non-resident sports fishing license and a non- resident Outdoors Card. Non-residents under the age of 18 may fish without a license if accompanied by a licensed family member. Any fish caught are part of the limit of the person with the license.
Canadian residents require a resident fishing license and a current resident Outdoors Card.
Can I bring live bait into Canada?
No, you cannot bring live minnows, smelts, leeches or any other bait fish into Ontario from the United States. Night crawlers are allowed but they must be brought in containers with artificial bedding only.
Is there a limit to the number of fish I can catch in Canada?
With so many lakes, it is important that anglers are aware of the general regulations and of any exceptions to the general regulations (e.g. specific slots or catch and possession limits) that may apply to the lake you will be fishing on.
Ontario’s Fishing Regulations can be downloaded at www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/LetsFish/Publication/STE L02_163615.html
Do I need a hunting license in Canada?
Non-residents must have one of the following to obtain a hunting license:
• An Ontario non-resident hunting license issued to you after January 1, 1968.
• A hunting license issued to you after January 1, 1968 by a competent authority in a jurisdiction where you were a resident of that jurisdiction.
• An Ontario hunting license verification certificate showing your license to hunt in Ontario or that you passed the hunting license examination.
A copy of the current Ontario Hunting Regulations can be downloaded at: www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/FW/Publication/MNR_E 001275P.html or call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources at (800) 667-1940.
Can I bring a gun into Canada?
Residents of the United States over the age of 18 may bring a rifle or shotgun into Ontario for hunting purposes only.
You are also allowed to bring up to 200 rounds of ammunition duty free. Firearms are subject to a registration fee. Residents of the U.S. are encouraged to pre-register their firearms prior to arriving. Handguns, fully-automatic weapons or modified weapons are not allowed in Canada. Proper storage of the firearm is important so make sure you are aware of the regulations.
For more information on importing your firearm into Canada and to receive a registration form, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre at (800) 731-4000 or (506) 624-5380. You can also download the registration form at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/formulaire/index-eng.htm