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Do Canadian Citizens Need a Visa to Visit USA?


If there is one thing that Canadians are known for globally, it is their love for travel! According to the Canadian government, Canadian citizens make an average of 61 million trips annually. Same day and overnight travels to the United States soared up to 42.1 million in 2017, says an article by Symbol of Statistics Canada. The overnight trips alone reached 20.2 million, which was a 4.8% hike after the number had dropped below 20 million in 2016. 

California, Florida, Nevada, Texas and New York are the most visited places in America by international visitors. Amusement parks, beaches, overseas highways, national parks, museums, lakes and valleys, and many more attractions make the US a hugely popular tourist destination.

How to Travel to USA from Canada

Canadian citizens do not require a visitor, business, transit or any other kind of visa to enter the US. However, if you are a Canadian national traveling to USA by land or sea, you must have a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant travel document with you. Under this, all foreigners and US citizens are required to present a passport or any other document that proves the individual’s identity and citizenship at the US port of entry. 

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Documents Required by Canadian Citizens Traveling to USA

If you are traveling by land or sea, you will be required to present your Canadian passport at the border. The passport does not require validity of six months beyond your intended date of departure from USA. However, it should be valid at least till the date of your return to Canada. Apart from this, a Canadian citizen can also present any of the following as a valid travel document:

  1. Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Identification Card
  2. Nexus Card
  3. FAST/EXPRES Card
  4. SENTRI Enrollment Card

Documents Required by Canadian Children 

Canadian citizens aged 15 years or younger need present either an original copy of their birth certificate or a Canadian Citizenship Card. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Not all Canadians can travel visa-free to the US. 

Visa Exception Categories

The following categories require a visa to enter the United States:

  1. Treaty traders and investors require an E Visa.
  2. The fiancé of a foreign citizen as well as their children require a K2 Visa.
  3. Spouses of legal permanent residents require a V1 Visa.
  4. Government officials of Canada, entering US for temporary or permanent projects, require an A Visa.
  5. Officials and employees from international organizations, entering the US for temporary or permanent projects, also need a visa.
  6. NATO officials, employees and representatives entering the US will also need to apply for a visa.

General Information for Canadians Traveling to the US

Canadian travelers can generally stay in the US for a period of up to six months from the date of entry. However, it is necessary to qualify for the stay and travel purposes, before entering the country. Keep in mind that if you have an intention to live, work or study in America, but do not inform the border control officers, you might be permanently banned from entering the nation.

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Blogger, Entrepreneur, Mentor. Having lived in the US and the Middle East for about a decade, and gone through immigration many times, I have a lot to share. Add me on Facebook or contact me on WhatsApp +0014084894785

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