American entry into Canada by land


American entry into Canada by land

U.S. citizens and permanent residents entering Canada by land are required to possess the requisite documentation, and to meet other criteria before they are allowed entry into Canada. Consequently, travelers must also meet the requirements for re-entering the U.S. at the end of their visit.

Visitor entry into Canada

Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law.cite web
url= http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html
title= Canada
accessdate= 2008-08-27
date= 2007-12-11
work= [http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html Country Specific Information]
publisher= Bureau of Consular Affairs
] Visitors are required to have the necessary travel documentation and be in good health.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-who.asp
title= Visiting Canada: Who can apply
accessdate= 2008-08-30
date= 2008-04-29
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
] If asked for, they must satisfy an immigration officer of ties to their country of origin. Such ties include a job, home, and family. They must satisfy the officer that that they will leave Canada at the end of their visit. They must also have sufficient money for their stay.

All items belonging to an individual, including the vehicle an individual may be traveling in, can be exhaustively searched by the CBSA.

Documentation

Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada must carry both proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

If a U.S. citizen traveler to Canada does not have a passport or an approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license) must be shown along with proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. U.S. permanent residents must show their Permanent Resident Card (green card).cite web
url= http://www.frommers.com/destinations/canada/0216020032.html
title= Entry Requirements & Customs
accessdate= 2008-09-05
work= [http://www.frommers.com/destinations/canada/0216010002.html Canada: Planning a Trip]
publisher= John Wiley & Sons
]

Documentation for children

Children under 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship. Nevertheless, it is recommended that identification for children be carried anyway. Any person under 18 traveling alone requires a letter from a parent or guardian granting permission to travel to Canada. The letter must state the traveler's name and the duration of the trip.

A divorced parent who has or shares custody of a child should carry a copy of the custody document. An adult who is not a parent or guardian and is accompanied a child should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the child. When traveling in a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should be in the same vehicle as their children when arriving at the border. CBSA personnel are looking for missing children and may ask question adults about children traveling with them.

Documentation for vehicles

Persons driving into Canada must have their vehicle's registration document and proof of insurance.

Visas

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens to visit Canada for up to 180 days. Anyone seeking to enter Canada for any purpose besides a visit (e.g. to work, study or immigrate) must qualify for the appropriate entry status and can see the [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp Canadian immigration website] . The Canadian embassy or nearest consulate can be contacted for additional information.

Inadmissibility

Some persons are inadmissible—they are not allowed to enter Canada.

As of Aug. 2008, if a person is denied entry and advised to re-enter the U.S., they are issued form IMM 5292. This form indicates that the person is allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada, and is allowed to leave Canada. Persons who have been denied entry and provided this form are advised by the CBSA to show this form to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There appears to be no legal precedent, however, for the traveler to voluntarily submit this form to the CBP, and doing so may cause the CBP to consider the traveler suspicious, and as a result they may subject the traveler to exhaustive questioning and search.

Grounds for inadmissibility

Individuals may be refused entry to or removed from Canada on the following grounds:cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/inadmissibility.asp
title= Visiting Canada: Who is inadmissible?
accessdate= 2008-08-31
date= 2005-11-01
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
]

* Security reasons, including espionage, subversion, violence or terrorism, or membership in an organization involved in such activities.
* Human or international rights violations.
* Criminality.
* Organized crime, including membership in an organization that takes part in organized criminal activity.
* Health reasons, if their condition is likely to endanger public health or public safety, or might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demands on health or social services.
* Financial reasons, if they are unable or unwilling to support themselves and their family members.
* Misrepresentation, which includes providing false information or withholding information directly related to decisions made under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
* Failure to comply with any provision of IRPA. An example of this that is relevant to visitors is an attempt by persons who have previously been deported and are seeking to enter Canada without written authorization.
* Having an inadmissible family member.

Avoiding inadmissibility

Persons can be denied entry into Canada on the basis of suspicion alone. In particular, the CBSA may deny entry to persons they doubt will be able to support themselves and their dependents, or whose willingness and means to return back to the U.S. is in doubt. Certain documents, such as the following, can serve to reduce these doubts:Citation
title= A guideline for meeting the minimum requirements for entry to Canada as a temporary resident
date= 2007-02-04
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
]

* Evidence of financial support, such as bank statements and transaction books.
* Income tax records, both recent and past.
* Evidence of employment, such as recent pay stubs, employment ID, and current letter from employer.
* Proof of residence, such as recent rent receipts, and copies of mortgage, deed, and utility bills.
* Confirmed means of departure from Canada, such as an airline, bus or train ticket with date and time of departure indicated.
* Information about destination in Canada, including destination address, destination telephone number, and name of the person being visited.

Criminal inadmissibility

Persons who have been convicted of a criminal offense may not be allowed to enter Canada. Criminal offenses include both minor and serious offenses, including dangerous driving and drunk driving. Such persons must qualify for a special waiver in advance of any planned travel.

Persons who have traffic violations including parking and speeding tickets, and other minor violations such as littering most likely will not be prohibited from entering Canada.cite web
url= http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/seattle/visas/inadmissible-en.asp
title= Persons who are inadmissible to Canada
accessdate= 2008-09-01
date= 2006-05-25
work= [http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/seattle/visas/default-en.asp Visas and Immigration]
publisher= [http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/seattle/visas/default-en.asp Seattle Consulate General]
quote= Those who have received traffic violations (including parking/speeding tickets, etc.) and other minor violations (i.e. littering, etc.) most likely will NOT be prohibited from entering Canada. Similarly, those who have juvenile convictions (convictions for crimes committed while under age 18) most likely will NOT be prohibited from entering Canada unless they could have been tried as an adult for their offences.
] Persons convicted of a crime when they were under the age of 18 may be allowed to enter, unless they could have been tried as an adult.

Overcoming criminal inadmissibility

If a person committed an offense, the person may still be allowed into Canada but only if certain criteria are met.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/conviction.asp
title= Visiting Canada: Overcoming criminal inadmissibility
accessdate= 2008-08-31
date= 2006-03-29
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
quote= Depending on the nature of the offence, the time elapsed and your behaviour since it was committed or since you were sentenced, you may no longer be considered inadmissible to Canada. You may be permitted to come to Canada if you are able to satisfy an immigration officer that you meet the legal requirement to be deemed rehabilitated; or you have applied for rehabilitation and your application has been approved; or you have obtained a pardon; or you have obtained a temporary resident permit.
] These include the nature of the offense, the time elapsed and one's behavior since the offense was committed or since the sentence. One may be permitted to come to Canada if one is able to satisfy an immigration officer that the legal requirement to be deemed rehabilitated are met, or if an application for rehabilitation has been approved, or if a pardon was obtained, etc. Detailed information about overcoming criminal inadmissibility is available at [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/conviction.asp the CIC website] .

Policies

Importation of firearms

Firearms are much more strictly controlled in Canada than in the U.S. Visitors bringing any firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, are required to declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Multiple firearms can be declared at the same time. Upon acceptance, this declaration serves as a temporary license and registration certificate for up to 60 days. The Non-Resident Firearm Declaration has a cost of $50 (Canadian). Visitors planning to borrow a firearm in Canada are required to obtain in advance a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License, the cost of which is $30 (Canadian), payable at the border. These forms are required to be signed before a CBSA officer at the border. Note that the forms are not available at the border itself. Details and downloadable forms are provided by the Canadian Firearms Program.

Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Non-restricted firearms include most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns. These can be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, use in competitions, in-transit movement through Canada, or personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada. Any person wishing to bring a hunting rifle into Canada is required to be at least 18 years old, and the firearm must be properly stored for transport. Restricted firearms are primarily handguns; however, pepper spray and mace are also included in this category. A restricted firearm may be brought into Canada, but an Authorization to Transport permit must be obtained in advance from a Provincial or Territorial Chief Firearms Officer. Prohibited firearms include fully automatic, converted automatics, and assault-type weapons. Prohibited firearms are not allowed into Canada.

It is recommended that the Canadian embassy or a consulate, or the Canadian Firearms Program be contacted for detailed information and instructions on temporarily importing firearms in advance of any travel. In all cases, travelers are required to declare to Canadian authorities any firearms and weapons in their possession when entering Canada. If a traveler is denied permission to bring in the firearm, there may be facilities near border crossings where firearms may be stored, pending the traveler's return to the U.S. Canadian law requires that officials confiscate firearms and weapons from those crossing the border that deny having them in their possession. Confiscated firearms and weapons are never returned. Possession of an undeclared firearm can result in a one-year prison sentence.

Prohibited items

Electronic media of travelers entering Canada can be randomly checked. Computers are subject to search without a warrant at the border, and illegal content can result in the seizure of the computer as well as detention, arrest and prosecution of the bearer.

Canadian law prohibits the unlawful importation or trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics. A number of travelers, including Americans, have been arrested for attempting to smuggle khat, a narcotic from East Africa, into Canada. Smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

It is recommended that prescription medicines be in their original prescription container. Suspicious looking or unidentifiable pills found during a search can be tested for narcotics, delaying entry into Canada until the tests are completed.

Handling disagreements

A person or organization may disagree with the CBSA about an assessment or decision made by the CBSA.cite web
url= http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/recourse-recours/menu-eng.html
title= Disagreements, reviews and appeal
accessdate= 2008-08-28
date= 2005-06-01
publisher= Canada Border Services Agency
] If at the border, the Border Services Officer (BSO) or superintendent can be consulted. To address disagreements afterwards, a [http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/listing/indexpages/index-e.html CBSA office] can be contacted.

Appeals

Persons who believe that they have not received their full entitlements under Canadian law, and have been unable to reach an agreement with the CBSA on a duty or penalty matter, have the right to a formal review of their file.cite web
url= http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/recourse-recours/review-examen-eng.html
title= Formal review
accessdate= 2008-08-28
date= 2004-02-02
publisher= Canada Border Services Agency
] A formal review is conducted by appeals representatives who were not involved in the original decision, and is impartial. Appeals staff are trained to review the client's and the CBSA's facts and reasons.

The role of the appeals representative who reviews a case is to carry out a complete, professional, and impartial review. This representative reviews the case by interpreting acts administered by the CBSA and reviewing CBSA policies, considering the appellant's point of view; and when necessary, asking for a technical opinion from CBSA experts or seeking legal advice from the Canadian Department of Justice.

The representative who reviews the case will not have been involved in the original assessment, determination, or ruling of a duty, penalty or other matter. The appellant can discuss the case with an appeals representative, and has have the right to obtain certain documents related to the case.

The CBSA does not charge for a review. If a person is not satisfied with the review, a further appeal can be made to the appropriate court or, to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal for relevant matters.

Business visits

A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/busvisit-faq01.asp
title= Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada: What is a business visitor?
accessdate= 2008-09-01
date= 2008-05-01
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/index.asp Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
quote= What is a business visitor? A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. For example, someone who comes to Canada to meet with representatives of companies doing business with their country would be considered a business visitor. Visitors may be in Canada for business meetings or site visits (to observe only). A person invited to Canada by a Canadian company for training in product use, sales or other functions related to a business transaction would also be included. Business visitors must prove that their main source of income and their main place of business are outside Canada.
] Such visitors may be in Canada for business meetings or site visits (to observe only), but not to work. Business visitors are required to prove that their main source of income and their main place of business are outside Canada.

A visa is not required for a business visitor who is an American citizen.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/busvisit-faq02.asp
title= Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada: Does a business visitor need a special visa to enter Canada?
accessdate= 2008-09-01
date= 2008-05-01
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/index.asp Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
quote= Does a business visitor need a special visa to enter Canada? No. There are no special visas for business visitors. Every temporary resident, except people from countries exempted by Canadian law, must get a temporary resident visa before coming to Canada.
] All business visitors are required to have a passport valid until the end of their stay, a letter of support from their parent company, a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business, a copy of any contracts or bills to support the visit, 24-hour contact details of the business host in Canada, and proof of enough money for both the stay in Canada and the return home.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business-arriving.asp
title= Business visitors: Arriving
accessdate= 2008-09-01
date= 2008-03-30
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/business.asp Visiting Canada: Business visitors]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
quote= You should have all relevant documents on hand to present to the officer when you arrive. These documents include, but are not limited to a valid passport or travel document that will be valid until the end of your stay; if applicable, a temporary resident visa, letters of support from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business, a copy of any contracts or bills to support your visit, 24-hour contact details of your business host in Canada and proof that you have enough money for both your stay in Canada and your return home.
] Business visitors do not need a temporary work permit unless they plan on doing executive, managerial, technical or production work.cite web
url= http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/busvisit-faq04.asp
title= Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada: Do I need a work permit as a business visitor?
accessdate= 2008-09-01
date= 2008-05-01
work= [http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/index.asp Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada]
publisher= Citizenship and Immigration Canada
quote= Do I need a work permit as a business visitor? You do not need a temporary work permit unless you are doing work such as executive, managerial, technical or production activities.
]

Return entry into the U.S.

Documentation

In the past, American citizens were permitted entry into the U.S. by oral declaration of citizenship.cite web
url= http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2089.htm
title= Background Note: Canada
accessdate= 2008-08-25
year= 2008
month= May
work= Background Notes
publisher= Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
quote= Since January 2007 U.S. citizens traveling by air to and from Canada have needed a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States. Beginning January 31, 2008, U.S. and Canadian citizens aged 19 and older traveling into the U.S. from Canada by land or sea (including ferries) have had to present documents denoting citizenship and identity. This change primarily affects American and Canadian citizens who have previously been permitted entry into the U.S. by oral declaration alone, and marks the transition toward standard and consistent documents for all travelers entering the U.S. Acceptable documentation includes a valid passport or government-issued photo identification such as a driver's license and proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate. Children aged 18 and under need only to present a birth certificate. A list of acceptable documents is found at http://canada.usembassy.gov. Travelers who do not present acceptable documents may be delayed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry attempt to verify identity and citizenship. Beginning in June 2009, all travelers, including U.S. citizens, will have to present a passport or other secure document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. from Canada.
] Beginning January 31, 2008, U.S. citizens aged 19 and older returning to the U.S. from Canada by land or water have had to present documents denoting citizenship and identity. Acceptable documentation includes a valid passport or government-issued photo identification such as a driver's license and proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate. U.S. citizens aged 18 and under need only to present a birth certificate. A list of acceptable documents is available at the [http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/content/content.asp?section=can_usa&subsection1=borderissues_whti&document=borderissues_whats_needed website of the U.S. embassy in Canada] .cite web
url= http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/content/content.asp?section=can_usa&subsection1=borderissues_whti&document=borderissues_whats_needed
title= What's needed
accessdate= 2008-08-26
work= Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
publisher= Embassy of the United States in Ottawa
]

Persons who do not present acceptable documents may be delayed as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the port of entry attempt to verify identity and citizenship. Beginning in June 2009, all U.S. citizens will have to present a passport or other secure document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. from Canada.

Having a passport card facilitates entry and expedites document processing.cite web
url= http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_card/ppt_card_3926.html
title=U.S. Passport Card
accessdate= 2008-08-26
publisher= Bureau of Consular Affairs
quote= The passport card facilitates entry and expedites document processing at U.S. land and sea ports-of-entry when arriving from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card may not be used to travel by air. Otherwise, it carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.
] It carries the rights and privileges of the U.S. passport book, and is adjudicated to the exact same standards.

Searches

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the authority from the U.S. Congress to conduct searches of persons and their baggage, cargo, and means of transportation entering the United States.cite web
url= http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/content/content.asp?section=can_usa&subsection1=borderissues&document=border_inspection
title= Your Inspection at the U.S. Border: Questions and Answers
accessdate= 2008-08-26
work= [http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/content/content.asp?section=can_usa&document=borderissues U.S. - Canada Relations: Border Issues]
publisher= Embassy of the United States in Ottawa
] Persons unhappy with their treatment can ask to speak to a supervisor immediately, or can make a [http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/content/content.asp?section=can_usa&subsection1=borderissues&document=borderissues_cbp_complaints complaint online] .

Policies

Certain items such as monetary instruments over U.S. $10,000, hunting trophies, and firearms require a declaration. Prescription medicines are required to be in their original prescription container. Prohibited items include absinthe, biological materials, Cuban cigars and products of Cuba, endangered species and products thereof; explosives, including fireworks; some fruits, vegetables, and meats; narcotics and paraphernalia, pornographic materials, seditious or treasonable matter, and switchblade knives (except by one-armed persons). Pets must be accompanied with a valid rabies vaccination certificate.

Expedited entry

Wait times for vehicles at popular border crossings can sometimes be excessive on either side of the border. It is recommended that the estimated wait time be checked in advance of travel. These are provided by both the CBSAcite web
url= http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/times/menu-e.html
title= Border Wait Times
accessdate= 2008-09-07
date= 2008-09-07
publisher= Canada Border Services Agency
quote= The table below shows the estimated wait times for reaching the primary inspection booth, the first point of contact with CBSA when crossing the Canada/U.S. land border.
] and the CBPcite web
url= http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/
title= CBP Border Wait Times
accessdate= 2008-09-07
publisher= U.S. Customs and Border Protection
quote= The table below shows the estimated wait times for reaching the primary inspection booth, the first point of contact with CBP when crossing the Canada/U.S. and Mexico/U.S. land borders.
] .

Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the NEXUS trusted traveler program. NEXUS members receive a card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through both U.S. and Canadian border controls quickly.

See also

* Canada–United States border
* List of Canada – United States border crossings

External links

* [http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/times/menu-e.html Estimated border wait times for both Canada and U.S. bound persons]
* [http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/ Estimated border wait times for U.S. bound persons from Canada]

References


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