North American Canadian Travel & Passport Information
Currently, all travelers entering Canada are required to present a valid passport. Additionally, all travelers will need a valid passport to re-enter the United States. In certain cases, other documents such as SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST and BCC cards are acceptable, though it is recommended that you carry a valid passport regardless. For the latest information, visit US Department of State's Tips for Travelers to Canada.
Applying for a US Passport is easy. All you need is a completed application and a photo for identification purposes. Processing of passports can take several weeks, so please allow a sufficient amount of time before your vacation to receive your documents. Peak processing times are between January and July, so you may want to apply between August and December for faster service, if that is an option.
For more information about applying for a passport, please visit travel.state.gov or call the National Passport Information Center toll free at 1-877-4USA-PPT. If you would like to read more about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), please visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.
NOTE: If you have any criminal offense on your record, you may not be able to cross the border.
Of course, exceptions may be made - the offenses are usually compared to the relevant laws in Canada. The largest concern is a risk to public safety, so DUI/DWI, theft, breaking and entering, assault and drug-related convictions will most likely prevent you from entering Canada. Exceptions are generally made on a case-by-case basis, so please take the appropriate steps before trying to cross the border.
- You may get an official pardon for your crimes from your home country and a waiver from the Canadian government. For more information on this, please visit the Canadian Embassy.
- You may be considered individually at the time you pass through customs. You must pay a consideration fee, provide the details of you crime (dates, circumstances, time served, etc.) and provide your reasons for visting Canada, including length of stay, proposed activities, etc. The customs officer will then make a judgement based on the information given. You may or may not be admitted into Canada.
For more information, please visit the Canadian Embassy website. You may also visit any Canadian Consulate in the following cities: Washington DC; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Chicao, IL; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Raleigh, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA