Customs Regulations

  • Visitors entering either Canada or the US can bring 200 cigarettes (one carton), 50 cigars and 7 ounces of tobacco; 1.5L or 53 fl oz of liquor or wine, or 24 cans of beer; and gifts up to the value of C$60 (US$100) per item.
  • There are strict restrictions on the import of plants, seeds and animal products to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. This also applies to firewood, which can't be transported across the border.
  • Importing firearms, explosives and other weapons is illegal unless you’re carrying an appropriate permit.
  • You can bring bear spray across the border as long as the specific intended usage is clearly indicated.

Visas

Entering the US & Canada by Air

  • Visitors from many countries, including the US, most European Union nations, the UK, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Canada. You are usually permitted to remain in the country for six months, after which you will have to apply for an extension to your stay.
  • If you’re arriving in the US from one of these countries, you should qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. This will qualify you to remain in the US for a stay of up to 90 days. Citizens of the 38 countries in the US Visa Waiver Program need to register with the government online (www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/esta); apply at least 72 hours in advance (notification is usually immediate and registration is valid for two years).
  • Citizens of other countries will need to apply for a visitor’s visa from either the Citizenship and Immigration Service Canada or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or apply directly to the embassy or consulate in their own country.
  • There’s a comprehensive list of Canadian consular offices at www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp and of US embassies at www.usembassy.state.gov.