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Canada to the USA Travel Requirements: Tourist’s Guide

When traveling from Canada it is important to know the USA travel requirements and avoid setbacks. Know everything you must have and some tips for your trip.

Leoneska Ruiz

July 14, 2023

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Canada and the United States are two of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide, and with a good deal of travel between the two territories annually. Knowing about current USA travel requirements is essential before you leave for your trip. These can change frequently, so always check the latest information before you go.

We will provide an overview of the current requirements for travel between Canada and the United States. Highlighting recent changes in the requirements. Finally, we provide links to official government websites and general tips for tourists traveling to the USA from Canada.

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Overview of the current USA travel requirements

USA travel requirements
Passport and travel requirements. Source: Pexels

Knowing what the requirements are for traveling out of the country became especially necessary after the COVID-19 situation. However, many of the restrictions or special documentation that was requested are no longer necessary to travel to the USA from Canada.  

Although the number has been reduced, there are still some conditions that must be met to enter and leave the country. These requirements vary whether we are considering entering by air, land, or even by sea. To help you review your checklist of things you must have before traveling, we will see what the requirements are considering the method of entry.

Air travel requirements and recommendations

Some of the documentation that you must have when traveling between Canada and the USA by air include: 

  • Documents required: Valid passport, and if you are a Canadian citizen, you may also present a NEXUS card, a FAST card, or a SENTRI card.
  • COVID-19 testing: there is no COVID-19 testing requirement for travel between Canada and the United States.
  • Other restrictions: No other restrictions are currently in place for travel between Canada and the United States.

You should know that airports may ask you for information such as your contact details, name, address, and telephone number. You may be asked to answer questions about your travel history or the reason for your trip. Maybe even be subject to a random search. You don’t have to worry because these are standard procedures and should not take more than a few minutes.

Travel requirements when entering by land and recommendations

Now we have the requirements you should have on hand when crossing the US border from Canada by car: 

  • Check current USA travel requirements and restrictions on the Customs and Border Protection website: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go.
  • Make sure your travel documents are valid and up-to-date.
  • Be prepared to present your valid travel documents like your passport or visa.
  • If you are a citizen of a country part of the Visa Waiver Program, you must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before your trip.
  • If you are driving your own vehicle, be prepared to provide proof of ownership.
  • You may be asked to provide proof of financial support.
  • You may be asked to provide a detailed itinerary of your trip.
  • Depending on your trip’s purpose and activities, you may need to obtain additional permits.

Some additional tips we can give you are related to if you are a member of a Trusted Traveler Program, such as NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST, you can use fast lanes at the border. When traveling with a pet, you must carry a vaccination certificate. Finally, you may be asked to declare any prohibited or restricted items.

Why is it important to know the requirements when traveling?

Considering all these requirements is really important if we want to enter and leave the country without wasting time and without worries. Failure to comply with any documents or conditions could even cause us to be denied entry or exit on subsequent occasions. It is also possible to incur economic fines if we are unaware of the requirements we must comply with and still cross the border.

Of course, having all documents in order will reduce the time spent at the border or airport. This is especially important if you are traveling during peak travel times or high season. You can ensure that your trip goes smoothly and without any problems. This will allow you to relax and enjoy your vacation. 

General recommendations for travel to the USA

Hudson Bay USA travel requirements
View of the Hudson Bay. Source: Pexels

When you have already reviewed the topics we have given you throughout this article, there are some other things you can consider before traveling. It is advisable to schedule your flight in advance if you are traveling by air as this can allow us to reduce ticket costs. Also, consider taking out travel insurance. These can help you greatly if you get sick or lose your luggage and alleviate other travel-related expenses. 

It is also positive to seek information about the cities you are going to visit. There is tremendous cultural diversity in the USA, and this can put you in the context of what you will find. It is also often essential to have an alternative way to maintain mobile internet while abroad. Being connected allows us to look up city information such as directions, available hotels, transportation, and anything else we may need much faster. 

Enjoy your adventure! Being prepared is undoubtedly necessary for many, but experiencing another country doesn’t have to be a chore. Different foods, unique events, people with a different culture, and a panorama of opportunities for you!

Frequently asked questions about Canada to United States travel

Who can travel to the USA from Canada?

Any Canadian citizen can travel to the USA as long as they meet the current requirements for air or land travel. If the stay is prolonged, such as for study, work, or any other reason other than tourism, you may need a special visa.

Are there any restrictions on travel from Canada to the United States?

Many of the COVID-19 restrictions no longer apply to vaccinated travelers from Canada. However, unvaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of arrival in the United States.

How can I have mobile internet while traveling to the USA?

As long as you have a compatible phone, one of the safest and fastest options to keep mobile internet in the United States is Holafly’s eSIM USA for travel with unlimited data. You can buy them in their online store and receive them immediately! Or you can travel with a Canadian eSIM from Rogers to use roaming, if you don’t mind higher rates.

Can I travel to the USA from Canada without a passport?

It is generally not possible to travel to the U.S. without a passport, with some limited exceptions. If you are unsure whether to travel to the U.S. from Canada without a passport, check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.