Canadian citizens as well as landed immigrants in Canada who are British subjects,
citizens of a British Commonwealth country, or citizens of Ireland, do NOT need to
obtain a visa stamp in order to apply for admission to the United States. The only
exceptions to the general visa waiver policy are for those individuals entering the U.S. as
treaty traders or investors (E), as the fiancé of a U.S. citizen (K), or as immigrants.
All travelers should be prepared to present documentary evidence of identity, citizenship,
and (if applicable) resident status in Canada.


Canadian citizens as well as landed immigrants in Canada who are British subjects,
citizens of a British Commonwealth country, citizens of Ireland, do NOT need a
passport to enter the U.S. except after a visit outside the Western Hemisphere.
However, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)
strongly urges all Canadians traveling to the United States to obtain a passport before
leaving Canada. Absent a passport, Canadians must present proof of citizenship when
entering the United States. If proof of citizenship does not have a photograph (such as
birth or baptismal certificates) it MUST be accompanied with valid photo

Dual Nationality

Some Canadians may have American as well as Canadian citizenship through birth in the
United States, naturalization, or descent. Canadians who are also American citizens
should always identify themselves as an American citizen when entering the United
States. For more information on dual nationality, consult the “Dual Nationality” section
of the American Citizen Information Services Web site

Admissibility and Entry

Once at an American border or at an inland port of entry, Canadians are subject to
American law. INS can refuse entry to persons with criminal records or persons who
cannot demonstrate that they have a legitimate reason to enter the United States.

When a Canadian has been refused entry to the United States, a permanent record is
created in a computerized database. This information is readily available at all land
border and inland ports of entry, as well as at INS pre-clearance facilities in Canada. An

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initial refused entry does not necessarily mean entry will be denied in the future. At the
time of denial, INS will advise on what is needed to facilitate re-entry. However, if an
attempt to enter the United States at another port of entry is made without first addressing
the defects of the first attempted entry, persons may be subject to fines, seizure of
vehicles, or both. There are appeal procedures, but they are prolonged and costly. Also,
under U.S. law, an alien denied entry at the border by Customs or Immigration does not
have the right or privilege of contacting an attorney.

However, at pre-clearance facilities in Canada, a person may chose to withdraw their
request to enter the United States. This step may be taken before being interviewed
further or before luggage is inspected. But despite this, U.S. officials may make a record
of the attempted entry. The option of withdrawing entry at land borders or inland ports is
rarely available, since the person is already on U.S. soil.

If a Canadian citizen is denied TN classification at a pre-clearance facility or at a port of
entry, absent fraud or material misrepresentation, the petition is denied without
prejudice. The alien may make a second attempt at another time or at another pre-
clearance facility or port of entry without the first denial affecting the adjudication of the
subsequent TN application.

Expedited Removal

As of April 1, 1997, „expedited removal‟ allows INS, with the concurrence of a
supervisor, to bar non-citizens (including Canadians) from the U.S. for five years if, in
their judgment, the person presented false documents or misrepresented themselves.
There is no formal appeal process under expedited removal.


U.S. Immigration has pre-clearance facilities at seven Canadian airports: Vancouver,
Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal (Dorval), and Ottawa. Pre-
clearance is also available at the Victoria, British Columbia ferry terminal for travel to
Port Angeles, Washington.

Canadians using U.S. pre-clearance facilities are still required to meet U.S. entry
requirements. American officials are allowed to inspect luggage and refuse entry into the
United States. However, while on Canadian soil, Canadians continue to have rights
under Canadian law including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Refusal to
cooperate with U.S. officials may result in being refused entry. As noted above, at pre-
clearance sites, an application for entry may also be withdrawn.

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U.S. Border Fees

American border officials collect a US$6 per person fee (payable only in U.S. dollars) to
issue an Arrival/Departure Document, Form I-94. This form is distributed to
Canadian citizens and landed immigrants from the United Kingdom, countries of the
British Commonwealth, or Ireland who are entering the U.S. to study or work and to
visitors from other countries. This fee does NOT apply to Canadian citizens or landed
immigrants from the British Commonwealth or Ireland who are entering the U.S.
for a temporary visit for pleasure or business, or to all travelers arriving in the
United States by air.

Taxation Status

Canadians living or traveling in the United States but maintaining residential ties in
Canada, they are usually considered a factual resident of Canada for taxation purposes.
However, many complicated issues and differing situations are involved. Canadians
should review their situation with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) to avoid surprises. The CCRA publication Canadian
Residents Going Down South provides information for individuals.

Canadian residents spending part of the year in the United States could be considered
either a resident alien or a non-resident alien for U.S. taxation purposes. Resident aliens
are generally taxed in the United States on income from all sources worldwide; non-
resident aliens are generally taxed in the United States only on income from U.S. sources.
It is important, therefore, to determine their status by contacting the U.S. authorities.

Crime and Punishment

While in the United States, Canadians are subject to U.S. laws and regulations.
Canadian citizenship confers NO immunity, special protection, or rights to
preferential treatment.

If arrested in the U.S., Canadians have a right to speak with a consular officer and/or
to have the nearest Canadian government office informed of the arrest. Under
Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, arresting authorities in the
United States are required to inform Canadian citizens of this right without delay.

Canadian Consular Assistance in the United States

DFAIT has a number of Canadian government offices in the United States. The Embassy
is located in Washington, DC, and there are consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo,

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Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angels, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.
There is an honorary consul in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Australian Consulate
General in Honolulu, Hawaii, will assist Canadians in an emergency.

Information about Canadian consulates and missions in the United States:

Emergency Consular Services:
Canadian government offices abroad offer 24-hour assistance. During non-office hours, a
telephone call you make to an office abroad will be automatically transferred to a
consular officer in Ottawa or you will be asked to leave a message on an answering
machine. In either case, there will be a prompt response. If you leave a recorded message,
make sure that it is clear and that you leave a telephone number or a full contact address.
In addition, you can make a collect call to the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade in Ottawa at (613) 996-8885. You may wish to use the Canada
Direct service if it is available.

Passport Service

Canadian government offices in the United States provide only emergency passport
services. Full passport services, including mail-in applications are available through the
Central Passport Office in Hull, Quebec. Passport applications mailed from the United
States takes 20 working days (excluding mailing time) if all information and
documentation have been provided.

Regular passport services for Canadian citizens residing in the United States:

Source: “Crossing the 49th: Advice for Canadians Travelling to the United States”. Department of Foreign Affairs and International

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