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10 Things to know before visiting Canada

Before heading north, have the right documents to make entry easy.
Before heading north, have the right documents to make entry easy.
Photo courtesy of 4Vector.com

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US Citizens are always welcomed with open arms to Canada, but nevertheless there are still requirements which must be followed to enter or depart both countries. Here’s a quick guide to those needs.

  1. US citizens much carry proof of citizenship. You can display a passport, birth certificate or certificate of citizenship or naturalization, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status. You’ll also need photo identification. Only a passport is universally accepted, so choosing that as proof of citizenship is the safest route.
  2. Members of the NEXUS or FAST programs may only use their membership cards as proof of identity if arriving by land or water only. Most airlines will still require a passport.
  3. If minor children (under the age of 18) are entering the country with their parents, it is best if the kids also have a passport. At minimum bring a birth certificate or permanent resident card. If the parents are divorced or separated, a custody or legal separation document is also required.
  4. Taking in a camera, personal computer or sports equipment? Make sure to declare all goods when arriving at the first CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) point of entry. Items can’t used by Canadian residents, given as a gift to a Canadian resident, or disposed of in Canada.
  5. If you do want to give a gift to a Canadian resident, it needs to be worth $60 CAN or less.
  6. There’s a limit on the amount of liquor visitors can bring in – 1.5 liters (50 ounces) of wine, 40 ounces of alcohol, or 8.5 liters (287 ounces) of beer. There’s also a limit of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars.
  7. Make sure to follow the special rules required if you are bringing in more than $10,000 CAN in cash.
  8. Special rules apply to carrying a firearm or weapon into Canada; same applies for explosives, fireworks and ammunition.
  9. All food, plants, animals and related products must be declared.
  10. Prescription drugs available in the US may or may not be available in Canada. Limits also exist on the types and quantities which may be brought into Canada as well; check before you go to make sure you’ve got what you need without any problems.

Complete information on entering Canada can be found on the CBSA website. Just follow the guidelines and enjoy your trip!