Entering Canada Through a US Border Crossing

When visiting the United States, overseas tourists frequently travel to Canada. When crossing into Canada from the US, there are a few things that foreign visitors should bear in mind.

This article describes the various ways to enter Canada from a US land border crossing.

Learn what items visitors should carry to the border as well as some of the rules for entering Canada through the US.

Canada’s travel restrictions have made border crossings during the COVID-19 outbreak difficult. However, visitors from abroad, including Americans, can now return to the nation.

How to Cross the US-Canada Border?

From a border crossing in the United States, there are numerous methods to enter Canada. It is typical for visitors to the most Northern states, such as Minnesota or North Dakota, to drive across the border.

The following information is relevant for individuals who are traveling to Canada and the USA and want to enter Canada via road:

Driving from the United States to Canada

Due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Americans are no longer obliged to arrive in Canada with a US passport but are still required to show a form of government-issued identification. However, in order to enter the nation, foreign visitors must still have a valid passport and travel visa.

The following places in the USA offer land border crossings into the nation:

  • Calais, Maine – St Stephen, New Brunswick
  • Madawaska, Maine – Edmundston, New Brunswick
  • Houlton, Maine – Belleville, New Brunswick
  • Derby Line, Vermont – Stanstead, Quebec
  • Highgate Springs Vermont – St-Armand, Quebec
  • Champlain, New York – Lacolle, Quebec
  • Rooseveltown, New York – Cornwall, Ontario
  • Ogdensburg, New York – Prescott, Ontario
  • Alexandria Bay, New York – Lansdowne, Ontario
  • Lewiston, New York – Queenston, Ontario
  • Niagra Falls, New York – Niagra Falls, Ontario
  • Buffalo New York – Fort Erie, Ontario
  • Port Huron, Michigan – Sarnia, Ontario
  • Detroit, Michigan – Windsor, Ontario
  • Sault Ste.Marie, Michigan – Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario
  • International Falls, Minnesota – Fort Francis, Ontario
  • Pembina, North Dakota – Emerson, Manitoba
  • Portal, North Dakota – Portal, Saskatchewan
  • Sweet Grass Montana – Coutts, Alberta
  • Sumas, Washington – Abbotsford, British Columbia
  • Lynden, Washington – Aldergrove, British Columbia
  • Blaine, Washington – Surrey, British Columbia
  • Point Roberts, Washington – Delta, British Columbia
  • Alcan, Alaska – Beaver Creek, Yukon

Drivers and passengers should be prepared to undertake one or more of the following upon arrival at a US-Canada border crossing:

  • Display your identification.
  • Turn off radios, cell phones, and remove sunglasses before addressing the border crossing agent.
  • All windows should be rolled down so that the border guard may speak with every passenger.
  • When you arrive at the guard station, you could be asked a few questions, like “How long do you intend to stay in Canada” and “Why are you visiting Canada.
  • Respond to a few inquiries about your travel arrangements in Canada.
  • Display your vehicle’s registration and permit inspectors to inspect the trunk’s contents.
  • You will need to present a letter from the child’s parent or legal guardian giving permission for them to travel if you are under 18 who is not your own. 
  • Pet dogs and cats must be older than three months and need a current, doctor-signed rabies immunization certificate.
  • Canada Random border crossing inspections do occur occasionally. You might need to show your vehicle’s registration and consent to having the contents of your trunk inspected by inspectors.

Prohibited items at the US-Canada border

There are several products that, like at any international border crossing, cannot be taken into Canada from the United States.

Visitors should make sure they are not transporting any of the following items  in their vehicle in order to adhere to Canadian border force regulations while traveling between the US and Canada:

  • Weapons and firearms.
  • Narcotics and illegal drugs, such as marijuana.
  • Products Tainted with Dirt.
  • Firewood.
  • Consumer goods that are prohibited.
  • Prohibited drugs or medications.
  • Fireworks, Ammunition, or explosives.

Visitors visiting Canada are additionally required to declare the following items:

  • Plants, animals, or Fruits.
  • Over CAN in tax and duty-free purchases$800.
  • Cash exceeding CAN$10,000.
  • Importing firearms or other weapons into Canada.

Walking Across the Border Between the US and Canada is possible?

Although it is more typical for tourists to enter Canada by car, there are no laws that require it for border crossings in Canada. As a result, it is relatively feasible to enter the nation on foot from the US.

But you can only do this at a legitimate border crossing. Without permission or prior notification from border control, entering Canada is prohibited and can result in fines and expulsion.

Do Canadian Road border Close at Night?

Not all US-Canada border crossings are open around-the-clock, though several are in each state. There is always at least one available crossing point in each border state.

These all-weather crossing locations are primarily found along busy roadways. Due to poor road conditions throughout the winter, more remote road border posts are more likely to close at night.

Wait times at the US-Canada border

Various factors influence border congestion. Normally, traffic moves at a regular pace with brief delays while entering Canada by car from US border crossings.

Roadside checks that allow for commercial border crossings are more likely to cause delays, however these do not happen often.Around weekends or national holidays, traffic may also pick up around the border crossing points.

There are many sites where the US and Canada converge, so tourists should check for delays before setting off and, if required, think about taking a different route.

What documents Should I Bring to the US?

Visitors must have the proper identification and entry authorization paperwork when they approach the Canadian border. Also required are the proper identification documents for any accompanying family members. For those who are foreign visitors:

  • Valid passport.
  • A Canadian visa,if necessary.
  • Car Registration papers.

Car travel to Canada from the US is typically stress-free. But like with any border crossing, adhering to the correct procedures can significantly impact how easy the process is.

Anyone traveling internationally and intending to enter Canada from the US by car must have a valid visa to do either business or travel.

For access via a land border crossing with the USA, Canadian eTA eligible people do not need to obtain this travel authorization. If a visitor intends to land at a Canadian airport, they just need to submit an online eTA application form in order to get a visa to enter the country.