Planning a trip to Canada? Before you go, it’s important to check whether you need a visa to enter the country.
- Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?
- Form needed IMM 5257 application for a Temporary Resident Visa
- What’s an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
- What travel documents do you need?
- Travel documents for Canadians
- Travel documents for U.S. travellers
- Other Visa-exempt Countries
Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?
Canada requires nearly all foreign nationals to either have a visa OR an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to enter Canada. Others, including Canadian citizens and permanent residents, may only need a valid passport.
Citizens of these countries who are traveling to Canada need a visa:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Brazil (note: some Brazilian citizens may be eligible for an eTA if they meet certain requirements)
- British subjects, subject to control
- Burkina Faso
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Cameroon, Republic of
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- China, People’s Republic of
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Congo, Republic of
- Costa Rica, Republic of
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Israel, must have a valid Israeli “Travel Document in lieu of National Passport”
- Ivory Coast
- Korea, North
- Macao Special Administrative Region
- Maldives Islands
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia, Fed. States
- Palestinian Authority
- Romania (holder of a non-electronic passport, such as a temporary passport)
- Sao Tomé e Principe
- Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent)
- Taiwan, must have a passports other than ordinary passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that include their personal identification number
- Trinidad and Tobago
If you do not have the travel documents, you may be unable to board your flight or you could be turned away at the border.
What type of immigration document you need depends on:
- What you plan to do in Canada. Note that if you plan to work or study in Canada, you will almost certainly need a visa, no matter your nationality.
- Your travel document and the country from which it was issued.
- Your nationality.
- How you are traveling to Canada (plane, boat, or car).
Unless you are a national eligible for an Electronic Travel Authorization, most foreigners travelling to Canada for tourism purposes will need a visitor visa, officially called a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Download the application for a Temporary Resident Visa Form IMM 5257.
What’s an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?
An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for certain foreign nationals. Most travellers will need either an eTA OR a visa to travel to Canada.
Electronic Travel Authorizations are specifically for travellers who are travelling by flight to Canada. They are electronically linked to a travellers’ passports and are valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA.
Generally, Electronic Travel Authorizations allow you to travel to Canada multiple times for short stays (six months or less). And generally, you will not be able to work or study without another permit of some type.
You can apply for an eTA on the Canadian government’s official website. The application itself only takes a few minutes to complete. In most cases, the process is very straightforward and you’ll receive your eTA via email a few minutes after submitting the application. There is a $7 CA application fee.
What travel documents do you need?
Not all travelers need a visa to travel to Canada*. Listed below are the travel requirements for Canadians, U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and other “visa-exempt” countries. If you are from a country not listed below, you will need a visa in order to travel to Canada.
*IMPORTANT: Even if you don’t need a visa to travel to Canada for a short visit, you will likely need a visa and/or its associated permit if you plan to work or study in Canada. See the next chapter for more information.
Travel documents for Canadians
Canadian citizens including dual citizens, need only a valid Canadian passport. Canadian residents need only a valid permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document. If you do not have a valid P.R. Card you may be unable to re-enter Canada. Renew your P.R. Card before you travel.
Travel documents for U.S. travellers
U.S. citizens need a U.S. passport or passport card. However, U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), a valid green card, and a valid passport. Note that permanent residents only need an eTA if they are flying to Canada and NOT if they are traveling to Canada by land or sea (by train, bus, boat, or car).
Other Visa-exempt Countries
People from the following countries do not need a visa to travel to Canada; they only need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to board their flight to Canada. These travellers do not need an eTA if entering by land or sea (by train, bus, boat, or car).
Travellers with valid status in Canada (e.g. visitor, student or worker) who re-enters Canada after only visiting the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon do not need an eTA.
- Brazil (If you have previously held a Canadian visa within the last 10 years, arriving by commercial air travel only, and only for the purposes of short visits)
- British citizen
- British National (Overseas)
- British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
- British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization or registration in one of the British overseas territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Island, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands)
- Brunei Darussalam
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR.
- Israel, must have a national Israeli passport
- Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Taiwan, must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number
- United Arab Emirates
- Vatican City State, must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican
If you are not eligible for an eTA and you are planning on visiting Canada you will need a visitor visa, officially called a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Click here to download the application for a Temporary Resident Visa Form IMM 5257.