Getting Ready to Enter Canada
For many people, the idea of traveling to Canada is exciting. It means that you get the opportunity to experience a different culture and way of life. For some people it means that they get an opportunity to visit a different country. For others it may just be the opportunity to experience something new.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware that they can actually apply for an immigrant visa or Canadian passport through the authorities in their own country. In other words, there are ways for travelers to get into Canada without having to fight the borders. If you’re a North American or European traveler, you don’t need to fret about this because you’re still able to use your passport. You can either get a special one from the embassy in your home country or you can apply for an ordinary tourist card from the Canada Border Services Agency. The latter is the easiest way to get into the country, but it’s also the most expensive. So what’s the difference?
Due to the recent increases in cases of deadly diseases, including influenza and avian flu, we: are temporarily changing the way you apply for travel to Canada by crossing the land border. To ensure that you’re getting to Canada safely and on time, we’re following our usual procedures related to travellers crossing the border. While we don’t advise you not to do anything that could jeopardize your journey, we do want to emphasize that travellers should exercise caution and take all possible precautions when crossing the border. For example, travellers should: never travel without carrying all necessary vaccinations; wear a P.V.P. badge, inform the customs officials when leaving the country and while backpacking and follow the same security precautions at all land border crossings.
We’ve also been following our normal procedures and have vaccinated many individuals crossing the border, as well as individuals who have their private international flights come to Canada and return to the United States. Our highest priority continues to be to ensure the safety of all Canadian residents and visitors to Canada and abroad. For travelers arriving in Canada from the United States, one of the most important things to do is to be vaccinated before departure. Similar to travelling abroad, Canadians travelling to the United States must also be vaccinated against common illness-causing diseases. Some other precautions for traveling to Canada include:
In order to protect themselves, Canadian residents travelling to Canada must have had a regular immunization series conducted. The schedules vary according to the age of the traveler, but generally requires recipients to have received one dose of at least one of the three recommended types of immunizations within seven days of arriving in Canada. Some of the commonly recommended vaccines are: rabies, distemper combo, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, meningitis, rotavirus, and cough or cold combination. Travellers should consult with their health care providers if they require an additional dose. Travellers need to remember that one of the main requirements for arriving in Canada is to have received the vaccination requirement as a child.
In addition to the vaccines, travellers should be aware of some important facts about traveling to Canada and the United States. As with travelling abroad, Canadians arriving in Canada should ensure to follow applicable customs and immigration requirements. They should make sure to have their photo examined by a Canadian customs officer. They should also inquire about their temporary resident status in Canada and their right to work in the country, as well as what documentation they will need to stay here temporarily.
Tourists are required to obtain an electronic travel authorization (ETIA) before travelling to Canada. Visitors can obtain an ETA through customs upon arrival at the airport in Canada or at the customs terminal in the United States, where they will be presented with a printed copy of the relevant Canadian immigration documents. The ETA helps travellers to avoid being billed for any goods or services they have imported into the country. By carrying an ETA along with their passport, Canadians help themselves to avoid overpaying for goods and services that they have brought into the country.
When travelling to Canada, travellers will be required to provide their own passports. Passports are not mandatory when entering Canada, but it is advisable to consider getting one, especially if you are planning on leaving the country for more than a short period of time. Passports are generally available at most major airports throughout the world and at the Office of International Trade. Passport applications can be obtained online through the designated website or by contacting the nearest embassy. No matter how you obtain your passport, ensure that you fill in all necessary information.