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Can Americans Travel to Canada? 

Kevin Berry

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Editor's note: Effective Oct. 1, 2022 all previous border measures to enter Canada have ended.

Traveling in the COVID era comes with all sorts of questions, logistics and concerns that travelers didn't think about before 2020. Traveling to Canada, despite its proximity to the U.S., has been no different.

In March 2020, the U.S. and Canada both closed their land borders to nonessential travel due to COVID-19. What started as a monthlong closure was extended 18 times.

So, if you gave up following the news or tracking border rules, you might be wondering: Can Americans travel to Canada? As of Oct. 1, the answer is yes, with no COVID-related restrictions.

Here's what Americans need to know about traveling to Canada.

What do Americans need to enter Canada?

As a U.S. citizen, you will need to provide proof of citizenship and identity to enter Canada. This can include a U.S. passport , passport card or a NEXUS card . No visa is required as long as your stay is under 180 days.

While the border between the U.S. and Canada reopened for nonessential travel in both directions in November 2021, several COVID-related protocols remained in place for entry until October 2022. Those rules have now been lifted.

Do you need to be vaccinated to enter Canada?

According to the Canadian government travel website, vaccination is no longer required to enter the country.

Previous policies including mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app, proof of vaccination, pre- or on-arrival testing, quarantine and health checks have also been lifted.

» Learn more: How to travel to Toronto on points and miles

Do you have to wear a mask on a plane to Canada?

In mid-2022, many Americans may have been surprised to find that they were required to wear a mask on all flights to and from Canada (flights throughout the U.S. had lifted that restriction). However, as part of the Oct. 1 policy changes, masks are no longer required on planes or trains in Canada.

Can unvaccinated people travel to Canada?

As of Oct. 1, 2022, you can travel to Canada unvaccinated as travel restrictions have been lifted.

» Learn more: TSA PreCheck or Global Entry — Which is right for you?

If you’re planning to travel to Canada

Travel to Canada is back to pre-pandemic rules which simply require U.S. citizens to provide valid proof of citizenship and identification using a passport, passport card or NEXUS card for stays under 180 days. Standard customs and immigration paperwork will still be required, as has always been the case for travel into Canada.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-6.5% Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

$300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

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Travel Advisory July 17, 2023

Canada - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Read the Country Information page for additional information on travel to Canada.

If you decide to travel to Canada: 

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for Canada.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.  Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

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Not required for stays under 180 days

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ottawa

490 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8 Canada Telephone:  +1 (613) 688-5335 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (613) 238-5335 Fax:  +1 (613) 688-3082 Email:   [email protected]

The Ottawa consular district includes the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont in Eastern Ontario, and those parts of the Québec regions of Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue near Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Montreal

1134 Rue Ste- Catherine West Montréal, Quebec H3B 1H4 Canada Telephone:  +1 (514) 398-9695 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (416) 645-9124 Fax:  +1 (514) 398-9748 Email:  [email protected]

The Montreal consular district includes Greater Montreal and the regions of Southern Quebec Province (Laurentides, Lanaudiere, Laval, Montreal, Montregie, Estrie, and the southern parts of Centre-du-Quebec), including Joliete, Drummondville, and Sherbrooke.

U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University Ave Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4 Canada Telephone:  +1 (416) 595-1700 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (416) 201-4056 Fax:  +1 (416) 595-5466 Email:  [email protected]

The consular district includes the province of Ontario except for the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont, which are served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

1075 West Pender Street Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6 Canada Telephone:  +1 (604) 685-4311 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (604) 685-4311 Fax:  +1 (604) 685-7175 Email:  [email protected]

The consular district includes British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

U.S. Consulate General Halifax

Purdy's Wharf Tower II 1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7 Canada Telephone:  +1 (902) 429-2480 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1 Email:  [email protected]

The Halifax consular district includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

U.S. Consulate Winnipeg

201 Portage Avenue, Suite 860 Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3K6 Canada Telephone:  +1 (204) 940-1800 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (403) 266-8962 and press "0" for assistance (Consulate General Calgary) Fax:  +1 (204) 940-1809

The Consulate in Winnipeg provides only emergency services for U.S. citizens. Routine services such as visas, passports and notarials are handled at other U.S. Consulates General, primarily Calgary.

U.S. Consulate General Quebec  2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin (Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac) Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9 Canada Telephone:  +1 (418) 692-2095 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (418) 692-2096 Fax:  +1 (418) 692-4640 Email:   [email protected]

The consular district includes Quebec City and those regions of Quebec Province to the North and East of the Montreal and Ottawa Districts (indicated above) – to include the area around Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Rimouski and the Gaspé Peninsula – as well as the Territory of Nunavut.

U.S. Consulate General Calgary  615 Macleod Trail S.E., 10th Floor Calgary, Alberta T2G 4T8 Canada Telephone:  +1 (403) 266-8962 Fax:  +1 (403) 264-6630 Email:   [email protected] The consular district includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, excluding Nunavut.

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

For tourist visits to Canada of less than 180 days, U.S. citizens do not need visas. Other types of travel generally require visas. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for current information.

If you have a criminal record, you may be unable to enter Canada. To determine whether you are criminally inadmissible and get information about how to overcome this finding, refer to the  IRCC website .  Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials determine if you can enter Canada in accordance with Canadian law.  

Travel Programs:  Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the  NEXUS trusted traveler program .

Entry into Canada:  Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

Children under 16 only need proof of U.S. citizenship.

Entry into the United States:  When traveling by air from Canada, U.S. citizens must present a U.S. passport book or other approved identification document. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website provides a full list of allowable documents.

Travel with Minors:  If you plan to travel to Canada with a minor for whom you do not have full legal custody, CBSA may require a letter of authorization from the minor’s parents or legal guardian(s). Please refer to the  CBSA website  for more details.

Private Boaters Entering Canada:  Canadian law requires all foreign private boaters, including recreational vessels, to present themselves upon their arrival in Canada to the CBSA. See the  CBSA website  for relevant reporting requirements.

Private Boaters Exiting Canada: Boaters may report their arrival to the United States or apply for a registered boater program using the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (CBP ROAM) app. Please visit the  CBP ROAM webpage for more information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Canada. For information on restrictions for HIV positive foreign residents of Canada visit the IRCC website .

Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

911 is the emergency telephone number in Canada.

Crime: Although Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, violent crimes occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Criminals may target parked cars, especially in large cities and popular tourist destination, for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts. Do not leave unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Some jurisdictions such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver may fine you for leaving your car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view. Pickpockets may target you, especially in popular tourist areas. Exercise caution. Safeguard yourself and your property.

Demonstrations  occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

While there is a very small likelihood of violence at a political gathering in Canada, we strongly encourage U.S. citizens to avoid all protests and demonstrations and maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad.

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI   pages for information.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +1(613) 688-5335. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

•    Help you find appropriate medical care

•    Assist you in reporting a crime to the police

•    Contact relatives or friends with your written consent

•    Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion

•    Provide a list of local attorneys

•    Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

•    Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

•    Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

•    Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulates for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. 

Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. If you are considering travel outside of populated areas, particularly in the northern Arctic territories, you need to know that search and rescue capabilities are limited because of extreme isolation and the harsh climate. You must be prepared for significant delays in receiving emergency assistance in these areas and plan accordingly.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance .  

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Controlled Substances:  Canadian law prohibits possession and trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including some substances that may be legal to possess under the law of certain U.S. states. Canada has legalized the personal consumption of recreational cannabis, but Canadian law prohibits taking cannabis across Canada’s national borders . Drug smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad  

Firearms : Canada controls firearms more strictly than the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Visitors bringing any firearms or ammunition into Canada must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. If you plan to borrow and use a firearm in Canada, you must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. You must present these forms in triplicate and sign them in front of a CBSA officer at the border. (It is not possible to make photocopies at the border). Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Program website .

Canadian law requires officials to confiscate firearms, ammunition, and other weapons from persons crossing the border who do not declare having the items in their possession. Officials will not return confiscated firearms, ammunition, and weapons and possession of any of these items may result in your arrest and imprisonment. You should inspect all belongings thoroughly before traveling to Canada to avoid the accidentally importing firearms, ammunition, or other weapons.

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Canada. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Pornography: Canada has strict laws concerning child pornography, and in recent years there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada.

Canadian officials may search your computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the device as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Tax Issues:  For information on U.S. Federal tax issues, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for international taxpayers .

  • Refer to this link for reporting requirements regarding Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) .
  • Refer to this link for information on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) .
  • Refer to this link for information about the Voluntary Disclosure Practice .

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in Canada prohibitsdiscrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. For more information, visit the Accessibility Standards Canada website .

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers .

For emergency services in Canada, dial 911 . Ambulance services are widely available.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with Health Canada to ensure the medication is legal in Canada.

Healthcare in Canada : The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Adequate health facilities are available throughout Canada.  Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government controlled. Access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of a Canadian province’s government-run health care plan. Many physicians will not take new patients. Specialist care is only by referral and may take months to obtain. Although trauma-care is on par with that in the United States, emergency room waits for non-life threatening problems can be very long. Some health care professionals in the Quebec may only speak French.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all CDC-recommended vaccinations .

Further health information:

World Health Organization U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Air Quality:  Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.

Pharmaceuticals:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:  If you are considering traveling to Canada to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  As in the United States, all emergency assistance in Canada can be reached by dialing 911.

For detailed information on road conditions throughout Canada, as well as links to provincial government websites, please see the Transport Canada website or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) website. The CAA honors American Automobile Association memberships. Automobile warranties of vehicles purchased in the United States may not be valid in Canada.

Winter travel can be dangerous due to heavy snowfalls and hazardous icy conditions. Some provinces require snow tires. CAA has tips for winter driving . Both winter conditions and wildfires may prompt the sudden closure of highways. Provincial ministries of transport typically post closures and other alerts about road conditions on their websites.

Traffic Laws:  Driving in Canada is similar to driving in many parts of the United States. Distances and speeds, however, are posted in kilometers per hour and some signs, particularly in Québec, may only be in French. U.S. driver’s licenses are valid for visitors in Canada. Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted  for tourists in Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance, and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization .

Some provinces require drivers to keep their vehicles’ headlights on during the day and some have banned driving while using a hand-held cell phone. Motorcycles cannot share a lane, and safety helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers are mandatory.

It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories, regardless of whether they are used. Police may confiscate radar detectors and impose substantial fines.

Drivers approaching border crossings into the United States may encounter traffic backups. Drivers should be alert, as lane restrictions at border approaches exist for drivers in NEXUS and FAST expedited inspection programs.

Public Transportation: Public transportation options vary across Canada, but all cities and most major towns have a public transit system .

Aviation Safety Oversight:   The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Canada’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Canada’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Canada should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Canada .  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA )  report.

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Visit Canada

Find out what document you need to travel, visit family and friends, do business, or transit through Canada, and how to extend your stay.

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Entering Canada

On this page, by private boat, required identification, permanent residents, travelling with children, you and the border services officer.

Whether you’re returning home or visiting, you’ll follow the same 3 steps to enter Canada:

Step 1. Pre-arrival: Use Advance Declaration or complete a Declaration Card

If you’re arriving by air at one of Canada’s participating international airports, you can save time at the border. Submit your customs and immigration declaration online using Advance Declaration up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada.

If you choose not to submit your declaration in advance, you can complete it at an airport kiosk or eGate. If you’re landing at an airport without kiosks or eGates, you’ll receive a Declaration Card on board the aircraft or other conveyance. Read the instructions and complete the card before you arrive. Have it ready to present to Canadian officials at the airport, along with your identification and other travel documents. If you're travelling with children, please have their documentation ready as well.

If using a Declaration Card, detach and discard the instructions. To help us serve you faster, do not fold the card.

Everyone arriving in Canada must complete a declaration. You can list up to 4 people living at the same residence on one card, or 8 people per Advance Declaration submission.

The Declaration Card or Advance Declaration submission tells us what we need to know about you, your travels and what you’re bringing into the country.

Connecting to another flight

If you’re connecting to another flight or travelling on to another destination and re-boarding the same plane, follow the signs. At some airports, you may have to check your baggage and have it screened again.

If you travel frequently our trusted traveller programs can help

If you're a member of a trusted traveller program, you can skip Step 2 and go directly to the automated kiosks or eGates for faster processing.

Step 2. Arrival: First CBSA checkpoint

When you arrive at the terminal, follow the signs to the first Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) checkpoint, also called “primary inspection.”

If you used Advance Declaration, go to a kiosk or eGate to retrieve your confirmed declaration receipt. Up to 5 people may use a kiosk as a group upon arrival.

Next, a border services officer will examine your:

  • Declaration Card or Advance Declaration kiosk receipt
  • your identification
  • other travel documents

The officer may ask you a series of questions to determine:

  • your immigration status
  • the type of any goods you're bringing with you
  • your duty-free allowance
  • your personal exemption entitlements

Goods not properly declared that are restricted or prohibited in Canada can, under the law, be seized.

Newcomer or coming to Canada to study or work

If you’re a newcomer to Canada, coming to study or work in Canada, you may need to present further documentation. The officer will help guide you through this process. You may ask the officer for help if you don’t speak English or French well.

Step 3. Baggage and second CBSA checkpoint

Go to the baggage claim area. If you must pay duty and taxes, you can pay at most major airports while waiting for your luggage.

Once you’ve picked up your luggage:

  • go to the next CBSA checkpoint
  • Declaration Card, Advance Declaration kiosk or eGate receipt
  • receipt, if you paid duty and taxes for your goods

The officer may direct you to a secondary inspection area.

Here, officers may ask you:

  • for detailed information about your travels
  • to present your luggage and goods for examination

This is a normal part of the travelling process. Your cooperation is appreciated and helps us ensure the safety of Canada, its economy and its residents.

If you’re arriving by land, follow the signs to the first checkpoint, also called “primary inspection.” Here, a border services officer will examine your identification and other travel documents and take your verbal declaration.

Visit U.S. to Canada border wait times for estimated wait times at certain locations.

If you’re arriving by private boat, go directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 to obtain clearance.

Private boaters that meet certain conditions may report to the CBSA by calling the TRC using cell phone from their location in Canadian waters.

Learn more about reporting requirements for private boaters.

Make sure you carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to help confirm your legal right to enter Canada. Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for certain international travellers who fly to Canada.

Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens travel with a valid Canadian passport because it’s the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel.

International transportation companies such as airlines may require travellers to present a passport before boarding. Canadian citizens may face delays or may not be allowed to board the plane or other conveyance if they present other documents such as a:

  • Enhanced Driver's License (EDL)/Enhanced Identification Card (EIC)
  • NEXUS card (used where the program is available)
  • Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card used in FAST lanes
  • Canadian citizenship card
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Birth certificate in combination with either a driver's licence or a government-issued photo identification

Permanent residents (immigrants living in Canada who are not yet Canadian citizens) need a valid permanent resident card to return to Canada. Check the expiry date on your card.

Note that a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship is not a travel document.

See Canadian Citizenship for further details.

Parents who share custody of their children should bring copies of the legal custody documents to the border when travelling with their children.

A consent letter should be used for all cross-border travel when a child is travelling:

  • with only 1 parent or guardian
  • in the care of friends or relatives
  • with a group, such as a sports, school, musical or religious group

Example of a consent letter to permit travel by a child with a single custodian or parent.

When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children.

Adults who aren’t parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. The consent letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.

Border officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you.

You may occasionally find yourself going through a more detailed inspection. In some cases, this simply means that you may have to complete a form. In other cases, the border services officer will need to identify the goods you’re bringing into the country or examine your luggage.

Border services officers are legally entitled to examine your luggage as part of their responsibility to protect Canada's safety, economy and environment. You are responsible for opening, unpacking and repacking your luggage.

By making your goods easily accessible for inspection and having your receipts handy, you will be helping the CBSA to help you. It’s a good idea to keep all your receipts for accommodation and purchases, and for any repairs done to, or parts bought for, your vehicle. The border services officer may ask to see them as evidence of the length of your stay and of the value of the goods or repairs.

If you disagree with the amount of duty and taxes that you have to pay, please ask to speak with the CBSA superintendent on duty. A consultation can often resolve the issue quickly and without cost. If you’re still not satisfied, our officers can tell you how to make a formal appeal.

Border services officers may arrest an individual for an offence under the Criminal Code (for example, impaired driving, outstanding arrest warrants, stolen property, abductions/kidnappings) and for infractions under other acts of Parliament (for example, the Customs Act , the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act ).

If you’re arrested, you may be compelled to attend court in Canada. You should note that anyone arrested in Canada is protected by and will be treated in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

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Travellers Visitors to Canada

October 1, 2022 : covid-19 emergency border measures ended.

Refer to COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders for details.

Have proper identification

You must carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to help confirm your legal right or authorization to enter Canada when you arrive.

All visitors arriving from or transiting through the United States should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the requirements to enter, transit through, or return to the United States.

Identification requirements for U.S. citizens and permanent residents

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.

For members of a Trusted Traveller program

U.s. citizens.

U.S. citizens who are members of the NEXUS program can use their membership card as proof of identification and citizenship when entering Canada by land, air or water. This applies when you are using either conventional or NEXUS-only lanes. U.S. citizens who are members of FAST may use their membership card when entering Canada by land or water only. When travelling by air, FAST cards will only be accepted as proof of identification when you are travelling to Canada from the U.S.

U.S. permanent residents

NEXUS and FAST members who are permanent residents of the U.S. must still travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence. You may be asked to present these documents to the Border Services Officer ( BSO ) when you arrive at the border.

No matter your mode of travel, we recommend you carry a valid passport for all travel abroad, including visits to Canada from the United States. A passport may be required by your airline or other transportation authority, since it is the only universally-accepted, identification document.

Identification requirements for international visitors

All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel.

Electronic Travel Authorization

Visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (USLPR) and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens , and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

Certain low-risk foreign nationals from select visa-required countries may also travel to or through Canada by air using an eTA through the eTA expansion program .

Foreign nationals from select visa-required countries may also travel to or through Canada by air using an eTA, if eligible .

Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Get help if you have questions before, during or after you apply.

Fake websites

Travellers who apply for an eTA are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer help in getting an eTA. These companies are not operating on behalf of the Government of Canada. Many have established websites that charge a fee to provide information and submit eTA applications.

This Government of Canada website is the official place to apply for an eTA .

Travelling with minors

BSOs watch for missing persons , and may ask detailed questions about any minors travelling with you.

Visit the Children and travel page for more information about travelling abroad with minors.

What you can bring with you

As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as personal baggage. Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sports equipment, cameras and personal computers. This also includes your mode of transportation, including vehicles, private boats and aircraft.

You must declare all goods when you arrive at the first CBSA port of entry. Our BSO s check goods you are bringing in or taking out of Canada to verify what you have declared. If you declare goods when you arrive and take them back with you when you leave, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes. These goods cannot be:

  • used by a resident of Canada;
  • used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
  • given as a gift to a Canadian resident; or
  • disposed of or left behind in Canada.

The BSO may ask you to leave a security deposit for your goods. Your deposit will be refunded when you leave Canada with the goods. If this happens, you will be issued a Temporary Admission Permit. We will keep a copy and give you one for your records. When you leave Canada, bring your goods and your copy of the Temporary Admission Permit, to the BSO . You will get a receipt and your security deposit will be refunded by mail.

Making your declaration

Every traveller entering Canada must report to a border services officer and answer all their questions truthfully. Travellers must also report goods they are bringing with them, including food, plant and animal products.

To ensure a smooth border crossing, have all required identification and travel documents in hand. Be ready to make a full and accurate declaration, including the amount of goods in Canadian dollars you are bringing with you.

If you arrive by land, follow the signs to the first checkpoint. A border services officer will check your identification and other travel documents and you will answer their questions.

If you arrive by private boat, go directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the Telephone Reporting Centre ( TRC ) at 1-888-226-7277 to get clearance. For more information, visit the Private boaters page.

If you arrive at one of Canada's main airports , you can complete your customs and immigration declaration your before arrival with Advance Declaration.

At the airport kiosk or eGate, you will scan your travel document and verify your identity. The device will print your declaration and you will bring it to a border services officer.

If you arrive at a smaller Canadian airport, without a kiosk or eGate, you must fill out a paper E-311 CBSA Declaration Card prior to arrival and present it to a border services officer.

Use Advance Declaration and save time!

Submit your customs and immigration information with Advance Declaration up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada using your smart phone or your computer. When you use Advance Declaration, you can access express lanes in the arrivals hall. Data shows that it’s up to 50% faster at the airport kiosk or eGate.

Instructions on how to complete the card are attached to the form. You can list up to four people living at the same residence on one card. If there are more than four people living at your address use one additional card for each additional group of four or fewer people. Once the cards are complete you can detach and discard the instructions. Do not fold the card.

Be sure to keep the card handy along with your identification and other travel documents. You will be asked to show this card to our BSOs several times.

If you have any questions about the card or Canadian regulations, ask the BSO when you arrive.

Referrals for secondary services and inspections

At any point during your interactions with our BSOs at a port of entry, you may be referred to our secondary services and inspections area.

We understand that travellers may feel anxious when crossing the border. Referrals to secondary inspection are a normal part of the cross-border travel process that any visitor to Canada may experience.

Why you may be referred to secondary inspection

You may be referred to secondary inspection for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • carrying out a random inspection;
  • verifying your declaration or documentation;
  • asking you more in-depth questions about yourself or inspecting your goods;
  • determining your admissibility to Canada or the admissibility of the goods in your possession;
  • having you pay duty and taxes;
  • completing or processing paperwork to support your entry or the entry of your goods to Canada.

All travellers are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms . Referrals are not made on any discriminatory basis, such as race, nationality, religion, age or gender.

What to expect from secondary inspections

If you are referred for Secondary Services or Inspection, an officer may:

  • ask you to provide detailed information about your plans while visiting Canada, or the time you spent abroad;
  • make further enquiries, check records, or conduct research to verify your declaration;
  • confirm the guardianship of children travelling with you;
  • process the payment of duty and taxes;
  • inspect your luggage, purse or wallet, electronics (including laptops and cell phones), your vehicle and any additional goods you are transporting;
  • examine visually your pet or any animals travelling with you;
  • ask you to produce evidence of the money you have available to fund your visit to Canada;
  • request that you produce receipts to account for expenses you incurred or purchases made abroad; or
  • count your cash or travellers cheques, in your presence.

While most travellers we inspect comply with Canadian laws and regulations, we do encounter individuals who are intent on breaking the law and who attempt to avoid detection. That is why the officer may not always answer specific questions about a Secondary Inspection.

Travelling with alcohol and tobacco

Alcoholic beverages.

You are allowed to bring into Canada only one of the following amounts of alcohol and alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:

Alcoholic beverages are products that exceed 0.5% alcohol by volume. Certain alcoholic and wine products that do not exceed 0.5% by volume are not considered alcoholic beverages.

You must meet the minimum age of the province or territory where you enter Canada. Minimum ages are established by provincial or territorial authorities: 18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec and 19 years for the remaining provinces and territories.

The CBSA classifies "cooler" products according to the alcoholic beverage they contain. For example, beer coolers are considered to be beer and wine coolers are considered to be wine.

The quantities of alcoholic beverages you can import must be within the limit set by provincial and territorial liquor control authorities that apply where you will enter Canada. If the amount of alcohol you want to import exceeds your personal exemption, you will be required to pay the duty and taxes as well as any provincial or territorial levies that apply. Contact the appropriate provincial or territorial liquor control authority for more information before you return to Canada.

You must be of legal age in the province of importation. While you are allowed to import more alcoholic beverages than the amounts listed above, you will be responsible for paying duty and taxes on the additional alcoholic beverages you are bringing into Canada.

For more information on bringing alcoholic beverages to Canada, consult the Alcohol and tobacco limits page.

Tobacco products

As a visitor or a temporary resident, you may bring into Canada, free of duty and taxes, all of the following amounts of tobacco products, as long as these items are in your possession when you arrive in Canada:

You can speed up your clearance by having your tobacco products available for inspection when you arrive.

Whether they are stamped or unstamped, if you bring in tobacco products that exceed your personal exemption, you will be required to pay the regular duty and taxes as well as any provincial or territorial levies that apply on the excess amount.

Note: You must be 18 years of age to bring tobacco products into Canada under your personal exemption.

Stamped Tobacco Products – Personal exemption amounts

If you wish to import cigarettes, manufactured tobacco and tobacco sticks duty free as part of your personal exemption, the packages must be stamped " duty paid Canada droit acquitté ". You will find tobacco products sold at duty-free stores marked this way.

Unstamped Tobacco Products – Special duties rate

A special duty rate applies to cigarettes, manufactured tobacco and tobacco sticks that are not stamped " duty paid Canada droit acquitté".

For example, if you claim a carton of 200 cigarettes as part of your personal exemption and it is not stamped " duty paid Canada droit acquitté", you will be assessed at a special duty rate.

Unstamped Tobacco Products – Import limits

In addition to your personal exemption amounts, there are limits on the quantity of tobacco products that may be imported if it is not packaged and not stamped " duty paid Canada droit acquitté ". The limit is currently five units of tobacco products. One  unit of tobacco products consists of one of the following:

For short visits, these quantities may be limited to amounts that are appropriate in respect of the nature, purpose, and duration of the visit.

Restricted/prohibited goods

Certain goods are restricted or prohibited in Canada. To avoid the possibility of penalties, including seizure or prosecution, make sure you have the information you need before attempting to bring items into Canada.

The following are some examples of restricted or prohibited goods:

  • Firearms and weapons : You must declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada.
  • Food, plants, animals and related products : All food, plants, animals, and related products must be declared. Food can carry disease, such as E. coli. Plants and plant products can carry invasive alien species, such as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Animals and animal products can carry diseases, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease.
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition : You must have written authorization and permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada.
  • Vehicles : Vehicles include any kind of pleasure vehicles such as passenger cars, pickup trucks, snowmobiles and motor homes, as long as you use them for non-commercial purposes. There are many requirements that apply to importing a vehicle .
  • Consumer products : Certain consumer products that could pose a danger to the public (e.g., baby walkers, jequirity beans that are often found in art or bead work) are not allowed to be brought into Canada. Canadian residents should be aware of consumer products that have safety requirements in Canada . Many of these safety requirements are stricter than requirements of other countries.

For more information consult the Restricted and Prohibited Goods page.

Travelling with CAN$10,000 or more

If you have currency or monetary instruments equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency) in your possession when arriving in or departing from Canada, you must report to the CBSA. Monetary instruments include items such as stocks, bonds, bank drafts, cheques, and travellers' cheques.

This regulation applies to currency and monetary instruments you have on your person, in your baggage and/or in your vehicle.

When you arrive in Canada with CAN$10,000 or more in your possession, you must report it on the CBSA Declaration Card (if one was provided to you), or in the verbal declaration made to a BSO.

When you leave Canada by air with CAN$10,000 or more in your possession, you must report to the CBSA office within the airport, before clearing security or, if leaving by land or boat, report your intent to export to the CBSA at one of our offices.

For more information, including instructions on how to report your intent to import or export currency in person, by mail, or by courier, you can consult Travelling with CAN$10,000 or more .

Travelling with gifts

If you are travelling with gifts, do not wrap them before crossing the border. If a gift is wrapped, a BSO may need to un-wrap the gift to examine the goods you are bringing into Canada.

Can I enter Canada?

Why some people cannot enter or remain in canada.

There are a number of reasons you can be found inadmissible, denied a visa or refused entry to Canada such as:

  • Human or international rights violations
  • Criminality
  • Organized criminality
  • Health grounds
  • Financial reasons
  • Misrepresentation
  • Non-compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
  • Having an inadmissible family member

Visit the Determine your eligibility page for more information.

Ministerial relief

If you have been found inadmissible to Canada on grounds of security, certain provisions relating to human or international rights violations, or organized criminality, you may request that the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister) make a declaration of relief under subsection 42.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) if the Minister is satisfied that doing so is not contrary to the national interest. This process is commonly referred to as Ministerial relief.

You may apply for Ministerial relief using BSF766. Refer to the Guide to Applying for a Declaration of Relief Under Subsection 42.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act .

Overcome criminal convictions

Depending on the crime, how long ago it was committed, and how you have behaved since the conviction, you may still be allowed to come to Canada, if you:

  • convince an immigration officer that you meet the legal terms to be deemed rehabilitated, or
  • applied for rehabilitation and were approved, or
  • were granted a record suspension, or
  • have a temporary resident permit.

Visit the Overcome criminal convictions page for more information.

Resources for visitors

  • Come to Canada to settle, study or work
  • Refugees (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website)

What You Need to Know About Visiting Canada From the U.S.

american visit to canada

GeoStock / Getty Images

Passport requirements have been a complicated and ever-changing issue for U.S. travelers to Canada due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which was introduced in 2004 by the U.S. government to strengthen U.S. border security and standardize travel documentation. Visitors from any country other than the U.S. have always needed a passport to enter Canada. On the other hand, because of a friendly border crossing agreement between Canada and the United States, Canada Border Services did not require U.S. citizens to present a passport to enter Canada. This friendly border crossing agreement used to be mutual; however, now the WHTI requires that U.S. citizens have a passport to return home via air.

In this way,  passport requirements  for Canada and U.S. borders are different on paper, but, are in practice, the same. Canada will not allow a U.S. citizen into the country who does not have the proper documentation to return home.

The Canadian government requires citizens of the United States to have a passport to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport, but not to enter Canada by land or by boat. For those travelers, in lieu of a passport, Canada requires that you carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or a Certificate of Indian Status, as well as photo identification.

NEXUS is a voluntary program designed to speed up border crossings for low-risk, pre-approved travelers into Canada and the United States. The information you provide is used to determine your eligibility. 

NEXUS members use dedicated processing lanes at certain northern border crossing points, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Pre-clearance airports. NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website has a list of trusted traveler programs including NEXUS and provides application information. 

Returning to the United States

U.S. citizens and permanent residents traveling to Canada by air are required by U.S. law to present a passport for entry into Canada and will need to present their passport again when returning to the U.S. For those traveling by land or water, you will need a passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document to enter Canada, and will need to show these documents again to return to the U.S.

Children under 16 need to present proof of U.S. citizenship when entering Canada with their parents. As with adults, the requirements are different for those flying. If minor children (under 18) are traveling alone, with one parent only, or with someone other than their parents, they may need additional documentation . This is for the protection of the children.

All children returning to the United States from Canada by air must hold a valid U.S. passport.

Recommendations 

Follow the most restrictive recommendations because you can't predict where your future travels will take you. Document requirements for travelers to and from Canada by air are required to have passports so even if you are traveling by car this time, consider obtaining a passport in anticipation of future travel plans.

Additional information, as well as current advisories, can be found on the websites of the Canada Border Services Agency and The US Department of State.

What Documents Do I Need for Mexico Travel?

What Is a Nexus Card?

Passport Requirements for Driving to Canada

Travel to Africa and the Middle East: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

Do Children Need a Passport to Visit Canada?

Passports and Mexico Entry Requirements for Children

Vancouver to Seattle Border Crossing: Which Travel Documents do I Need?

Travel Documents You Need to Visit Mexico

What Travel Documents Are Needed for Your Caribbean Vacation?

How to Apply for a NEXUS Card

How to Travel to Cuba If You Are an American

Reasons You May Be Denied Entry at the Canada Border

Do I need a passport to travel to Mexico?

Passport Requirements for Canadian Citizens Traveling to Mexico

How to Find Your Nearest US Passport Office

Everything International Travelers Need to Know About Planning a Trip to the US

Americans Visiting Canada 

Travel between canada and the united states is common and fairly straightforward. nevertheless, if you are an american visiting canada, there are some regulations you should be aware of, and being informed will make your journey simple and easy. .

Americans Visiting Canada

Visa and Passport  

A visa is not required for U.S. citizens visiting Canada, providing their stay does not exceed 180 days. However, if you are coming into Canada for reasons other than a pleasure trip, such as to work, study, or immigrate, then you must qualify for the correct entry status. In such a case, you should contact the Canadian Embassy or a nearby consulate in order to obtain the appropriate answers to your questions, and get the necessary application forms for a temporary visa. 

Americans visiting Canada for a leisure purposes must hold a valid, up-to-date U.S. passport. NEXUS card and Green Card holders can use their membership documentation as a substitute for a passport, as it proves both identity and citizenship. Like a passport, the NEXUS or Green Card is scanned at land border crossings and airports. The card costs $50. 

Note: all American visitors require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if arriving by plane (an eTA is not necessary if arriving by land or sea). 

Medical 

Each Canadian province has its government-operated health care plan, and every Canadian citizen holds a Medicare card that gives them access to the benefits of that plan. If you are an American visiting Canada, and you require medical attention during your stay, you should be prepared to pay, in cash, the amount required for medical services, at the time that the service is performed. Canadian health care providers do not accept U.S. domestic health insurance. 

It is always a good idea to purchase medical travel insurance , even if your trip is a short one. It is best to be prepared! 

Firearms 

In Canada, possession and use of firearms is more strictly controlled than in the United States. Since January 2001, visitors bringing firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow or use firearms while in Canada, must make a declaration in writing on the appropriate forms (in triplicate), which must be signed by a border patrol officer at the point of crossing. A temporary firearms license is valid for up to 60 days. If your firearms are not declared, they may be confiscated and will not be returned to you. Moreover, you could be arrested and face possible jail time. 

It is important to remember that while traveling to another country, you are always subject to that country's laws and regulations. 

Contact Information 

If you are an American visiting Canada and you would like additional information on matters concerning your travels north, you can contact the Canadian Embassy in Washington: 

Embassy of Canada to the United States 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20001 Telephone (general inquiries): 202-682-1740

Canadian consulate offices can also be found in the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Super Visa Insurance

USA Residents Visiting Relatives in Canada  

Currently, visitors from the USA do not require an entry visa for stays of six months or less. However, USA parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to benefit from the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa provisions. USA citizens who wish to visit Canada for up to two years without having to renew their authorized stay should consider applying for an extended authorized stay by proving that the requirements for the Super Visa are met. For more information, see the Super Visa .

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Do You Need a Passport to Go to Canada?

Everything you need to know about travel requirements to visit the united states’ northern neighbor..

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Pyramid Lake at Jasper National Park, Canada, reflecting sunrise clouds

What documents are necessary to visit Canada’s wild places?

Photo by Shutterstock

Canada, the sprawling neighbor to the north, has it all: breathtaking national parks (like Banff and Jasper ), vibrant cities , culture, and Indigenous stories. As an American contemplating a visit across the northern border, you might be wondering about the travel requirements involved, particularly whether a passport is necessary.

Do you need a passport to enter Canada?

Yes, Americans need a passport to go to Canada, or an appropriate alternative document. And that’s whether you’re flying, driving, sailing, biking, taking the train, or walking into the country from the United States.

The policy that requires Americans to have a passport or equivalent document for transiting between the United States and Canada was passed by Congress in 2009 as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) “ to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States. ”

Under this initiative, a passport is considered the standard document for international travel. It replaced previous forms of identification, such as a standard driver’s license or birth certificate, which were previously accepted for crossing the U.S.–Canada border.

Acceptable alternative documents for crossing the U.S.–Canada border

If you don’t have a passport, you can use a few other documents to enter Canada as an American citizen.

Passport card

One such option is a passport card . Like a passport book, the card includes information about the carrier, including full name, nationality, place of birth, gender, issue date and expiration date, a unique identification number, and a photo, though it looks more like a driver’s license. However, it’s important to note that passport cards can only be used for land or sea travel between the United States and Canada—they will not be accepted as an appropriate form of identification for international flights.

Another option is a NEXUS card. The NEXUS program, jointly administered by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), offers expedited clearance for preapproved, low-risk travelers. To acquire a NEXUS card, there is an application process (made through CBP), which includes an in-person interview. The NEXUS card can be used for air, land, or sea transportation.

Enhanced Driver’s Licenses

Some U.S. states offer Enhanced Driver’s Licenses , which contain additional security features and can be used in place of a passport for travel to Canada by car. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses are available in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington.

Boat, train, and foot crossings

For those traveling by boat into Canada (most Alaska cruises, for instance, stop in Canada), a passport or passport card are necessary. Same goes for trains.

If you’re traveling by foot and go through a border control area, you’ll need a passport, passport card, or NEXUS card. You could skirt that by crossing in a remote area, but we would highly recommend against that.

Visit Monaco

Everything you need to know before taking a road trip to Canada

Victoria M. Walker

Canada on July 19 said it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens beginning on Aug. 9.

It will be the first phase of a two-step reopening process.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been fully vaccinated (14 days past the final dose) will be allowed to enter Canada for nonessential travel purposes beginning Aug. 9. Canada also said it intends to open its borders to citizens of other countries as of Sept. 7 if the pandemic doesn't worsen.

The government said it's using a "border testing surveillance program" at its air and land border crossings. Fully vaccinated travelers will not need to take a negative COVID-19 test upon entry unless they've been randomly selected to take one. You will, however, need to pack a negative test result in addition to your proof of vaccination. (More on that later.)

Canada might be a suitable option for Americans who haven't traveled during the pandemic. Because Canada is drivable from many parts of the U.S., it's an excellent option for people who want to get out of the country but aren't comfortable yet flying long distances.

Here's what you need to know about driving to a reopened Canada.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter .

How to enter Canada from the US

american visit to canada

There are dozens of entry points by land into Canada from the U.S. But the most visited include the Windsor-Detroit border, Buffalo-Niagara Falls; Port Huron, Michigan; Maine; and Blaine, Washington, according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics data .

When you cross into Canada from the U.S. , a border agent will ask the purpose of your trip and whether you feel well. Travelers crossing the border by land must wear a mask, bring a negative test result, use the ArriveCAN app to upload proof of vaccination and follow border crossing procedures.

What documents do you need to drive to Canada?

american visit to canada

Driving into Canada from the U.S. is relatively simple compared to other destinations.

Travelers driving into Canada from the U.S. must have a valid I.D., such as a U.S. passport. Unlike most of the world, a passport card is also accepted on the land border . Children under 16 need only show proof of U.S. citizenship. The following forms of identification are accepted for U.S. citizens:

  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Passport card (for land and marine travel only)
  • Enhanced Driver's License (for land and marine travel only)

U.S. citizens who are members of the NEXUS program show their membership card as proof of identification when arriving in Canada by air (from the U.S.) land or sea. U.S. citizens in the FAST program can use their cards when arriving by land and sea only.

U.S. permanent residents are required to carry an electronic travel authorization (eTA) only when arriving in Canada by air. Their foreign passport must be linked to a valid eTA, and they must also travel with proof of their permanent resident status to qualify for a visa exemption.

Starting Aug. 9, fully vaccinated travelers won't need to take a negative COVID-19 test upon entry to Canada unless they've been randomly selected for testing. However, the pre-travel testing mandate remains in place even for vaccinated travelers. Travelers arriving in Canada by land or air need to take a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure. Both PCR and RT-PCR tests are accepted , but antigen tests are not.

Unvaccinated children under 12 will be allowed to enter Canada but must submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN and meet all testing requirements. Travelers need to be able to provide a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French, according to the Canadian government .

Use Nexus to expedite arrival

american visit to canada

If you're a U.S. citizen who visits Canada often, you may want to consider getting Nexus so you can also enjoy expedited customs processing there. It's a program between Canada and the United States for preapproved, low-risk travelers at designated air, land and sea ports of entry.

Nexus is 50% less expensive than Global Entry ($50 per adult and free for children under 18). However, you must enroll at a center along the Canadian border. Clearing Canadian customs and immigration can take a while, so this would save you a lot of time.

And once you have Nexus, either as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you also get Global Entry and TSA PreCheck. Nexus is available at 21 land locations when entering Canada. However, the Canada Border Services Agency implemented temporary lane closures that will remain in effect until "further notice."

Global Entry

american visit to canada

If you want to expedite your entry back into the U.S., you can also get Global Entry. You can enroll upon arrival at various airports in a handful of states , plus Canada, Ireland, the Bahamas, Abu Dhabi, Aruba and Bermuda.

Global Entry cards are acceptable at land points of entry for expedited entry into the United States via the SENTRI and Nexus lanes. However, you can't use your Global Entry membership to enter Canada through the Nexus lanes.

Coming back to the U.S.

Travelers coming back to the U.S. from Canada by land aren't required to have a negative COVID-19 test. However, travelers flying into the U.S. from Canada must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken three days before departure.

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Solar eclipse 2024 LIVE: Time rare event visible to MILLIONS will happen across North America

On Monday, a rare total solar eclipse will traverse North America, starting in Mexico before entering Texas, the Midwest and Maine and ending in Canada. Here's all you need to know as the rare celestial phenomenon happens

Called the 'Great American Eclipse,' the total solar eclipse on Monday will traverse North American, beginning in Mexico before passing through Texas, the Midwest and New England and ending in Canada

  • Updated 02:01, 8 Apr 2024

With the "Great American Eclipse " mere hours away, NASA has published maps showing the path of totality and the times each place in that line will experience complete darkness, the result of the moon passing directly between Earth and the sun.

An estimated 4 million people are expected to travel for the grandiose event, which will be the last of its kind in North America until 2044 when another total solar eclipse will grace the northern portion of the Lower 48. The next mass eclipse event won't be until the year after.

States of emergency were declared in several states and regions ahead of the event, which will occur in the afternoon on Monday, beginning in Texas before moving through the Midwest, into the Great Lakes region and through New England. It will also be visible in Mexico and Canada at the beginning and end of its journey, respectively.

Totality will first be visible in southern Texas at just after 1.30pm CDT (2.30pm EDT) before reaching the Midwest about half an hour later. Another 20 minutes after that, it should be visible from the Great Lakes region. It's slated to leave the US and enter Canada completely by around 3.35pm EDT.

Clouds could ruin the view in several areas, with forecasts predicting significant cloud cover in Texas and in the Great Lakes region. The Midwest is still up in the air in terms of forecast, with clouds possible but unlikely. The skies over northern New England are expected to be relatively clear at the time of totality.

Follow along for live updates of the event.

School districts explain why schools are closing in several states on April 8

As hundreds of school districts between Maine and Texas will be shrouded in near-total darkness during next month’s total solar eclipse , many schools have decided to shut down for the day and cancel classes.

In an effort to keep students safe, schools are being cautious in order to protect their eyes from harmful solar radiation and making sure they travel home safely as thousands of out-of-towners crowd local streets to catch an optimal glimpse of this rare cosmic phenomenon.

READ MORE: Solar eclipse safety warning as drivers told what not to do during rare celestial event

The states due to be affected by the eclipse are Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse, according to NASA and schools have been quick to share their concerns for what will happen on the day.

Dozens of schools across central and western New York will be closing or finishing early. Meghan Piper, public information officer for Liverpool School District in central New York, told NewsChannel 9 that their district would be closed on April 8, following discussions with local emergency management offices, and others are expected to do the same.

The district had originally planned to hold half a day of classes but became concerned about getting kids safely to and from school due to the number of tourists and on-lookers expected to flock to the area, flooding local roads with vehicles.

“School districts in other regions of the country that have experienced total eclipses like this have encountered those issues and the district decided to make the switch.”

While Americans chase the eclipse, indigenous elders advise staying home

While Americans head out to the skies tomorrow, April 8, to try to get a view of the eclipse, a few cultures don't see the solar adventure as a social time.

In fact, America's original people, the Diné, or Navajo, see the event as a time to stay in and contemplate the events. The Diné view these celestial events as sacred times to honor the sun and Earth with reverence.

Evelyn Bahe, a program manager at the Department of Diné Education in Window Rock, Arizona. "During the eclipse, we have to get back into our dwelling, close the curtains and make it really quiet," Bahe explained to CNN . "During this time, we cannot eat. We cannot sleep. We cannot drink water."

According to Bahe, participating in such activities during an eclipse is believed to have negative consequences and disturb one's spiritual balance. To show respect for the event, the Navajo Nation has previously shut down offices, parks, and schools during eclipses.

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Bahe notes that Diné has different interpretations about what occurs during an eclipse: While some see it as a convergence of the sun and moon, others believe it symbolizes the rebirth and rejuvenation of these celestial bodies.

"It is considered a time of interaction between the Sun and the moon," state Nancy C. Maryboy and David Begay of the Indigenous Education Institute in a statement on the Exploratorium website.

"(Navajo elders) sit quietly and in contemplation, or recount traditional teachings about the origins of the Sun and moon. These practices are grounded in their deeply held respect for the cosmic order."

Rumors of 'eclipse sickness' is causing 'weird' feelings, headaches and insomnia run rampant on social media

Parts of the country will be plunged into darkness on Monday as a solar eclipse blocks out the Sun and some social media users have reported "weird feelings" they believe could be down to so-called "eclipse sickness" from the upcoming celestial event.

While the eclipse is only expected to last a few minutes, some people are already reporting feeling strange about the unusual event.

Humans have been watching total eclipses since the dawn of written history and while they used to be viewed with much suspicion, in modern times for the most part it is seen as something to be marvelled at instead of feared. However, there are still some people who view the eclipse with unease and users have been taking to X, formerly known as Twitter , to describe some strange symptoms.

READ MORE: 'Eclipse sickness' is causing 'weird' feelings, headaches and insomnia, social media users claim

One person said: "Been feeling physically sick for a few days now and I feel like it’s because of the Mercury retrograde and the upcoming solar eclipse. Does anyone else feel off/sick these days?" while another said: "Any of u also experiencing headache bc of the solar eclipse??"

One user said they had been feeling "wiped out", writing: "A lot of people talking about the Total Solar Eclipse and Full moon... but us anyone else actually FEELING it?... This just has me wiped out feeling weird ". Another claimed it had thrown her menstrual cycle off and their period was now "synced" with the eclipse.

Cellphone services could be disrupted amid mass travel

Cell reception could become spotty or nonexistent in areas where lots of people are slated to gather for the total solar eclipse on Monday.

It's not an uncommon occurrence — when thousands gather for sporting events or concerts, cell towers can become overwhelmed by the influx of people hoping to connect to the internet or send and receive messages.

As such, people in places like Niagara Falls or some small-town regions of Texas not accustomed to that level many people could experience outages, finding themselves unable to send or receive messages for potentially hours.

T-Mobile, one of America's largest cellular network providers, said it has spent the last several months beefing up towers in anticipation of the influx, but time will tell whether the company's efforts worked or not.

Several regions declare states of emergency amid tourism influx

With around 4 million people expected to travel to regions in the path of totality to experience the eclipse, many municipalities and even entire states declared states of emergency as they anticipate struggling to cope with the masses of people.

The governors of Indiana and Arkansas issued emergency declarations last week in anticipation of the event, which activated additional emergency call centers and resources to deal with potential incidents across the state.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is also under a state of emergency, with around a million tourists expected to flock to the city to see the rare celestial event. Other regions buckling down with their own declarations include several counties in Texas and Upstate New York.

In Ohio, while a state of emergency wasn't yet officially declared, Governor Mike DeWine is mobilising emergency resources nonetheless to deal with an expected influx.

Around 37 million people or more are already living in the path of totality.

Weather forecast 24 hours before major celestial event

Clouds pose a serious threat to travellers' ability to witness the full glory of the total solar eclipse on Monday, with some regions predicted to experience near total cloud cover , blocking the rare celestial event for millions of eager viewers.

As the eclipse draws nearer, forecasters have released updated predictions for the main event, showing exactly which regions are slated to experience poor weather and which ones will be able to see without obstruction.

If you were hoping to see the event in Texas, you might be out of luck, as cloud cover is anticipated over much of the state. The same can be said of the Great Lakes region, with northwestern Pennsylvania, near Erie, and western New York, including parts of Buffalo.

New England, however, including the northern parts in the eclipse's path, will likely be largely cloud-free, allowing residents and tourists to see the main event in its totality.

Regions of the Midwest, including the stretch from Missouri to Indiana that finds itself in the path of totality, are also likely to be cloud-free in most areas, but the viability of that prediction is still hanging in the balance.

Ultimately, time will tell which areas are expected to see clouds and which will have unobstructed views. People in some places with cloud cover will be able to see the eclipse through the clouds, but others will experience total obstruction.

Times and places eclipse will be visible across US on Monday afternoon

NASA has eclipse prediction down to a science, with the US government organisation able to tell the exact time Monday's total solar eclipse will pass over each region of the States.

Texas is the first state slated to experience the rare celestial event, with totality slated to reach San Antonio by just after 1.30pm local time (CDT). The main event will reach Dallas at exactly 1.40pm, lasting until 1.44pm, before the eclipse moves on to other regions of the South and makes its way to the Midwest.

Poplar Bluff, Missouri, a small city about 150 miles (241km) south of St. Louis, will see totality at 1.56pm. Totality will darken southern Indiana at 2.02pm, and then Cleveland, Ohio, will see the main event as it reaches the Great Lakes region at 3.13pm EDT, just 11 minutes after Indiana.

Buffalo, New York, will see the eclipse at 3.18pm before it moves into New England, reaching Burlington, Vermont, at 3.26pm. Caribou, Maine, will be the last major US location to see the event, with totality slated to occur at 3.32pm.

In each region in the eclipse's path, totality is slated to last between two and four minutes, and a partial eclipse will be visible for approximately an hour and 15 minutes both before and after the main event.

MORE ON Solar eclipse Nasa The Moon Weather

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Watch CBS News

Solar eclipse maps show 2024 totality path, peak times and how much of the eclipse you can see across the U.S.

By Aliza Chasan

Updated on: April 7, 2024 / 7:29 PM EDT / CBS News

A total solar eclipse crosses North America on April 8, 2024, with parts of 15 U.S. states within the path of totality. Maps show where and when astronomy fans can see the big event . 

The total eclipse will first appear along Mexico's Pacific Coast at around 11:07 a.m. PDT, then travel across a swath of the U.S., from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

About 31.6 million people live in the path of totality , the area where the moon will fully block out the sun , according to NASA. The path will range between 108 and 122 miles wide. An additional 150 million people live within 200 miles of the path of totality.

Solar eclipse path of totality map for 2024

United states map showing the path of the 2024 solar eclipse and specific regions of what the eclipse duration will be.

The total solar eclipse will start over the Pacific Ocean, and the first location in continental North America that will experience totality is Mexico's Pacific Coast, around 11:07 a.m. PDT on April 8, according to NASA. From there, the path will continue into Texas, crossing more than a dozen states before the eclipse enters Canada in southern Ontario. The eclipse will exit continental North America around 5:16 p.m. NDT from Newfoundland, Canada.

The path of totality includes the following states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Hampshire

Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse.

Several major cities across the U.S. are included in the eclipse's path of totality, while many others will see a partial eclipse. Here are some of the best major cities for eclipse viewing — if the weather cooperates :

  • San Antonio, Texas (partially under the path)
  • Austin, Texas
  • Waco, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Rochester, New York
  • Syracuse, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont

Map of when the solar eclipse will reach totality across the path

Eclipse map of totality

The eclipse will begin in the U.S. on the afternoon of April 8. It will first be visible as a partial eclipse beginning at 12:06 p.m. CDT near Eagle Pass, Texas, before progressing to totality by about 1:27 p.m. CDT and progressing along its path to the northeast over the next few hours.

NASA shared times for several cities in the path of totality across the U.S. You can also  check your ZIP code on NASA's map  to see when the eclipse will reach you if you're on, or near, the path of totality. 

How much of the eclipse will you see if you live outside of the totality path?

While the April 8 eclipse will cover a wide swath of the U.S., outside the path of totality observers may spot a partial eclipse, where the moon covers some, but not all, of the sun, according to NASA. The closer you are to the path of totality, the larger the portion of the sun that will be hidden.

NASA allows viewers to input a ZIP code and see how much of the sun will be covered in their location.

Could there be cloud cover be during the solar eclipse?

Some areas along the path of totality have a higher likelihood of cloud cover that could interfere with viewing the eclipse. Here is a map showing the historical trends in cloud cover this time of year. 

You can check the latest forecast for your location with our partners at The Weather Channel .

United States map showing the percent of cloud cover in various regions of the eclipse path on April 8. The lakeshore region will be primarily affected.

Where will the solar eclipse reach totality for the longest?

Eclipse viewers near Torreón, Mexico, will get to experience totality for the longest. Totality there will last 4 minutes, 28 seconds, according to NASA. 

Most places along the centerline of the path of totality will see a totality duration between 3.5 and 4 minutes long, according to NASA. Some places in the U.S. come close to the maximum; Kerrville, Texas, will have a totality duration of 4 minutes, 24 seconds.

What is the path of totality for the 2044 solar eclipse?

After the April 8 eclipse, the next total solar eclipse that will be visible from the contiguous U.S. will be on Aug. 23, 2044.

Astronomy fans in the U.S. will have far fewer opportunities to see the 2044 eclipse than the upcoming one on April 8. NASA has not yet made maps available for the 2044 eclipse, but, according to The Planetary Society , the path of totality will only touch three states.

The 2024 eclipse will start in Greenland, pass over Canada and end as the sun sets in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to the Planetary Society.

Map showing the path of the 2044 total solar eclipse from Greenland, Canada and parts of the United States.

Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and CBSNews.com. She has previously written for outlets including PIX11 News, The New York Daily News, Inside Edition and DNAinfo. Aliza covers trending news, often focusing on crime and politics.

More from CBS News

See the list of notable total solar eclipses in the U.S. since 1778

Why do total solar eclipses happen? Learn what causes the celestial show

When was the last total solar eclipse in the U.S.? Revisiting 2017

How to make pinhole cameras to watch the 2024 solar eclipse safely

When and where the solar eclipse will be crossing the U.S.

The path of totality for the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

A total solar eclipse will grace the skies over North America on Monday, one of the most hotly anticipated sky-watching events in recent years.

Weather permitting , millions of people in Mexico, 15 U.S. states and eastern Canada will have the chance to see the moon slip between Earth and sun, temporarily blocking the sun’s light .

The total solar eclipse will be visible along a “path of totality” that measures more than 100 miles wide and extends across the continent. Along that path, the moon will fully obscure the sun, causing afternoon skies to darken for a few minutes.

In all other parts of the continental U.S., a partial solar eclipse will be visible, with the moon appearing to take a bite out of the sun. Exactly how big a bite depends on the location.

The first spot in North America that will experience totality on Monday is on Mexico’s Pacific coast at around 11:07 a.m. PT, according to NASA .

After moving northeast across Mexico, the eclipse’s path travels through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Slivers of Michigan and Tennessee will also be able to witness totality if conditions are clear.

In Canada, the eclipse will be visible in parts of southern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, at the eastern end of Nova Scotia.

The timing of the eclipse and the duration of totality varies by location. Most places will experience around 2 minutes of darkness, but the longest periods of totality are typically in the center of the eclipse’s path.

This year, the longest stretch of totality will last 4 minutes and 28 seconds in an area northwest of Torreón, Mexico.

The moon covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Cerulean, Ky.

Below is a list of timings for some U.S. cities along the path of totality, according to NASA .

  • Dallas: Partial eclipse begins at 12:23 p.m. CT and totality at 1:40 p.m. CT.
  • Idabel, Oklahoma: Partial eclipse begins at 12:28 p.m. CT and totality at 1:45 p.m. CT.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: Partial eclipse begins at 12:33 p.m. CT and totality at 1:51 p.m. CT.
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri: Partial eclipse begins at 12:39 p.m. CT and totality at 1:56 p.m. CT.
  • Paducah, Kentucky: Partial eclipse begins at 12:42 p.m. CT and totality at 2:00 p.m. CT.
  • Carbondale, Illinois: Partial eclipse begins at 12:42 p.m. CT and totality at 1:59 p.m. CT.
  • Evansville, Indiana: Partial eclipse begins at 12:45 p.m. CT and totality at 2:02 p.m. CT.
  • Cleveland: Partial eclipse begins at 1:59 p.m. ET and totality at 3:13 p.m.
  • Erie, Pennsylvania: Partial eclipse begins at 2:02 p.m. ET and totality at 3:16 p.m. ET.
  • Buffalo, New York: Partial eclipse begins at 2:04 p.m. ET and totality at 3:18 p.m.
  • Burlington, Vermont: Partial eclipse begins at 2:14 p.m. ET and totality at 3:26 p.m. ET.
  • Lancaster, New Hampshire: Partial eclipse begins at 2:16 p.m. ET and totality at 3:27 p.m.
  • Caribou, Maine: Partial eclipse begins at 2:22 p.m. ET and totality at 3:32 p.m. ET.

Other resources can also help you figure out when the various phases of the eclipse will be visible where you live, including NationalEclipse.com and TimeandDate.com .

If you plan to watch the celestial event, remember that it’s never safe to look directly at the sun, including through binoculars, telescopes or camera lenses. Special eclipse glasses are required to safely view solar eclipses and prevent permanent eye damage.

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Denise Chow is a reporter for NBC News Science focused on general science and climate change.

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The Sunday Read: ‘What Deathbed Visions Teach Us About Living’

Researchers are documenting a phenomenon that seems to help the dying, as well as those they leave behind..

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Chris Kerr was 12 when he first observed a deathbed vision. His memory of that summer in 1974 is blurred, but not the sense of mystery he felt at the bedside of his dying father. Throughout Kerr’s childhood in Toronto, his father, a surgeon, was too busy to spend much time with his son, except for an annual fishing trip they took, just the two of them, to the Canadian wilderness. Gaunt and weakened by cancer at 42, his father reached for the buttons on Kerr’s shirt, fiddled with them and said something about getting ready to catch the plane to their cabin in the woods. “I knew intuitively, I knew wherever he was, must be a good place because we were going fishing,” Kerr told me.

Kerr now calls what he witnessed an end-of-life vision. His father wasn’t delusional, he believes. His mind was taking him to a time and place where he and his son could be together, in the wilds of northern Canada.

Kerr followed his father into medicine, and in the last 10 years he has hired a permanent research team that expanded studies on deathbed visions to include interviews with patients receiving hospice care at home and with their families, deepening researchers’ understanding of the variety and profundity of these visions.

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The total solar eclipse is Monday: Where will clouds, rain ruin the sky spectacle?

We're almost there.

In just two days, for just the  second time in seven years , day will suddenly become night for a few brief, wondrous minutes as the orbiting moon blocks the sun's light along  a southwest-to-northeast path across the continent .

Meteorologists continue to refine their forecasts for the total solar eclipse , and now have a pretty good idea of where the spectacle will be most (and least) visible.

Here's the latest forecast:

Where will the solar eclipse be visible?

Federal forecasters said Saturday afternoon that the best chances for clear viewing of the total eclipse are in northern New England. There is also a possibility of clear viewing from northern Arkansas to central Indiana, the National Weather Service said, "but this is the area of greatest uncertainty due to potential high clouds."

"Clouds can break for some sunshine, just in time for the afternoon viewing from Chicago to Cleveland. A narrow region of good viewing is expected to open up for cities like Kansas City, Indianapolis, and St. Louis," AccuWeather lead long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

The weather service also warned of possible (20% to 30% chance) rain showers during totality in Texas, Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York.

Outside the path of totality, which stretches from Texas to Maine, "the best locations for viewing should be across the Southwest, out of the mountains," Pastelok said. Other good spots include "California, again, out of the mountains, New England, and parts of the mid-Atlantic and Southeast."

"Cities like Los Angeles, El Paso, New York City, Boston and Raleigh should all have nice views of the eclipse from start to finish," he added.

Where will it be cloudy?

Unfortunately for folks in the path of totality, clouds may impede viewing "from Texas into southern Arkansas, and across Ohio, northwest Pennsylvania, and New York," the weather service said.

Elsewhere, for the partial eclipse, AccuWeather long-range expert Joe Lundberg added that "other areas with poor viewing conditions will be from Wisconsin westward through South Dakota and Nebraska to Washington and Oregon."

What time is the solar eclipse? 

The eclipse will begin in Texas at 1:27 p.m. CDT and end in Maine at 3:35 p.m. EDT, but the exact time of the eclipse varies by where you are in its path.  You can search by zip code  to find the exact time for your location. 

What is the path of totality?

The  path of totality  is the area where people on Earth can see  the moon completely cover the sun  as the moon's shadow falls upon them. Space.com describes it as "the cone-shaped inner (umbral) shadow of the moon projected onto the Earth's surface."

To view all of the stages of a total solar eclipse, you must watch it from somewhere along that path of totality, NASA said. Viewers outside this narrow, roughly 115-mile wide path will only see a partial eclipse of the sun.

You probably don't have to worry about your dogs and cats during the eclipse

Don't worry, your dog and/or cat will likely be oblivious to the eclipse, according to Pasco , a science education company.

"It is unlikely that dogs and cats will react to solar eclipses, as they typically do not have a strong biological or behavioral response to changes in light or natural phenomena like eclipses," Pasco reports.

Just in case, Pasco recommends you keep your pets inside during the eclipse and distract them with toys or treats. Same thing works for people if necessary.

Eclipse boosts travel as Americans chase rare celestial event

The upcoming eclipse is proving to be a good omen for travel firms, as some parts of the United States that fall in the "path of totality" see unprecedented demand for lodging from eager Americans waiting to catch a glimpse of the celestial event.

Airbnb listings along the U.S. path of totality, or the narrow strip stretching from Texas to Maine from where people will be able to view the sun's corona, have seen occupancy levels skyrocket to nearly 90%, the vacation rental firm said.

Occupancy for all active rental listings across the path in the United States, Canada and Mexico was at 92.4% for the night of April 7, up sharply from about 30% a few days prior, according to travel data firm AirDNA.

"It is a nice bump in demand in a relatively slow period of the year. Typically April isn't a high point for short-term rental demand," said Jamie Lane, chief economist at AirDNA.

Beware of potential storms during eclipse travel

Sunday and early Monday, severe thunderstorms bringing hail, strong wind and possibly a tornado could disrupt travel from the western Plains to the Midwest, Pastelok of AccuWeather said. Travel could also be impacted due to visibility with winds kicking up dust and creating a fire risk.

Meanwhile, people driving from the Rockies to the path of totality could face slick roads and wintry conditions, according to AccuWeather.

After the eclipse on Monday evening and Tuesday, federal forecasters warn of a high chance of thunderstorms in parts of the Southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley. Flash flooding is also possible, "which could lead to hazardous travel after the eclipse," the weather service said.

Contributing: Reuters

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