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Puerto Rico - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to Puerto Rico due to damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. See Natural disasters and climate and Hurricanes Irma and Maria for more information.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Puerto Rico. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Canadians rarely encounter safety and security problems, but normal safety precautions should be taken due to an increase in violent crime. Petty crime and robberies are prevalent. Ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the authorities of the United States (U.S.) and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the United States of America or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians travelling to a U.S. overseas territory must present a passport, which must be valid until the date of expected departure from the territory, even if travelling from the continental United States. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter a U.S. overseas territory for the purposes of visiting or studying.
Consult the Travel Advice and Advisories for the United States for information on the Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.
Providing additional information at borders
Travellers entering the U.S. by air or by sea are required to provide additional information, such as their address while in the U.S., including U.S. territories. They may also be asked for evidence of residential, employment or educational ties to Canada, proof that the trip is for a legitimate purpose and is of a reasonable length, and proof of financial support while in the country.
More information on border security programs currently in force in the U.S. is available from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Some Canadians may have U.S. as well as Canadian citizenship through birth in the U.S. or through naturalization or descent. Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the U.S. by air. Although U.S. authorities do not formally require dual nationals to carry both a U.S. and a Canadian passport, carrying both documents as proof of citizenship may facilitate both entry into the U.S. and returning to Canada. Consult Laws and Culture for more information.
Canadian retirees seeking to winter in warmer climates will likely receive a maximum admission period of six months. Those who wish to stay longer may apply for an extension with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before their authorized stay expires.
If you have a criminal record, no matter the severity or the date of the offence, you may be refused entry to the U.S. You may also experience problems when travelling through U.S. airport facilities. A pardon for an offence issued by Canadian authorities is not recognized under U.S. law for the purpose of entry into the U.S. If you have a criminal record, you should contact one of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ports of entry by telephone or contact the Embassy of the United States of America or one of its consulates well in advance of your departure from Canada. If you are ineligible to enter the U.S., you may apply for a waiver of ineligibility. This will involve completing Form I-192, "Advance Permission to Enter the U.S. as a Non-Immigrant." There is a fee and it may take several months to process your application. Waiver application forms are available from any port of entry to the U.S., any preclearance site in Canada, and the Embassy of the United States of America or one of its consulates in Canada. A list of designated ports of entry that accept filings of waiver applications as well as the application form are available from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
U.S. ports of entry are computerized and connected to a centralized database. Information is readily available on criminal convictions in both Canada and the U.S. Even though you may have entered the U.S. without hindrance in the past, you could run into difficulty if your record shows a criminal conviction or a previous denial of entry. Attempting to gain entry without a waiver could result in several weeks of detention and a permanent bar from entering the U.S.
If you are an American citizen that left the U.S. to avoid military service and have not since regularized your status, there might be an outstanding warrant for your arrest or you might be ineligible for U.S. entry. If in doubt, check with the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services port of entry. If you need information about regularizing your status with the U.S. military, contact the Embassy of the United States of America.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
If you have an unusual situation concerning entry into the U.S., you should obtain authoritative information from the U.S. authorities immediately before your visit. For more information, consult the Embassy of the United States of America or U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
For more detailed information on entry requirements for the U.S., consult our Travel Advice and Advisories page for the United States.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the U.S. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you only as an American citizen. Although U.S. authorities do not formally require dual nationals to carry both a U.S. and a Canadian passport, you should carry both documents as proof of citizenship and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
Hurricanes Maria and Irma
Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept Puerto Rico as major hurricanes on September 6 and 20, 2017 respectively, causing significant damage to the island. Transportation routes and telecommunications services are affected in most areas, and the island’s power system has been destroyed. Other services that are affected include emergency and medical care, as well as water and food supplies. Do not travel to or throughout the island. Follow the instructions of local authorities and respect curfews.
See Assistance if you require emergency consular services.
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
The Consulate of Canada in San Juan is temporarily closed, due to Hurricane Maria.
San Juan - Consulate of Canada
Miami - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate General of Canada in Miami and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
You may call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at +1 888 949 9993.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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