Official Global Travel Advisories
Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada and avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice.
Many countries continue to have strict travel restrictions in place, and the availability of options for international transportation remain limited. As a result you may have difficulty returning to Canada. While some countries are partially opening their borders, we continue to advise against non-essential travel outside of Canada. We also continue to advise that you avoid all cruise ship travel until further notice.
The governments of those destinations that have opened their borders to tourists could impose strict travel restrictions suddenly, should they experience an increase in cases of COVID-19. International transportation options could be reduced significantly, making it difficult for you to return to Canada. There are no plans to offer additional repatriation flights. Should you decide to travel despite our advisories, know that you might have to remain abroad longer than you expected.
If you choose to travel despite these advisories:
- you may have difficulty obtaining essential products and services
- you may suddenly face strict movement restrictions and quarantines at designated facilities and at your own cost
- your insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses
- we may have limited capacity to offer you consular services.
If you are currently outside Canada or you are returning home, see COVID-19 safety and security advice for Canadians abroad.
United States Register Travel insurance Destinations
Last updated: ET
Still valid: ET
Latest updates: Entry/exit requirements - update on temporary changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
United States - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in the United States.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in urban centres and tourist locations.
- Do not leave bags or valuables unattended in parked cars (especially rental vehicles and even in trunks) or in plain view.
- Ensure that your belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
- Carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes and leave the originals in your hotel safe.
Within large metropolitan areas, violent crime more commonly occurs in economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, particularly from dusk to dawn, and often involves intoxication. Incidents of violent crime are mainly perpetrated by gangs or members of organized crime groups.
Incidents of mass shooting occur, but account for a small percentage of homicide deaths in the country. The likelihood of a tourist being a victim of such an incident is low.
While violent crime rarely affects tourists, be mindful of your surroundings, particularly at night. Verify official neighbourhood crime statistics before planning an outing. If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and do not resist.
Canadians living in holiday homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglary. Whether you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely at night and when you are away.
Common Criminal Strategies
Be on alert for robbery ploys targeting visitors. Drivers have reported being targeted by criminals on highways while leaving airports or other tourist destinations. Criminals signal tourists driving on the highway to stop due to an issue with their vehicle. They then wait for the driver to pull over or exit the car before grabbing exposed valuables. Criminals may also throw items at the windshield, obscuring the view of the road and forcing the driver to pull over.
Avoid pulling over on the side of the road. Put on your hazard lights and slowly drive to a gas station, police station or other safe and populated area.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs, especially during holidays. Debit card cloning occurs, so check your bank account regularly to ensure that no unauthorized withdrawals have taken place. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places, particularly in large crowds. Monitor the media to keep informed of potential risks to safety and security.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a public alert system on terrorism to communicate information about terrorist threats.
National Terrorism Advisory System - Department of Homeland Security
Protests have occurred in several cities across the United States, following the death of an American citizen after a police intervention on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis. There have been incidents of arson and looting. Clashes have occurred between protesters and police, with the use of tear gas by security forces.
Further protests could occur.
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Hiking and mountaineering
If you intend on hiking, backpacking or skiing:
- never practise these activities alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- obtain detailed information on hiking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp.
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
Border with Mexico
Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas border with Mexico see increased incidents of crime associated with drug trading. You should avoid crossing the U.S.–Mexico border by car, due to continuously high levels of violence linked to organized crime along the border.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Restriction of all non-essential travel between Canada, the United States, and Mexico
To limit the spread of COVID-19, American, Canadian, and Mexican authorities announced the temporary restriction of all non-essential travel across their borders as of March 21, 2020, until further notice.
The borders will remain open for commercial and health related activities such as supply chains of food, fuel and medicine.
If you are a Canadian-American dual-national citizen travelling by air from the US to Canada, you are encouraged to bring a valid Canadian passport or travel document to board your flight. While Canadian-American dual-nationals have been able to fly between US and Canada on their American passports, some travellers have been denied boarding even with a proof of Canadian citizenship.
If you are currently travelling in the United States:
- Consider returning to Canada as soon as possible
- Expect longer wait times at border crossing points
- Comply with any restrictive measures and directives issued by local authorities such as self-isolation and quarantine orders
- Contact your airline or tour operator regarding your travel plans
Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing the US-Canada Land Border for Non-Essential Purposes - United States Homeland Security
Suspension of foreign travellers from entry to the USA
Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the US government has suspended the entry of travellers coming from various countries who are not American citizens or permanent residents. This is also valid for travellers in transit.
On July 6, 2020, the US authorities announced temporary changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), that impact non-immigrant students at institutions where courses are being offered online due to the current pandemic.
- Modifications to the temporary exemptions for non-immigrant students – US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Presidential Proclamations Regarding Novel Coronavirus - The White House
- Information about Coronavirus Disease 2019 for travelers - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 - US State Department
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of the United States. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
If you are travelling to the U.S. territory of American Samoa, verify its entry and exit requirements prior to travelling. American Samoa retains oversight of its own borders.
More about entry to American Samoa – American Samoa Immigration office
You must provide proof of your Canadian citizenship upon entry to the US. There are several documents that can satisfy this requirement.
Travel by air
Canadian citizens travelling by air to the United States must present one of the following documents:
- a passport, which must be valid until the date of your intended departure from the United States
- a valid NEXUS card, used at self-serve kiosks at designated airports
This requirement applies to all Canadian citizens, including children, travelling by air to or even just transiting through the United States.
Travel by land or water
As per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Canadian citizens aged 16 years and older must present one of the following documents when entering the United States by land or water:
- a valid passport
- a Trusted Traveler Program card
- an enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) or enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province or territory where a U.S.-approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented
- a Secure Certificate of Indian Status
The WHTI-compliant document you choose to use must be valid until the date of your intended departure from the United States.
Canadian citizens aged 15 years and under entering the United States by land or water require a passport or one of the following documents:
- original or a copy of a birth certificate
- original Canadian citizenship certificate
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)
- Trusted Traveler Programs - USCBP
- Enhanced Driver’s Licenses: What Are They? - United States Homeland Security
- Apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status
Providing additional information at borders
Identification requirements for entry into the United States are strict. In addition to travel documents, travellers entering the United States by air or by sea must provide their address while in the United States (including Puerto Rico). CBP officers may also ask 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
- proof of financial support while in the country
All carriers (notably airlines, but also rail and bus services) have become much stricter about requiring proof of admissibility to the United States, because of the heavy fines carriers face for carrying inadmissible passengers.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Learn more about Canadian passports.
U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. 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 United States and return to Canada.
If you are a U.S. citizen, and have left the United States to avoid military service and have not since regularized your status, there might be an outstanding warrant for your arrest. You might also be ineligible for U.S. entry.
Canadian visitors can usually stay in the United States for 6 months without a visa. You must declare your intended duration of stay upon entry into the United States.
In most circumstances, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States from Canada but there are some exceptions.
Canadians Requiring Visas - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
Canadian permanent residents
Canadian permanent residents may be required to obtain a non-immigrant visa in order to enter the United States. You must obtain this visa from authorities in the United States before entering. You must also have a valid passport from your country of citizenship.
Visa Waiver Program
If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the visa waiver program (VWP), you do not need a visa to enter the US for stays up to 90 days. Instead, you must obtain pre-travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior your departure.
- Visa Waiver Program - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - Department of Homeland Security
You must also carry proof of Permanent Resident Status in Canada upon re-entry into Canada.
U.S. permanent residents
Canadians who are permanent residents of the United States must present a valid U.S. Permanent Resident Card upon entry. US permanent residents do not need a passport to enter the United States, however they should carry one in case an airline requires it or they choose to enter another country from the US.
International travel as a U.S. Permanent Resident - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
First Nations and Native Americans born in Canada
Members of Canada’s First Nations and Native Americans born in Canada may freely enter the United States for the purposes of employment, study, retirement, investing, and/or immigration.
Entry and exit for First Nations and Native Americans - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
Working in the United States
Most Canadian business travellers may apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry without first obtaining a non-immigrant visa. However, travellers entering the United States in certain business-related categories are required to present specific documents to establish eligibility for admission.
If you plan to work in the United States, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for specific requirements.
Studying in the United States
Canadian citizens do not need visas to study or participate in a student exchange program in the United States. However, they need to be registered with SEVIS, a U.S. student tracking system. Students must present their registration form to CBP officers each time they enter the United States.
Canadian students - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
Length of stay
If you wish to stay longer than 6 months, you must apply for an extension at the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office once you are in the United States and before the expiry of your initial authorized stay. Immigration officers may ask you to demonstrate that you are only visiting temporarily in the United States.
The U.S. government strictly enforces immigration regulations. Remaining in the United States beyond your authorized period of stay can result in serious consequences such as detention or deportation.
There is no set period that you must wait to re-enter the United States after the end of your authorized stay. However, if a CBP officer suspects you are spending more time in the United States than in Canada, it will be up to you to prove to the officer that you are a temporary visitor, not a U.S. resident.
Extend your stay - USCIS
Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Border Security
The restrictions and limitations on entry imposed by the Proclamation do not apply to Canadian citizens travelling with a Canadian passport, including Canadian citizens with dual citizenship of one of the countries listed in the Proclamation (Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen). However, it does apply to Canadian permanent residents who have these countries’ citizenship. Case-by-case waivers may be granted if you apply for a visa at a U.S. mission within Canada. The decision to allow entry into the United States is made at the discretion of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) officer at a port of entry.
- Factsheet – U.S. White House
- Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats - U.S. White House
- FAQ – U.S. White House
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection - United States Homeland Security
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Upon entry into the United States, non-U.S. citizens must provide biometrics, such as digital fingerprints and a photograph. Most Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement. The exemption does not apply to Canadian citizens who need a visa or a waiver of ineligibility, or who must obtain an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record form to document dates of entry and exit from the country
Random screenings of exempt Canadians have occurred at border crossings and airports. If you feel that your information has been wrongfully collected, you can address the issue directly with the Department of Homeland Security.
Biometrics - USDHS
US border agents are entitled to search your electronic devices, such as your phones, computers or tablets, when you are entering the United States. They do not need to provide a reason when requesting a password to open your device. If you refuse, they may seize your device. The border agent could also delay your travel or deny entry if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Before crossing the border, put your device in airplane mode to ensure remote files don’t get downloaded accidentally.
Inspection of Electronic Devices – US Customs and Border Protection
The preclearance service provides clearance for entry into the United States for persons and their luggage—including immigration, customs and agriculture inspections—at a Canadian preclearance airport before departure instead of on arrival in the United States.
When using U.S. preclearance facilities at a Canadian airport, you must meet U.S. entry requirements and you will be interviewed by a U.S. preclearance officer. It is an offence under Canada’s Preclearance Act to knowingly make a false or deceptive statement to a preclearance officer. U.S. officials are authorized to inspect your luggage and can refuse you entry into the United States.
While you are in a preclearance area, you are subject to Canadian law, including:
- the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- the Canadian Bill of Rights
- the Canadian Human Rights Act
- Canada’s Preclearance Act
- Canadian criminal law
You may withdraw your request to enter the United States and may leave the preclearance area at any time unless a U.S. preclearance officer suspects on reasonable grounds that you have made a false or deceptive statement or obstructed an officer. The officer may then detain you for violations of Canadian law.
Preclearance Locations - USCBP
If you have a criminal record, no matter the severity or the date of the offence, you may be refused entry to the United States. 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 to enter the United States.
If you are ineligible to enter the United States, you may apply directly to CBP for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility. You can apply for a waiver at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Canadian citizens may also apply at land borders.
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 United States. Even though you may have entered the United States 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 United States.
- Applying for Waiver - Person entering into the United States with criminal record or overstay – USCBP
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Children and travel
Canadian citizens under 19 travelling with a school or other organized group under adult supervision must travel with written consent from their own parent/guardian.
- Children: Traveling into the U.S. as Canadian Citizen - USCBP
- Consent letter for travel with children
- Travelling with children
Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. If you attempt to enter the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible.
- Cannabis and international travel
- Marijuana remains illegal in the United States - USCBP
- Travel advisory for medical marijuana prescription holders – USCBP
- Cannabis and admissibility into the U.S. - USCBP
- Laws and culture for USA
Boating in U.S. waters
Operators of small pleasure vessels arriving in the United States from a foreign port must report their arrival to CBP immediately for face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting location. Some exceptions apply, including under Nexus Marine.
You must have a valid Canadian passport to take a cruise from the United States. Some of the countries you visit will not permit entry without a passport. A passport is also important to re-enter the United States at the end of the cruise.
Ship authorities might retain your passport during the cruise, in accordance with their own administrative regulations and to facilitate clearance with U.S. Immigration.
If your passport is kept:
- obtain a receipt
- ensure you recuperate your passport at the end of the cruise
- always keep a photocopy of your passport with you
When examined at a port of entry, cats and dogs must show no signs of diseases communicable to humans. If there is evidence of poor animal health, you may need to get your pet examined by a licensed veterinarian, at your own expense. U.S. authorities may also require a health certificate.
Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry, except for puppies under three months of age. Vaccination against rabies is not required for cats.
Other animals are also subject to controls or quarantine requirements.
Pets and Wildlife - USCBP
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 19, 2020
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - December 24, 2019
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
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 professional about which ones are right for you.
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. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
Zika virus is a risk in some areas of the United States.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to some areas of the United States. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to these areas.
Risk in areas of the United States
Florida and Texas: Local transmission of Zika virus has previously been identified in Miami-Dade, Florida and Brownsville, Texas. The risk is now considered low in these areas, as there have been no recent confirmed or suspected cases of local transmission of Zika virus.
Travel recommendations for Florida and Texas:
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to these areas for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to these areas or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to these areas or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North America. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
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. Certain infections found in North America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical care and facilities are very good. Treatment costs are expensive.
All U.S. hospitals must accept and treat emergencies, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. Clients will, however, be charged for all services rendered. Foreign visitors without travel health insurance will have to pay out of pocket for their medical treatment.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
There are restrictions and prohibitions on the import of certain prescription drugs into the United States.
Some medication that can be purchased over-the-counter in Canada is restricted to prescription-only status in the United States.
Bring sufficient quantities of your medication and a physician’s note explaining your medical condition, if applicable.
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 must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Laws vary greatly from state to state. Consult the website of the state you wish to visit prior to arrival.
Penalties and transfer of offenders
A serious violation of the law may lead to a jail sentence or, in some states, a death sentence. Canadian citizenship confers no immunity, special protection or rights to preferential treatment.
If a jail sentence is imposed, it will be served in a US prison, unless a request for a transfer to a Canadian prison is approved by the United States and Canada. Both countries have signed a treaty that permits a Canadian imprisoned in the United States to request a transfer to complete the sentence in a Canadian prison.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
Although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws in any form and quantity, making it illegal to bring across the Canada-U.S. border.
Do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are traveling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis. If you do so you can expect legal prosecution and fines, and possibly jail time.
- Cannabis and international travel
- Marijuana remains illegal in the United States - USCBP
- Travel advisory for medical marijuana prescription holders – USCBP
- Entry/exit requirements for USA
Personal medication may be subject to U.S. drug importation laws and regulations. In general, personal importation of a 90-day supply of medication is allowed. CBP has absolute discretion to allow or not allow your Canadian-purchased medication into the United States.
When taking any prescription medication to the United States, it is important to:
- take only the quantity that you would normally take for the number of days you will be in the United States, plus an additional week’s worth
- pack medicines in their original packaging with the dispensary label intact that shows your name and other pertinent information such as the drug’s name, dosage and DIN (drug identification number)
- carry a duplicate of your original prescription, listing both the generic and trade names of the drug
If you are travelling with syringes used for legitimate medical purposes, have a physician’s note explaining your condition and the reason for you to be legitimately carrying syringes.
Traveling with Medication - USCBP
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Dual Nationality - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection can bar non-citizens from the United States for five years if, in their judgment, the individuals presented false documentation or misrepresented themselves. Lying to a CBP official is a serious offence.
There is no formal appeal process under expedited removal, but if you believe the law has been misapplied in your case, you can request a supervisory review by writing to the USCIS district director responsible for the port of entry where the decision was made.
Imports and exports
Contact the specific CBP office at the Canada/U.S. border crossing you are planning to use before starting your trip for up-to-the-minute information on allowances and restrictions on bringing items into the United States. Allowances and restrictions change frequently. Declare all items at your point of entry.
Travel to Cuba from the United States
Existing U.S. sanctions restrict travel between the United States and Cuba. Tourists may not travel between the two countries. However, you may go to Cuba from the United States on other types of travel, if you meet certain requirements.
Frequently asked questions about Cuba sanctions - U.S. Department of the Treasury
You can drive in the United States if you have a valid Canadian driver’s license.
Traffic laws can vary from state to state.
Many states have mandatory automobile insurance requirements, and many require motorists to carry appropriate proof of insurance. Each state’s motor vehicles department can give you more specific information.
If you are in the United States and wish to drive to Mexico in your personal vehicle, you may need to purchase liability insurance and additional auto insurance.
- Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S. – U.S. government
- Motor vehicle department of each state – U.S. government
- Canadian Automobile Association
- American Automobile Association
- Road safety risks when travelling by land to Mexico
- Travel advice for Mexico
Never cross the border with a hitchhiker or as a hitchhiker. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, the hitchhiker or driver might be, and you could be implicated.
Be equally careful about who and what you carry in your vehicle. As the driver, you could be held responsible for the misdeeds and belongings of your passengers, even if you were unaware of the problem.
The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD).
Canadian currency and personal cheques from Canadian banks are not widely accepted in the United States. Most banking transactions require a U.S. bank account.
There is no limit to the amount of money that you may legally take into or out of the United States. However, you must declare to CBP:
- if you carry more than US$10,000 (in cash, cheque, money order, travellers’ cheque or any other convertible asset) into or out of the United States
- if you receive more than US$10,000 while in the United States.
Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters can occur at any time.
Plan Ahead for Disasters - United States Homeland Security
Hurricanes usually occur from June to November in the Atlantic and Northern Pacific coastal regions, Hawaii and Guam.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to these regions during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Latest advisories – U.S. National Hurricane centre
- US National Weather Service website.
Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
- Stay away from flooded areas
- Follow the advice of local authorities
- Monitor local news to stay up-to-date on the current situation
Earthquakes pose a risk in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington State.
Bush and Forest Fires
Bush and forest fires are common, particularly in California, Oregon, Florida and Washington State . In California, wild fires occur year round with high winds in the winter and extreme heat and no rain in the summer. In Florida, wildfires occur mainly during the dry season, from November to June.
The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire, stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments. Always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel. Monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation.
- National Interagency Fire Centre
- US Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group
- CAL FIRE - California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
Winter snow storms can cause travel delays. If you are flying, monitor airport conditions in the United States prior your departure.
Tornadoes pose a risk in states east of the Rocky Mountains, particularly Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
The Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island is active.
Volcano Eruptions & VOG – Government of Hawaii
The state of Hawaii is prone to tsunamis. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.
Tsunami Evacuation Zones - Government of Hawaii
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
Washington - Embassy of Canada
Atlanta - Consulate General of Canada
Boston - Consulate General of Canada
Chicago - Consulate General of Canada
Dallas - Consulate General of Canada
Denver - Consulate General of Canada
Detroit - Consulate General of Canada
Honolulu - Consulate General of Australia
Los Angeles - Consulate General of Canada
Miami - Consulate General of Canada
Minneapolis - Consulate General of Canada
New York - Consulate General of Canada
San Francisco - Consulate General of Canada
Seattle - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Washington or one of the closest consulates 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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
- Date modified: