ENTERING CANADA

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About the CBSA

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ensures the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada. The CBSA carries out its responsibilities with a workforce of approximately 13,000 employees, including over 7,200 uniformed CBSA officers who provide services at approximately 1,200 points across Canada and at 39 international locations. More Info

Hours of Operation

The North Portal border crossing is open 24-7. Select Border Wait Times to access the estimated wait time for North Portal.

Contact Information

For CBSA questions, contact the Border Information Service from Canada at 1-800-461-9999 (toll-free), or from outside Canada at 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 (long distance charges may apply).

Can I Enter Canada?

There are a number of reasons you can be found inadmissible to Canada. Visit the Determine your eligibility page for more information. For travellers with criminal convictions, visit the Overcome criminal convictions page for more information.

Identification requirements for U.S. citizens and permanent residents

If you are a U.S. citizen, ensure you carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, 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. More Info

What to Expect at the border

When arriving in Canada you must, by Canadian law, report to a Border Services Officer (BSO), answer all questions truthfully, and accurately report your goods. The BSO will examine your identification and other travel documents, and take your verbal declaration. At any point during your interactions with BSOs, you may be referred to the CBSA’s secondary services and inspections area. Referrals to secondary inspection are a normal part of the cross-border travel process that any visitor to Canada may experience. More Info

Firearms and Weapons:

Remember, you have to declare all firearms and weapons at the CBSA office when you enter Canada. If you do not declare all firearms or weapons, they will seize them and you could face criminal charges. You need documents to prove that you are entitled to possess a firearm in Canada, and you must transport it safely. When you arrive at the border, declare your firearm to the BSO, provide any documents required, and answer all questions truthfully. The BSO must be satisfied that you have a valid reason for importing the firearm, and may check to ensure that you have stored your firearm properly for transportation. The BSO will also review your documents and may verify that the firearm you have matches the one described on the documents. More Info

Travelling With Alcohol and Tobacco:

You are allowed to bring into Canada certain amounts of alcohol and tobacco products free of duty and taxes. If you bring in more than your personal exemption, you will have to pay regular assessments on the excess amount.

Food Plant and Animal Inspections

All food, plants, animals, and related products must be declared. General guidelines on what food, plants, animals and related products you can or cannot bring into Canada can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. Due to the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States, all raw poultry and all poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, including eggs and raw pet foods, sourced, processed, packaged or shipped from several U.S. states are prohibited from entry into Canada until further notice. For more information visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. More Info

Importing Commercial Goods into Canada

For businesses importing goods into Canada, refer to the CBSA’s Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Commercial Goods into Canada.

Are you eligible for a personal exemption?

When you return to Canada, you may qualify for a personal exemption. This allows you to bring goods of a certain value into the country without paying regular duty and taxes, except for a minimum duty that may apply to some tobacco products. The length of your absence from Canada determines the amount of goods you can bring back, without paying any duties.

Under Canada's immigration law, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed into Canada. In other words, you may be "criminally inadmissible". This includes both minor and serious crimes, such as:

  • theft,
  • assault,
  • manslaughter,
  • dangerous driving,
  • driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and
  • possession of or trafficking in drugs or controlled substances.
For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration website.