Organization: Canadian Government Office of Tourism
Product: Publication
Year: 1966

Product copy

Canada Boarder Crossing Information

EACH YEAR Canada welcomes almost twice as many visitors as her own population. Because the United States are so near, the majority of vacationers come from that travel-minded country.

They cross the 4,000-mile international boundary in millions annually, with a minimum of formality, and fan out over a great playground of lake and forest, mountain and seashore seeking healthful recreation and holiday enjoyment. Other visitors come from almost every country in the world some for travel education, others to study the tremendous industrial and commercial developments that have characterized Canada’s phenomenal growth in recent years. Courteous officials at ports of entry facilitate procedures and issue visitors any permits required for vehicles and outfits.

The purpose of this folder is to provide information about Immigration and Customs regulations concerning travel into and through Canada.

United States of America

Citizens or permanent residents of the United States can cross the United States-Canadian border either way without difficulty or delay. THEY DO NOT REQUIRE PASSPORTS OR VISAS. To assist officers of both nations to speed the crossing, however, native-born U.S. citizens should carry identifying papers such as birth, baptismal or voter’s certificate, or other documents establishing their citizenship. Naturalized citizens should carry documentary evidence of citizenship such as a naturalization certificate, just in case they are asked for it. Alien permanent residents in the United States are advised to have their Alien Registration Receipt Card (U.S. Form 1-151).

Visitors to the United States who are in possession of a single entry visa to the U.S.A., before leaving that country for a visit in Canada should present their documents at an office of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to ensure that they have necessary documentation for their re-entry to the United States.

Permanent residents of the United States who come to Canada on visits from countries other than the U.S.A. are required to have valid national passports and Canadian non-immigrant visas unless, in respect of the latter requirement, they have been specifically exempted as indicated under the (a) to (f) headings below.

Persons temporarily in after arrival in that country, wish to visit Canada, may be permitted to do so without visas. However, unless it is indicated under headings (a) to (f) below that visas are not required, persons planning trips to the United States which would include an incidental visit to Canada should obtain Canadian United States who, visas from the Canadian representative in their country before departure.

Countries other than the United States

All persons coming to Canada as visitors from countries other than the United States of America must be in possession of valid national passports. Moreover, persons who are not citizens of countries listed below must have their passports visaed by a Canadian immigration officer, or consular officer, in their country of residence. In countries where there is no Canadian representative, visas may be secured from the nearest consular officer of the British Government.

a) British subjects and citizens of Commonwealth countries;

b) Citizens of Ireland;

c) Citizens of France;

d) Citizens of the Republic of South Africa;

e) Persons born in any country of North, South and Central America or adjacent island, if coming to Canada directly from any such country or island;

f) Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany (Fed. Rep.), Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and The Netherlands, when coming to Canada on visits of three consecutive months or less.

NOTE: Persons seeking to return to their own or other countries after a visit in Canada should ensure themselves that their documents for those countries are in order. Although Canadian immigration officers, before admitting visitors to Canada, will normally ensure that they are able to return to the countries from which they came, it is the responsibility of the traveller to see that his passport and travel documents are in order, especially when he intends to proceed to another country from Canada before returning to his own. He would be well advised to consult the authorities of his own country and of the countries he intends to visit before beginning his journey. Inquiries concerning matters not fully covered in the foregoing may be addressed to: Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Ottawa, Canada.

Visitors planning re-entry into U.S.A.

It is of course the responsibility of the traveller to satisfy U.S. Immigration authorities of his right to re-enter the United States.

Normally, Canadian immigration officers will caution persons entering from the United States if it is considered they may have difficulty in returning.

NOTE: Inquiries concerning admission of any special items not covered by this information should be addressed to the Customs and Excise Division, Department of National Revenue, Ottawa, Canada.

IMPORTANT TO U.S.A. RESIDENTS: United States residents returning from Canada may take back, once every 31 days, merchandise for personal or household use to the value of $100, free of United States duty and tax, providing they have remained in Canada 48 hours. The exemption will be based on the fair retail value of the articles acquired and goods must accompany the resident upon arrival in the United States. Members of a family household travelling together may combine their personal exemptions – thus a family of 5 could be entitled to a total exemption of $500. Up to 100 cigars per person may be imported into the U.S. by U.S. residents, and also one quart of alcoholic beverages if the resident has attained the age of 21 years. If however the State laws of residence prohibits importation of any such goods United States Customs will not clear.*

* The movement of potatoes for seed or other purposes and all containers used in the handling or shipment thereof, soil or earth including plants or vegetables with soil and used bags or used burlap is prohibited from the Province of Newfoundland to or through any other province of Canada or to any other country. Similarly the movement of such articles is prohibited from the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island, B.C. except with the approval of an inspector of the Plant Protection Division, of the Federal Department of Agriculture. Information regarding the movement of plants from other provinces to other countries may be obtained from any of the Federal Plant Inspection offices.

Visiting Canada for less than 48 hours

Residents of the United States visiting Canada for less than 48 hours may take back for personal or household use merchandise to the fair retail value of $10 free of United States duty and tax. One of the following may be included: 50 cigarettes, 10 cigars, one-half pound of manufactured tobacco, 4 ounces of alcoholic beverages, or 4 ounces of alcoholic perfume.

If any article brought is subject to duty or tax, or if the total value of all articles exceeds $10, no article may be exempted from duty or tax.

Members of a family household are not permitted to combine the value of their purchases under this exemption.

Persons crossing the International Boundary at one point and swinging back into the United States in order to travel to another part of Canada should inquire at United States Customs regarding special exemption requirements.


Re-entry to the United States can be simplified if you: list all your purchases before you reach the border, keep sales receipts and invoices handy and pack purchases separately for convenience of inspection.


Bona fide gifts of articles other than alcoholic beverages, perfume containing alcohol, or tobacco products* sent to a person in the United States will be valued at the fair retail value of goods purchased and will be passed free of duty provided the aggregate value of such articles received by one person on one day does not exceed $10. Gift packages should be plainly maked “Gift” and value indicated.

* United States residents are now prohibited from bringing into the United States certain goods of Cuban origin including Cuban cigars. U.S. Customs authorities can advise on non-allowable items.

Holidays are meant to be enjoyable

The Canadian Government Travel Bureau provides a free Travel Counselling Service to help you get the most out of a vacation in Canada.

The Bureau works in close co-operation with other Federal Government departments, provincial and local tourist associations and transportation companies. We invite you to take full advantage of this free service. All you have to do is let us know your plans and requirements. Inquiries may be directed to any of the following offices:

Canadian Government Travel Bureau
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • 263 Plaza, Boston, Mass. – 02199
  • 680 Fifth A venue, New York, N.Y. -10019
  • R.C.A. Building, 1725 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.,- 20006
  • 247 Midtown Plaza, Rochester, N.Y. 14601
  • Winous-Point Building, 1250 Eculid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio,
  • Book Building, 1257-1259 Washington Blvd., Detroit, Mich.,
  • 102 West Monroe St. (Corner Clark), Chicago, Ill. – 60603
  • 124 South Seventh St. (Northstar Center), Minneapolis, Minn.
  • 1 Second St. (Cor. Market), San Francisco, Calif. 44115 48226 55402 – 94105
  • 510 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, Calif. – 90014
  • 19 Cockspur Street, London S.W.1, England


The physical version of this product is part of the federal identity archive.