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Do you need a passport to enter Canada?

Yes, a valid passport is required to enter Canada, regardless of citizenship. The passport is the preferred and universally recognized form of entry into Canada for most people, serving as an official identification document confirming the holder’s authorization to be in the country. For more detailed information on passport requirements for entering Canada, continue reading.

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The passport is the preferred and universally recognized form of entry into Canada for most people, as it is an official identification document that confirms the holder’s authorization to be in the country.

However, there are a couple of exceptions where you might not need a passport:

  • Canadians Returning Home: If you’re a Canadian citizen returning to Canada, you don’t necessarily need a passport. Since Canadian officials already know your citizenship, you can use alternative valid documents like:
    • Canadian birth certificate: This proves your Canadian citizenship.
    • Government-issued photo ID: This verifies your identity (e.g., driver’s license).

Important Note: There might be specific requirements for these alternative documents, so it’s always best to check with Canadian resources before your trip.

  • US Permanent Residents Visiting Canada: Permanent residents of the United States with proper identification can enter Canada under specific circumstances. The type of ID you can use depends on how you’re arriving:
    • Air or Sea Travel: An enhanced driver’s license or a NEXUS card (a program for pre-approved frequent travelers) might be sufficient. These documents establish both your identity and your US permanent resident status.
    • Land Travel: Requirements can vary for land crossings, so it’s best to consult official Canadian resources for the latest information on acceptable IDs.

If you’re considering a trip to Canada and want a hassle-free way to apply for a Canada ETA, Visas for Future can assist you. By using their services, you can make the process of obtaining an eTA smoother and reduce any potential delays or issues that may arise.


What We’re Offering

If you are from one of the eligible countries for a Canada Electronic Travel Authorization eTA and plan to visit Canada for tourism, business, or air transit, obtaining an eTA is necessary. Our processing service ensures the delivery of your eTA to your mailbox within 24 hours.

  • Valid for five years from the date of issue or until the expiration date of the passport used for the eTA application, whichever comes first. 
  • Multiple-entry.1
  • The cost is $46.70.

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Entry requirements when traveling to Canada

Entry requirements when traveling to Canada typically include:

  • Valid Passport: Most travelers need a valid passport, which is a fundamental requirement for entry into Canada. It serves as the primary form of identification and must remain valid throughout your visit to the country. It’s crucial to ensure that your passport meets these criteria before traveling to Canada to avoid any complications or issues at the border.
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): If traveling by air, travelers from visa-exempt countries may need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This applies to tourists, business travelers, and transit passengers.
  • Visitor Visa: Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, you may need to apply for a visitor visa before traveling to Canada.
  • Proof of Funds: Travelers may be required to show proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses during their stay in Canada.
  • Return Ticket: It’s advisable to have a return ticket to your home country or onward travel plans to demonstrate your intention to leave Canada after your visit.
  • Travel Itinerary: A detailed travel itinerary, including accommodation reservations and planned activities, may be helpful during immigration inspection.
  • Health Requirements: During public health emergencies, travelers may need to undergo health screenings upon arrival in Canada or provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results.

Importance and use of a passport when entering Canada

A passport is a crucial document when entering Canada for several reasons:

  • Proof of Identity: A passport is the primary form of identification for international travel. It verifies your identity and citizenship, which is essential for entry into Canada.
  • Border Control: Canadian immigration authorities use passports to verify travelers’ identities and ensure they meet entry requirements. Without a passport, you may be denied entry into the country.
  • Visa Requirements: Travelers from many countries must obtain a passport to obtain a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for entry into Canada. These documents are often linked to the passport and serve as additional verification of eligibility to enter the country.
  • Duration of Stay: Your passport contains information about the duration of your stay in Canada. Border officials may stamp your passport with entry and exit dates to monitor your permitted length of stay there.
  • International Agreements: Canada, like many other countries, has agreements regarding passport validity and recognition with other nations. A valid passport ensures compliance with these international agreements and facilitates smoother travel experiences.

Which countries are visa-free for Canada?

Some of the countries whose citizens are visa-exempt for Canada and may require an eTA include:2

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • British citizen
  • British National (Overseas)
  • British overseas citizen (re-admissible to the United Kingdom)
  • British overseas territory citizen with citizenship through birth, descent, naturalization, or registration in one of the British overseas territories of:
    • Anguilla
    • Bermuda
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Cayman Islands
    • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
    • Gibraltar
    • Montserrat
    • Pitcairn Island
    • Saint Helena
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • British Subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China must have a passport issued by Hong Kong SAR.
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel must have a national Israeli passport
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania (electronic passport holders only)
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes a personal identification number.
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vatican City State must have a passport or travel document issued by the Vatican.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my birth certificate to go to Canada?

No, a birth certificate is not enough to enter Canada.

Can you fly to Canada without a passport?

No, you cannot fly to Canada without a valid passport.

What questions do Canadian immigration officers ask to visitors?

Some common questions asked by Canadian immigration officers include:
1. What is the purpose of your trip to Canada?
2. How long do you intend to stay in Canada?
3. Where will you be staying during your visit?
4. Do you have any family or friends in Canada?
5. What is your occupation or reason for visiting Canada?
6. Do you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada?
7. Have you visited Canada before? If so, when and for how long?
8. Are you carrying any goods or items that need to be declared to Canadian customs?
9. Do you have any previous criminal convictions?
10. Have you ever been refused entry to Canada or any other country?


  1. Canada.ca. (2024). Find out about Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). canada.ca. Retrieved March 23, 2024. <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/facts.html> []
  2. Canada.ca. (2022). Entry Requirements by Country or Territory. Canada.ca. Retrieved March 23, 2024. <https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html> []

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Rosalie Santos
Written by

Rosalie is a content writer who loves to learn and share knowledge. She has a background in education and teaching, which helps her write clear, accurate, and engaging content. She writes about travel, culture, and education topics. She also handles Turkey and India visa applications, which she learned from Lei Achumbre, the COO of Visas for Future and a visa expert. She fulfills visa orders and answers customer service questions once a quarter.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
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MLA Style

Santos, Rosalie. "Do you need a passport to enter Canada?." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/do-you-need-a-passport-to-enter-canada/. Accessed on 23 March 2024.

Chicago Style

Santos, Rosalie. "Do you need a passport to enter Canada?." Visas For Future. March 23, 2024. https://www.visasforfuture.com/do-you-need-a-passport-to-enter-canada/.

Published: 23 Mar 2024 0:52 UTC

Last modified: 17 Apr 2024 9:06 UTC

Reading time: 7 minutes

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