In most circumstances, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States, either from Canada or from other countries. There are, however, some exceptions to this situation. These exceptions (and the visa category they require) include:
- Treaty traders and investors (requires E Visa);
- Foreign citizen fiancé(e) (K-1 Visa), as well as the fiancé(e)’s children (K-2 Visa);
- A U.S. citizen’s foreign citizen spouse traveling to reside in the U.S. while awaiting final completion of the process of immigration (K-3 Visa), as well as the spouse’s children (K-4 Visa);
- Spouses of lawful permanent residents (V-1 Visas), as well as the spouse’s children who are traveling to reside in the U.S. while awaiting final completion of the process of immigration (V-2 Visas);
- Non-immigrants travelling to the United States for work (Non-Immigrant Visas), including:
- Canadian government officials (A Visas), if entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment;
- Officials and employees of international organizations (G Visas), if entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment; and
- NATO officials, representatives, and employees, only if they are being assigned to the U.S. (as opposed to an official trip).
Furthermore, Canadians who have been removed from the United States or who have a criminal record, including for driving under the influence, will need to follow a separate set of procedures to enter the country.
Information for Canadians
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying. However, all Canadians entering the U.S. by air require passports, and Canadians entering the U.S. by land or sea must have a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant travel document.
Some Canadians, do require visas. For example, intending immigrants, fiancé/fiancées, or investors must qualify for a visa before entry in the same manner as other nationalities. Other entrants, such as journalists, temporary workers or NAFTA professionals, must present all necessary supporting documentation and/or approved petitions directly to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the Port of Entry. You may wish to consult the CBP website ahead of travel to ensure you are compliant with U.S. entry requirements for Canadians and others.
Furthermore, Canadians who have been deported or removed from the United States, or Canadians with a criminal record, including for driving under the influence, must satisfy other requirements to gain entry to the United States.
Canadian visitors are generally granted a stay in the U.S. for up to six months at the time of entry. Requests to extend or adjust a stay must be made prior to expiry to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. As with all foreign visitors, Canadians are reminded that U.S. law requires entrants to qualify for the desired stay and purpose of travel at the time of their initial entry. A visitor who intends to live, work, or study in the U.S. and who does not disclose this information to the Consular or CBP officer beforehand may be permanently barred from the United States. For general information about immigration to or residency in the United States, please consult Travel.State.Gov.
The Government of Canada offers detailed information for Canadians traveling to the United States.
Members of Canada’s First Nations and Native Americans born in Canada may travel freely across the U.S.-Canada border. Some persons born abroad have a claim to U.S. citizenship. If you believe this may apply to you, please visit the Citizenship claims and Dual citizenship sections of this website.