With heightened security at the Canada-United States border it is important to be prepared so crossing the border into Canada, and returning to the United States, is as efficient and pleasant as possible. The information below is provided to the best of our knowledge from various sources. If any one has additional helpful information or knows of changes which affect this information we would be happy to hear from you.
The Canada / US border is the friendliest border in the world. Below are a few guidelines to help make your crossing as quick and easy as possible. With the current increase in security concerns it still generally takes less than 1/2 hour to cross the border. It is possible however to meet with longer border crossing delays, especially at peak crossing times. For current border crossing times follow these links.
A requirement for a Passport or PASS card for entering, or re-entering, the United States from all foreign destinations is not scheduled to be implemented until January 1, 2008 by land or water. People traveling by plane to the US are now required to show passports.
Starting January 1, 2008, the United States
plans to begin implementing a requirement for passports, or some
other secure document which shows citizenship, to enter the United
States by land or water, or January 1, 2007 by boat or plane.
For people driving across the border the US Government has now
decided to create a less expensive PASS (People Access Security
Service) Card. Canada is considering implementing a similar Citizenship
card and integrating the card system with the US. This will affect
visitors to the US and US residents re-entering the US. Although
passports will not be required until the beginning of 2008, passports
are actually the best form of identification for crossing the
Many US post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices to accept passport applications. Some will take photos on site: The US State department has a "Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page" where you can input your zip code to find the nearest passport office at www.iafdb.travel.state.gov.
United States citizens and legal residents of the United States do not need passports or visas to enter Canada as visitors. If you do have a valid passport we recommend bringing it since it will help facilitate crossing the border both into Canada and returning to the United States.
Passports are scheduled to be required to enter the United States from Canada in 2008, or 2007 if traveling by air or boat.
When crossing the border you may be asked to show proof of citizenship such as birth certificate, naturalization certificate or passport. If the identification does not have a picture ID you may be asked to provide this as well. A drivers license is generally sufficient for picture ID but is not proof of citizenship by itself. Photocopies of any identification are not acceptable and may initiate a more thorough investigation.
Canada Customs and Immigration officers and United States Customs officers are members of or affiliated with Child Find Canada, Child Find of America, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. You may be asked to produce birth certificates. Anyone traveling with children not their own may be required to show written permission from the child's parent(s) and proper identification (birth certificate). For more information about Canada's Border Agencies role in protecting abducted children please go to this website: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/enforcement/missing-e.html.
Visitors from countries other than the US require a valid passport and in some cases a visitor's visa. Visas are issued by Canadian Immigration offices, embassies and consulates.
Individuals with records of minor criminality (DUI's, youth offences, etc.) wishing to enter Canada can apply for a waiver. This should be done a minimum of 3 - 4 weeks in advance of the intended visit and can take up to 6 months. It should be noted that Driving Under the Influence convictions are considered a criminal offense in Canada which may effect your ability to enter Canada. For more information on how to get waivers or pardons on DUI's, and other convictions which may affect your ability to visit Canada, please go to this website: www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/conviction.html.
Persons without waivers who have only DUI's or other less serious criminal convictions, and have no criminal convictions in the past 10 years are generally considered rehabilitated when they reach the border. Entry into Canada is at the Canada Immigration officer's discretion so presenting yourself well and being honest is very important when answering the immigration officers questions.
A "Remote Area Border Crossing Permit" may assist the Immigration officer in determining admissibility to Canada since it requires normal background checks. This permit costs $30.ºº Canadian (approx. $20.ºº US). More information regarding the "Remote Area Border Crossing Permit", and other programs which simplify entering Canada such as "CANPASS" visit this website: www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/travelers.html.
If you wish to fly your own plane in Canada, you must make arrangements to clear customs. For our area Sault Ste Marie is the most convenient airport to clear customs and immigrations. General information on entering Canada by private plane is in this website: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel/canpass/generalavi-e.html. Contact Canada customs before you arrive so they can meet you at the airport using this information: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/listing/offices/office263-e.html. You can leave your airplane at Sault Ste Marie or continue to the Wawa airport. If you have an amphibious airplane your can fly right up to our resort.
NavCanada Website: www.NavCanada.ca
Sault Ste Marie Airport: www.Sault
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Products
For short-term visitors to Canada, the following restrictions apply per person:
-1.14 liters (40 oz.) of liquor or wine,
or 24 x 355ml (12 oz.) bottles or cans of beer or ale (8.5 liters)
Firearms are strictly controlled and many are not permitted in Canada. Handguns and assault weapons are strictly prohibited. U.S. law enforcement personnel and other persons legally carrying firearms may check their firearms with Canada Customs and Immigration at their point of entry into Canada and the firearms will be returned to them when they leave Canada either at the same border point or at another prearranged border point at the gun owner's discretion.
If you are bringing a firearm into Canada for hunting or a sporting event you must report your firearms to customs at the border, complete a non-resident firearms declaration form in triplicate, have it confirmed by a customs officer.
Once confirmed, this declaration form will act as a temporary licence and registration certificate while in Canada and is valid for 60 days. The fee is $50 (Canadian) and you may renew your temporary licence any time during a 12-month period without paying an additional fee. For more information on form 909EF for temporarily importing firearm into Canada, please go to the Canadian Firearms Centre website at www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca/info_for-renseignement/non-residents/noticeform_e.asp.
Certain goods are restricted from entering Canada. If you are considering importing meat or dairy products, weapons, plants, vehicles, or exotic animals or products made from their skins or feathers, please contact Canada Customs beforehand for guidance.
Travel and Medical Insurance
Travel and Medical Insurance is something you almost never need on vacation. But, if an unexpected situation arises insurance can save considerable expense and stress.
This website provides insurance quotes from a number of travel and medical insurance providers. www.InsureMyTrip.com
You should double check that your insurance policy covers you during your time in Canada. Consider purchasing supplemental or other insurance if your own policy is not enough. You may wish to check with your health insurance company to ensure that your policy includes coverage for medical evacuations to the United States as well as escorts to the United States, hospitalization abroad, premature birth abroad, and other coverage for a beneficiary who is involved in an accident or illness outside the United States. Carry details of your insurance plan with you (and leave a copy with a relative or friend at home).
**Please note: The U.S. Social Security Medicare Program does not provide for payment of hospital or medical services outside the United States.
Your Money Goes Further
US dollars, the Euro, and several other
foreign currencies, enjoy a premium rate of exchange in Canada.
Credit Cards are generally processed in Canadian dollars with,
again generally, a fairly favorable exchange rate by the Credit
Goods and Services Tax (GST) Rebates
As a visitor to Canada you can claim a refund of 7% on every dollar spent while in the country on accommodation and most goods you take home. If crossing into the United States at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario you can claim your 7% GST cash rebate at the Duty Free Store on the Canadian side of the International Bridge approach. Be sure to keep your receipts for instant GST rebates (Minimum acceptable expenditures, excluding taxes, must cumulatively total a minimum of $200.ºº with each individual acceptable receipt totaling at least $50.ºº). Collecting your GST rebates is quick and uncomplicated and we will thoroughly explain the process to you before you leave our resort.
Automobile Radar Detectors
It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba or into the Yukon and Northwest territories. The police will confiscate radar detectors, whether in use or not, and may impose fines up to $1000.
To re-enter the United States, returning U.S. citizens need to show the Bureau of Citizenship and Naturalization Services or the Department of Homeland Security officer proof of identity and citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization (for citizenship) and photo identification (such as a driver's license) for identity. A U.S. passport is proof of both citizenship and identity. Persons who are dual nationals should enter using U.S. documents only, as they could be fined under U.S. law for entering the U.S. on a foreign passport.
Passports are scheduled to be required to enter the United States from Canada in 2008, 2007 if traveling by air or boat.
Articles acquired abroad and brought back with you into the United States are subject to duty and internal revenue tax. As a returning U.S. resident, you are allowed to bring back $400 worth of merchandise duty free. However, you must have been outside the U.S. for at least 48 hours, and you must not have used this exemption within the preceding 30-day period. The next $1,000 worth of items you bring back with you for personal use or gifts are dutiable at a flat 10 percent rate. Any dollar amount of an article or articles over $1000 is subject to variable duties.
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