Canada Travel Information
We’re heading to Toronto for the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting! While most of your normal planning should proceed as usual, we wanted to highlight some specific information with regards to attending a meeting in Canada.
Visa and Passports
To visit Canada, all travelers will need to meet some basic requirements:
- have a valid travel document, such as a passport
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- explain to an immigration officer that you have ties, such as a job, home, financial assets or family, that will take you back to your home country
- explain to an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- have enough funds for your stay (The amount of money you will need can vary. It depends on things such as how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives.)
Entry to Canada from the United States
For all modes of entry, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recommends you carry a valid passport. A passport may be required by your airline or transportation authority.
If you are a United States citizen, be sure to carry proof of citizenship, such as a passport, along with photo identification. If you are a permanent U.S. resident, carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.
All visitors arriving from or transiting through the United States are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and requirements to enter or return to the United States.
From Non-U.S. Countries
Starting March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Check to find out if you need an eTA or a visitor visa.
Citizens of most countries will be required to apply for and obtain an eTA. The application is available in multiple languages.
Students in the U.S. on a Student Visa
If you are in the United States on a student visa, you may need a visa to enter Canada. To return to the United States using the student visa, you will need the following:
- A valid student visa
- A Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your designated school official (DSO)
- A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of reentry
For more information entry/exit requirements, see the SEVIS website for frequently asked questions about re-entry with a student visa.
Canada’s immigration law has designated certain groups of people as inadmissible to the country. These include people who:
- are a security risk
- have committed human or international rights violations
- have been convicted of a crime or have committed an act outside Canada that would be a crime
- have ties to organized crime
- lied in their application or in an interview
- do not meet the conditions in Canada’s immigration law
- are not allowed into Canada
Normally, people who are inadmissible to Canada will not be allowed to enter. A temporary resident permit may be issued if a valid reason for travel to Canada is found. People who have been convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs may be found criminally inadmissible to Canada.
Cell Phone Usage in Canada
Mobile phone coverage in Canada will vary depending on the type of phone you use, your local mobile service provider and plan, and the system upon which your phone operates. We suggest you contact your mobile service provider to learn about its international roaming coverage services and to determine if your phone is compatible with Canadian networks and frequencies. Please check with your mobile provider regarding text and roaming charges and ask if they have an international calling plan you can temporarily switch to in order to save on roaming charges.
To avoid high roaming charges, you may want to disable your phone’s automatic data/web connections before you arrive. You may also wish to purchase an international calling card for use while you are in Toronto.
If you have a phone from the U.S., it should be compatible with Canadian networks. From other countries, you must have a tri-band or quad-band GSM phone or 3G phone supporting 1900Mhz to be compatible. A pay-as-you-go SIM card is approximately $10 from most major networks. If you have an iPhone, you can obtain a SIM card from an Apple Store in Canada. If your phone is compatible, it must be unlocked in order to use a local SIM card. Phones are usually locked, so you can only use them with a SIM from the service provider or carrier who supplied the phone. Explore plans from all Canadian service providers.
Medical Needs in Canada
Be sure to check with your health insurance provider about policy coverage away from home, particularly if you are insured by an HMO and/or Medicare/Medicaid. If you are entering Canada with prescription drugs and/or syringes:
- keep the medication in its original, labeled container
- bring a medical certificate with syringes showing they are for medical use and have them declared to Canadian Customs officials
- bring an extra prescription in case your medication is lost and/or to attest to your need to take such prescriptions
- carry the generic name of prescription medicines
- Weather: August in Toronto: 77°F (25°C) average high, 64°F (18°C) average low
- Currency: Canadian dollar. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted widely, and many 24-hour ATMs are available in the area. Visit XE’s Currency Converter for details on current exchange rates.
- Many Canadian businesses, though not all, accept U.S. currency and travelers checks. International currency exchanges are available at the airport and at all banks in the city. Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) are generally accepted by Canadian businesses.