Crossing the US to Canada border is fairly simple if you have the right information. What documents you must present depends on your citizenship and length of stay in the country. But with enough preparation, the process should be quick and easy.
So, let’s look at everything you should know about US to Canada border crossings.
The US/Canada border is more than 5,500 miles long and a staggering 300,000 people use it each day. As you can imagine, this results in large queues, but also the need to process people quickly.
There are more than 100 US to Canada border crossings spread across the northern American states. Maine has the most (24), closely followed by North Dakota (18) and New York (17).
In short, this means you have plenty of options for where to cross the US to Canada border. You can do so by foot or in a vehicle, but it must always be at a legal crossing. Walking across the border anywhere else is considered illegal and could result in you being deported from the country.
There are plenty of reasons why people would want to enter Canada from the US border. Helpfully, a large number of Canada’s top attractions are located close to the border, so here are 3 of the most popular:
Niagara Falls is perhaps one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Along with seeing the waterfalls, the site also has a Butterfly Conservatory, restaurants, and boat tours.
The town of Waterton is home to Waterton National Park, which is roughly a 30-minute drive from the US state of Montana. It’s home to lakes, mountains, and almost everything else you’d consider to be emblematic of Canada. You could do a lot worse for a hiking destination.
Montreal is the center of French-speaking Canada and is often seen as the country’s cultural capital. You can reach it in about an hour driving from New York. It’s steeped in history and you’ll be spoilt for great restaurants and things to do.
Just as there are plenty of reasons for Americans to cross into Canada, here are some of the best attractions to bring Canadians across the US Canada border.
One of the US’s least-visited national parks, it’s home to prairies, wild horses and bison, and miles of badlands. It’s incredibly peaceful and is about the closest you’ll get to the idea of ancient America.
Although the city itself is a bit of a drive from the US to Canada border, it’s certainly worth seeing. Often regarded as one of the world’s cultural hubs, there are plenty of opportunities for history, art, and music events, as well as eating and drinking.
Cape Cod is an ideal destination if you want to understand early American history. It has a lot of heritage, which fuels its tourism industry. Provincetown is one of the most northerly settlements, but Plymouth is also worth visiting if you’re interested in history.
It’s worth remembering that the US to Canada border is still an international crossing, even if it’s easier than, say, flying abroad. As such, there are some things you should consider when using US to Canada border crossings.
It’s fair to say that driving is easier in that you can queue at the border, show your ID, and move on. Flying, on the other hand, is essentially the same as any other international journey. It’s definitely an easier option if you plan to go to a more northerly area of the country.
When driving, you’ll be stopped and asked about your reasons for travel. American citizens don’t need to show a passport, just their national ID. All other citizens (apart from Canadians) will need to show their passport, as with any other journey.
The most suitable method of transport will depend on where you want to go and for how long.
It’ll come as no surprise that there are US border restrictions. You’ll need to prove that you’ve had a Covid vaccination, or that you’re exempt. You can do this by using the AriveCan app to enter your information before traveling.
Other than this, most other restrictions are fairly obvious. You can bring the following across the US to Canada border:
Equally, you’ll need to declare animals and fresh fruit and veg. You’ll need to also state whether you have more than $10,000CAN, but this is another fairly standard border crossing declaration.
There’s every chance your vehicle and belongings will be searched at the US Canada border crossing. This is nothing to worry about – it’s typically random and is designed to catch smugglers. Provided you’re not doing anything illegal, it should go smoothly!
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