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Everything You Should Know About US/Canada Border Crossings

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Virginia Cheng

Content Editor at Textr

Published Sep 28, 2022

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.

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Introduction to US Canada Border Crossing

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.


Travel Attractions for Americans Near the Border

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, Ontario

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.


Waterton, Alberta

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, Quebec

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.

Travel Attractions for Canadians Near the Border

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.


Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

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.


New York City, New York

 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, Massachusetts

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.

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What You Should Know Before Using a US to Canada Border Crossing

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.

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Fly or Drive?

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.

US Border Restrictions

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:

  • Firearms
  • Goods contaminated with soil
  • Prohibited medicine
  • Drugs
  • Firewood

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.

Being Searched at the Border

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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Use Textr eSIM for Traveling Abroad

Using an international eSIM is ideal for crossing the US to Canada border because it offers wider coverage and more convenient access. An eSIM allows you to seamlessly adopt national networks rather than having to rely on your data roaming.

 You can learn more about Textr’s eSIM services by following our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Textr’s eSIM service is launching soon, and you can sign up to the prelaunch here so you can find out exactly when it’ll be ready.

The Textr Team app pairs perfectly with our eSIM, and offers unlimited texts and high-quality call minutes, which can all be done in one app. You’ll also be able to set up multiple phone numbers from different countries, which will make international travel a breeze.

So, download Textr Team today on web, Android and iOS to see how it can make communication easier.

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