A comprehensive travel preparation with knowledge of the entry requirements for Canada allows you a relaxed start to your next vacation. Before departure, you can check again whether you have the travel documents with you if you are travelling with underage children if you have any additional documents.

For example, when travelling with animals, you must provide proof of your dog’s age and vaccinations. Identify yourself at the border authority and provide information about goods carried with you. After that, nothing stands in the way of your Canada vacation in untouched nature and exciting cities.

What documents do I need to enter to Canada?

You need a valid passport to enter Canada. On the website of the Canadian government, you will find a short questionnaire to determine whether you can participate in the Electronic Travel Authorization procedure ( ETA) or whether you need a visa. Then select your nation from the list of countries and receive detailed information about your entry requirements to Canada. The most important regulations are briefly listed below.

Travellers from Germany and most European countries have to apply for an eTA online in advance of their trip. For a relaxed travel preparation, ideally, get it early and before you book your flight. Sometimes there may be waiting times. Every person travelling with them needs their own eTA. For example, a family of four has to register all four family members individually.

If the questionnaire shows that you cannot participate in the eTA, you need a visa to enter Canada. This particularly affects vacationers from countries outside Europe. The Canadian representative of your home country is responsible for the exhibition. Depending on your individual requirements, you may need to bring additional documents along with a valid passport.

When applying for a visa, for example, you have to prove that you have sufficient financial resources for your vacation. You may also be asked to provide a certificate of your health. When visiting friends or relatives, it is advantageous to bring an invitation letter. Before the Canadian authorities issue a visa, they also want to make sure that vacationers leave Canada after their stay. Proof of employment or family in the country of origin could be an advantage.

In general, a visa can be applied conveniently online or in person. For the exact procedure in your home country, it is best to consult the Canadian representative in your country.

Which travel documents do dual citizens need?

Dual citizens need to know that they can only enter with their Canadian passport. If you don’t have one, you have to apply for one at the embassy. It is best to find out from the Canadian representative what documents you have to present in your individual case.

Which travel documents need permanent residents?

Permanent residents enter with their Permanent Resident Card. If this expired outside of Canada during your stay, you will temporarily need so-called permanent resident documents. With these, you can re-enter and obtain a new ID in Canada.

What entry requirements apply to minors?

Children and young people under the age of 18 are subject to special entry regulations. These vary depending on whether a child is travelling alone or with only one parent, for example. In addition to a valid passport for the minor, other documents are therefore required for the trip to Canada. This is to prevent a child from entering without the consent of his parents.

A minor travelling alone requires a copy of his birth certificate. Parents or guardians must write a letter confirming and signing the trip. This also includes the address and telephone number of the legal guardian and the adult who takes care of the minor in Canada.

If the child undertakes the trip with only one parent, signed written permission of the absent parent, along with his address and telephone number, must be presented in addition to the copy of the birth certificate. In addition, a signed copy of the passport or identity card of this parent is required. In the case of divorced or separated parents with joint custody, a copy of the judicial custody decision is also required.

If a parent has sole custody, you also need a copy of the custody decision. If the child travels with the child custodian, the child must bring a letter of authorization from the legal guardian. If a parent dies, you should bring a copy of the death certificate with you.

If a minor child travels with their legal representative or adoptive parents, it is advantageous to provide a copy of the relevant documents as evidence. In the case of children travelling with third parties such as godparents or relatives, written permission from the legal guardian must be brought along, as well as a signed copy of the passport or the identity card of the legal guardian.

What are the possible reasons for refusing entry?

A person may be refused entry to Canada for security reasons such as protection against terrorism, criminal records or connections to organized crime. The severity of the fact is irrelevant. But that doesn’t mean that with a criminal record, it’s impossible for you to experience an adventure vacation in Canada. Those affected have the opportunity to apply for rehabilitation.

In rare cases, health reasons can also mean that you cannot enter Canada. The state wants to ensure public security or to ensure that it does not have to pay massive costs for a traveller with health problems.

Your entry can also be refused if you do not have enough funds to finance your stay. If it turns out that you have withheld incorrect information or information, for example for the receipt of your visa, you will also be refused entry.

What can I expect when entering Canada?

On arrival in Canada, show your passport and additional documents to a border guard if required. Regardless of whether you are entering with an eTA or a visa, you will be asked a few questions. The official would like to ensure that you are authorized to enter the country and ensure that you leave the country after your specified length of stay. This conversation will most likely be in English. If French is better for you, this is normally no problem due to Canada’s bilingualism.

After that, the date of departure will be stamped on your passport or you will be told how long you can stay in Canada. The duration is usually six months. You must truthfully answer the questionnaire. You are also obliged to indicate all goods carried, including food, plants and animal products. Also declare the value of the goods carried in Canadian dollars.

Which general customs regulations apply when entering Canada?

All travellers must fill out a card to declare goods and foreign currency carried on arrival. Up to four people from the same family can fill out a card together. If you arrive by plane, this will be issued to you by the flight attendants. It is best to pack a pen in your hand luggage so that you can conveniently fill out the card before arrival. If you are arriving by land, simply follow the signposted path to the appropriate counters. There you give an oral declaration of value.

When preparing, please do not forget the entry requirements for Canada above the limit for duty-free products, because anything above that will be expensive. Gifts may not exceed a maximum of CAN $ 60 each. Alcoholic beverages may carry a maximum of 1.5l of wine or 1.14l of spirits or 24 cans of 225ml beer or bottled beer up to a maximum of 8.5l per person. A traveller can also bring either 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or cigarillos and 200g of loose tobacco.

Which goods may not be brought into the country?

In order to protect your own fauna and flora from foreign pathogens, certain objects and food are banned from imports. Canadian import regulations prohibit numerous foods and objects such as meat, fruits and vegetables, milk, plants or articles made of wood and seeds. The import bans vary depending on the country of origin and current pathogens. The affected products can, therefore, change continuously, so it is advisable to inquire about the products you want to take with you before you leave for Canada. There may also be waiting times at customs if the soil of your last hike is still found in the profile of your trekking shoes.

Entry into Canada with pets

According to the entry requirements of Canada, pets are not required to be quarantined. However, delays in customs formalities may result from more detailed investigations. Since the inspection person is not on-site around the clock, it is worth registering in advance in the Automated Import Reference System to avoid delays. When organizing your trip, you should also check with your airline whether you need additional documents for your pet. You can also arrange transportation with the airline. Under certain conditions, animal feed may be imported from the United States. No other country may be brought across the Canadian border.

Dogs need all age-appropriate vaccinations, so you must provide proof of age. During the inspection, for example, the rabies vaccinations are checked and whether the description is given matches the animal. Then it is visually examined for signs of disease. If necessary, a veterinarian is called in or further examinations are carried out. There is a fee for this procedure. If the rabies vaccination rules are not met, you will need to vaccinate your pet for a period of time. For cats, you need a rabies vaccination certificate in English or French, signed by a licensed veterinarian, with the animal’s description, vaccination date, vaccine name and serial number, and duration of vaccination.

Extend your stay in Canada

When you enter Canada, you will usually receive a permit for a stay of six months. If that is not enough for you or if you want to take a great tour of the wilderness, but should take place a little later, you can extend your visa. It is important that you ideally submit the application 30 days before your visa expires.

There are two ways you can apply for an extension. You can do this online provided you have access to a scanner or camera to make digital copies of your documents and a valid credit card. For a physical application, you can download the documents from the Canadian government website.

While you are waiting for the decision of the immigration authority to extend your visa, you are in a special status. If there are now delays in processing and your visa expires, you do not have to leave the country.