Don't let arthritis stop your travel to Canada
Life is to short to let arthritis stop your travel to Canada. On this page with have
including 12 thinks to consider planning your trip. Also we have included information from
the U.S. department of state that will be helpful in making travel plans to Canada.
12 things for arthritis patients to consider when you make plans to travel to
- Make your reservations early to assure your needs will be met.
- When traveling by air, book non-stop flights if possible or allow ample time between
- Choose a seat on the airplane which has extra leg room.
- If walking is a problem, request a wheelchair when booking the flight.
- Keep medications and important items in a light carry-on bag.
- Use the restroom in the terminal before boarding the plane.
- Take advantage of pre-boarding for your flight so you don't have to climb over other
people to get into your seat.
- When booking a hotel room, choose a handicapped access room or a room close to the
- If traveling by car, take frequent rest stops to minimize stiffness.
- Use lightweight luggage on wheels.
- Pack light and remember any assistive equipment you might need.
- Pack extra medications, copies of your prescriptions, your doctor's name and phone
number, and a summary of your medical history in preparation for delays or emergencies.
TIPS FOR TRAVELERS TO CANADA
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Millions of U.S.
citizens visit Canada each year. We hope this brochure will help you avoid problems. If
you should need assistance as a result of an accident, illness, or the loss of your
passport, our Embassy in Ottawa and Consulates General in Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal,
Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver are there to assist you.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO CANADA
The Department of
States Consular Information Sheets are available for every country
of the world. They describe entry requirements, currency regulations, unusual health
conditions, the crime and security situation, political disturbances, areas of
instability, and special information about driving and road conditions. They also provide
addresses and emergency telephone numbers for U.S. embassies and consulates. In general,
the sheets do not give advice. Instead, they describe conditions so travelers can make
informed decisions about their trips.
In some dangerous
situations, however, the Department of State recommends that Americans defer travel to a
country. In such a case, a Travel Warning is issued for the country in
addition to its Consular Information Sheet.
Announcements are a means to disseminate information about relatively short-term
and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American
travelers. They are issued when there is a perceived threat, even if it does not involve
Americans as a particular target group. In the past, Public Announcements have been issued
to deal with short-term coups, pre-election disturbances, violence by terrorists and
anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.
You can access Consular
Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements 24-hours a day in several
The most convenient source of information about travel and
consular services is the Consular Affairs home page. The web site address is
http://travel.state.gov. If you do not have access to the Internet at home, work or
school, your local library may provide access to the Internet.
Sheets and Travel Warnings may be heard any time by dialing the office of American
Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 from a touchtone phone, from overseas: 317-472-2328.
Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements are available at any of the regional
passport agencies and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, or, by writing and sending a
self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Office of American Citizens Services, Bureau of
Consular Affairs, Room 4811, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.
Visas are not required
for U.S. citizens entering Canada from the U.S. You will, however, need:
(1) proof of your U.S.
citizenship such as your U.S. passport (For information on obtaining a U.S. passport,
check with one of the regional passport agencies located throughout the U.S.) or certified
copy of your birth certificate issued by the city, county or state in the U.S. where you
were born. If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen and do not have a passport, you should
travel with your naturalization certificate. A drivers license or Social Security
card is NOT valid proof of citizenship.
identification, such as a current, valid drivers license.
All U.S. citizens
entering Canada from a third country must have a valid passport.
residents of the U.S. must present their Alien Registration Card, commonly called a
If you are a dual
U.S./Canadian citizen you should always present yourself as a Canadian citizen when
entering Canada. However, U.S. citizens should use their U.S. passports when entering or
leaving the United States.
Due to international
concern over child abduction, single parents, grandparents, or guardians traveling with
children often need proof of custody or notarized letters from the other parent
authorizing travel. (This is in addition to proof of citizenship as explained above.) Any
person under the age of 18 and traveling alone should carry a letter from his/her parent
or guardian authorizing the trip. Travelers without such documentation may experience
delays at the port of entry.
information, including information on student or business travel, visitors can contact the Embassy of Canada at 501
Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 682-1740, see their Internet home page
at http://www.cic.gc.ca or contact the nearest Canadian consulate. (A list of Canadian
consulates is at the end of this brochure.)
For Business Traveler to Canada
The North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) facilitates the cross border movement of business persons who are
citizens of member countries to the NAFTA. The provisions of NAFTA do not replace
Canadas provisions for temporary entry or for immigration. A U.S. citizen can enter
Canada under NAFTA provisions as a business visitor, intra-company transferee,
professional, or trader. Prior to seeking entry into Canada under the NAFTA, it is
advisable to call Canadas Trade Info Line at 1-613-944-4000. Their fax number is
(613) 944-9500. The Canadian government publication, Cross Border Movement of Business
Persons and the North American Free Trade Agreement, is available from the Info Centre,
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT.) NAFTA information is on the DFAIT web
site at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nafta-alena/.
U.S. business people who are crossing into Canada for
a meeting, trade show, convention or exhibition may be eligible for special treatment
concerning the importation of advertising materials, office materials and souvenirs.
Revenue Canada and Canada Customs have established criteria for duty-free and tax-free
importing of certain convention materials. Additional information is available through the
National Convention Services, Department of Revenue Canada at (613) 941-3123 or the
Remissions Policy Unit at (613) 954-6883, or, the DFAIT web site at
NAFTA allows business
persons to engage in certain business activities without an employment authorization -
provided they otherwise comply with existing immigration requirements applicable to
temporary entry. Examples are conducting market research, marketing products, negotiating
contracts, or taking orders.
Qualifying Criteria for Business Visitors
You may qualify as a
business visitor if you are a citizen of a member country; you are seeking entry for
business purposes; the proposed business activity is international in scope; you have no
intention of entering the labor market; and your primary source of remuneration is outside
of the country in which you are seeking entry. In addition, the principal place of
business and the accrual of profits must remain outside of the country you are seeking to
Visitors Entering Canada
seeking temporary entry into Canada must meet the General Qualifying criteria listed
above. A business visitor may temporarily import certain goods duty-free. Goods that
qualify are professional equipment (tools of the trade), equipment for the press or for
radio or television broadcasters, cinematographic equipment, goods for sports purposes,
and goods for display.
exempt from the job-confirmation process normally required of individuals looking to enter
a foreign countrys labor market. To qualify as a professional under the NAFTA you
must be a citizen of a member country. The occupation you are to be engaged in must be
listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA; you must be qualified to work in the occupation;
and you must have pre-arranged employment or a contracted agreement.
You will need to
provide documentation indicating the professional level activity to be carried out, your
job title, a summary of your job duties, the expected length of stay, and the arrangement
entering Canada may apply for a work permit at any Canadian embassy, consulate, or port of
entry. When applying at the port of entry, no written application is required and
determination can be made at the time of application. The processing fee for issuing
employment authorization is C$150. After admittance into Canada, a Social Insurance Number
can be obtained from a local Canada Employment Centre.
transferees are business persons employed by an enterprise who are seeking to render
services to a branch, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of that enterprise, in a managerial
or executive capacity or in a manner that involves specialized knowledge. The total period
of stay for a person employed in an executive or managerial capacity cannot exceed seven
years. The total period of stay for a person employed in a capacity that requires
specialized knowledge cannot exceed five years.
Investors who travel to Canada
An Application for an
Employment Work Permit (Form IMM1295) must be completed at a Canadian embassy or consulate
prior to seeking entry. You will also be required to provide information on your business
by completing an Application for Trader/Investor Status. There is a $150 processing fee
(payable in Canadian currency) for issuing the work permit. Upon arrival, traders and
investors should obtain a Social Insurance Number from a local Canada Employment Centre.
In the event that you
take up permanent residence in Canada, you should be advised that U.S. citizens residing
abroad are required to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service. If you have any
questions on tax liability or the submission of tax forms, etc. you may contact the IRS
International Customer Service in Philadelphia at 215-516-2000 or web site at
before you travel to Canada
Make certain that your
insurance policy covers you during your time in Canada. Consider purchasing supplemental
or other insurance if your own policy does not provide this coverage. You may also 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 medical escort 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.
SECURITY MEDICARE PROGRAM DOES NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR HOSPITAL OR MEDICAL COSTS OUTSIDE
For more information, please see our flyer, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, at
U.S. citizen visitors
are not required to have an AIDS test prior to entering Canada.
If you are entering
Canada with prescription drugs and syringes used for medical reasons, be sure to keep the
medication in its original and labeled container to avoid problems. Syringes should be
accompanied by a medical certificate that shows they are for medical use and should be
declared to Canadian Customs officials. It may also be wise to carry with you an extra
prescription from your doctor in the event your medication is lost or stolen and to attest
to your need to take such prescriptions.
U.S. citizens do not
need to obtain an international drivers license to drive in Canada. Your valid U.S.
license is good for trips in Canada as long as you are a visitor and are actually resident
in the U.S. Should you wish information on provincial traffic laws, please contact the
Department of Transport, Motor Vehicle Division of the particular province you wish to
visit. You may also contact the American Automobile Association (AAA), web site http://www.aaa.com, or the
Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), web site http://www.caa.ca, if you are a
member. AAA members are covered by the CAA while traveling in Canada. Be sure to carry
proof of your car insurance.
AVAILABLE ASSISTANCE when you travel to Canada
Register at the
U.S. Embassy or Consulate General
If you will be in
Canada for three months or more, you may wish to register at the U.S. Embassy or nearest
U.S. Consulate General.
1-900-451-2778 for information on how to reach each U.S. consular section in Canada to
report the death, injury, or arrest of an American citizen. There is a fee of $2.00
Canadian per minute for a live operator. Recordings specific to each Consulate General
provide guidance on how to reach a duty officer after hours as well. The 900 line service
also provides valuable information regarding U.S. passport services in Canada,
registration of births for U.S. citizens born in Canada, claims to U.S. citizenship,
notaries services, tax information, voting procedures, Social Security, U.S. Customs, and
Travel Warnings. This service requires a touchtone phone. General
information on consular assistance is available on the Internet at
In the event you
encounter a financial emergency, your relatives or friends can wire you money in Canada.
Western Union Wire services allow money to be picked up through local money mart centers,
mail boxes, and some grocery stores. Funds are paid in Canadian dollars. In addition, many
U.S. automated teller machine (ATM) cards, such as those on the PLUS or CIRRUS system, can
be used throughout Canada to obtain Canadian funds on your U.S. bank account.
It is important to
respect the laws of Canada while you are a guest in their country.
laws make Canada safer for residents and visitors. Contact one of the Canadian customs
offices or a Canadian chief firearms officer for information before you import a firearm.
requirements apply to the importation of firearms:
- You must be at least 18
years of age.
- You cannot import
prohibited firearms, or any prohibited weapons or devices, including silencers and replica
Visitors may temporarily import restricted firearms, such as pistols or revolvers,
provided they get an Authorization to Transport (ATT) in advance from a chief firearms
Seasonal residents may
import restricted firearms, but must have a Possession and Acquisition License or a valid
Firearms Acquisition Certificate, in addition to an ATT.
For more information on
importing a firearm into Canada, get a copy of the pamphlet Importing a Firearm or Weapon
Into Canada from a Canadian embassy, consulate, or mission. For more information about applying for a Canadian firearms
license or to get an ATT, contact the Canadian Firearms Centre.
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8
1-800-731-4000 in Canada and the U.S.
Fax: (613) 941-1991
possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs are strict in Canada. Convicted offenders
can expect jail sentences and fines.
Driving under the
influence of alcohol is a serious offense. Penalties are heavy, and any prior conviction
(no matter how long ago or how minor the infraction) is cause for exclusion from Canada. A
waiver of exclusion may be obtained from a Canadian consulate in the United States, but
several weeks are required. There is a processing fee for the waiver.
Three provinces do not
prohibit radar detectors. They are British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. All the
rest (including the territories) do prohibit radar detectors. The police will confiscate
radar detectors, whether in use or not, and may impose fines up to $1000.
Section 19 of
Canadas Immigration Act prohibits the admission of people who pose a threat to
public health, safety, order, and national security. Prior to attempting a border
crossing, American citizens who have had a criminal conviction in the past must contact
the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate well in advance to determine their admissibility
as visitors into Canada. If found inadmissible, an immigration officer will advise whether
a waiver (Ministers Permit) is possible.
Many American citizens
are currently incarcerated in Canadian prisons. American citizens who are arrested in
Canada will be informed by the police of the right to contact the American Embassy or one
of the Consulates General. When notified, a consular officer will contact the citizen by
phone, and subsequently make a personal visit. Collect calls will be accepted by the U.S.
Embassy or Consulates General if coming from a U.S. citizen for the initial notification
U.S. consular officers
can provide lists of lawyers from each local area, but cannot recommend a particular
lawyer and cannot act as a legal representative on behalf of the arrestee. Arrestees are
responsible for their own legal fees. Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
and the Correctional Service of Canadas mission, foreign national offenders are
afforded the same rights and privileges as any Canadian offender including bail following
arrest, and conditional release where serving a sentence. However, where the release of
foreign national offenders is deemed to constitute an undue risk of flight or a threat to
the security of the Canadian community, any such release may be difficult or precluded.
Under the Treaty on the
Execution of Penal Sentences signed by the U.S. and Canada in l977, and other transfer of
offender agreements, prisoners may request to be transferred to an American prison.
Customs Restrictions for U.S. Visitors to Canada
For current, comprehensive information on customs
requirements for Canada, you can visit the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency home page
at http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/. Look for publication RC4161, Customs Information for
Visitors to Canada and Seasonal Residents.
As long as you meet the
age requirements set by the province or territory where you enter Canada, you can import,
duty and tax free, one of the following: up to 1.5 liters of wine, or 1.14 liters of
liquor, or 24 x 355 milliliter cans or bottles (8.6 liters) of beer or ale. Except in the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut, you can bring in more than this free allowance of
alcohol, as long as the quantities are within the limit set by the province or territory.
However, the cost may be high, as you must pay both customs assessments and the provincial
or territorial levies and taxes. If you plan to import more than the provincial limit, you
must contact the provincial authority and obtain permission before you arrive. In most
provinces, the limit is 9.1 liters (2 gallons). Some provinces do allow more.
If you meet the age
requirements set by the province or territory where you enter Canada, you can import, duty
and tax free, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco
sticks. You may bring in additional quantities, but you must pay duties and taxes on the
In order to qualify for
duty and tax free entry, you must have these items with you when you enter Canada.
Certain goods are
restricted from entering Canada. If you are considering importing fireworks, firearms,
ammunition, meat or dairy products, plant and plant products, animals, fresh fruit and
vegetables and certain food and drug products, please contact Canada Customs beforehand
for guidance at:
Trade Policy and Interpretation Directorate
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5
Obscene materials, hate
propaganda, most weapons and firearms, and goods harmful to the environment are prohibited
from entering Canada.
Dogs and cats from the
U.S. that are at least three months old need signed and dated certificates from a
veterinarian verifying that they have been vaccinated against rabies within the last three
years. The certificate must clearly identify the animal. If your dogs or cats are less
than three months old, you do not need a certificate of rabies vaccination signed by a
veterinarian to enter Canada. However, the animals must be in good health when they
arrive. You can also see information on the Worldwide Web at http://www.cfia-acia.agr.ca/.
Canada has signed an international agreement, the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to protect wild animals and plants and
their parts or derivatives from over-exploitation in international trade. CITES operates
through an import/export permit. However, goods that are controlled under CITES (except
for live animals), which are part of a visitor or a seasonal residents clothing or
accessories, or are contained in their personal baggage, and that they have owned and
possessed in their ordinary country of residence, may be exempted from a CITES permit.
An individual must not
sell or dispose of the CITES-controlled item within 90 days after the date on which the
exemption is claimed.
For more information,
Canadian Wildlife Service
Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Fax: (819) 953-6283
If you are importing
prescription drugs, make sure they are clearly identified. The drugs should be in the
original packaging, with a label that specifies what they are and that they are being used
under prescription. If this is not possible, carry a copy of the prescription or a letter
from your doctor.
You can import gifts
for relatives and friends in Canada duty free and tax free, as long as each gift is valued
at CAN$60 or less. If the gift is worth more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duties and
taxes on the excess amount. You cannot claim alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or
advertising matter as gifts.
Where to Find
Consular Assistance While in Canada
The State Department
maintains a number of diplomatic offices in Canada. The U.S. Embassy is located in Ottawa,
and there are U.S. Consulates General in Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City,
Vancouver, and Toronto. At each of these offices, there are U.S. consular officers
available to help you with problems.
These offices, in
cooperation with the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at the State Department in
Washington, D.C., provide a range of services to resolve problems during your visit to
Canada. The services include:
- support and assistance
in the event you are a victim of crime, become ill, are arrested, die abroad, or are
involved in a disaster;
- communications with
friends and relatives in the event of an emergency, and help with arrangements for
emergency fund transfers;
- notarizing documents;
- U.S. passports and
Reports of Birth of U.S. citizens born abroad.
Embassy of the United States
490 Sussex Drive
PO Box 866, Station B
Web site at http://www.usembassycanada.gov
includes Baffin Island, the following counties in eastern Ontario: Lanark, Leeds,
Prescott, Renfrew, Russell and Stormont, and the following counties in western Quebec:
Gatineau, Hull, Labelle, Papineau, Pontiac and Tamiscamingue.
U.S. Consulate General
615 Macleod Trail, SE
Telephone: (403) 266-8 962
includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Districts of MacKenzie and Keewatin in
the Northwest Territories.
U.S. Consulate General
Suite 904, Purdys Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street
Telephone: (902) 429-2480
includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
U.S. Consulate General
1155 St. Alexander Street
Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1Z1
U.S. Consulate General
P.O. Box 65, Station Desjardins
Montreal, QC H5B 1G1
includes southwestern Quebec with the exception of the six counties served by the U.S.
Embassy at Ottawa.
2 Place Terrasse Dufferin,
Quebec, Que., G1R 4T9
Telephone: (418) 692-2095
includes the territory of Nunavut and the regions of Abitibi-West, Abitibi-East, St.
Maurice, Trois-Rivieres, Nicolet, Wolfe, Frontenac and all other regions to the north or
east within the province.
U.S. Consulate General
360 University Avenue
Toronto, Ont., M5G 1S4
includes the entire Province of Ontario except those areas east of Kingston, which are
included in the Ottawa consular district.
U.S. Consulate General
1075 West Pender Street,
Vancouver, BC, V6E 4E9
Telephone: (604) 685-4311
includes British Columbia and the Yukon.
PART FOUR: RETURNING TO THE U.S.
To re-enter the United
States, returning U.S. citizens need to show the Department of Homeland Security officer
proof of identity, such as a drivers license, and proof of citizenship, such as a
passport, birth certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization. A U.S. passport is proof of
both citizenship and identity. Persons who are dual nationals should enter the U.S. using
U.S. documents only, as they could be fined under U.S. law for entering the U.S. on a
foreign passport. U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. via air or bus who lack proof of
citizenship should contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. consulate for assistance.
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
There is no limit on
the total amount of money that may be brought into or taken out of the United States, nor
is it illegal to do so. However, if you transport or cause to be transported (including by
mail or other means) more than $10,000 in monetary instruments on any occasion into or out
of the United States, or if you receive more than that amount, you must file a report
(Customs form 4790) with U.S. Customs. Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal
penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments. Monetary instruments
include U.S. or foreign coin, currency, travelers checks, money orders, and
negotiable instruments or investment securities in bearer form.
Visit the U.S. Customs web site
Food, Plant, and Animal Products Into the U.S.
Citrus products of any
origin are prohibited. Most other products produced or grown in Canada are allowed. This
includes vegetables, fruits other than black currants; and meat and dressed poultry, if
accompanied by proof of origin or labeled as a product of Canada.
EMBASSY AND CONSULATES IN THE U.S.
501 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: (202) 682-1740
Web site http://www.canadianembassy.org
300 S. Grand Avenue, 10th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Telephone: (213) 346-2700
First Union Financial Centre
200 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1600
Miami, FL 33131
Telephone: (305) 579-1600
1 CNN Center, Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303-2705
Telephone: (404) 577-6810
2 Prudential Plaza
180 N. Stetson Aveue, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60601
Telephone: (312) 616-1860
3 Copley Place, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02116
Telephone: (617) 262-3760
600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1100
Detroit, MI 48243-1798
Telephone: (313) 567-2340
701 4th Avenue, S., 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1899
Telephone: (612) 333-4641
3000 Marine Midland Center, 30th Floor
Buffalo, NY 14203-2884
Telephone: (716) 858-9500
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Telephone: (212) 596-1600
Consulate of Canada
107 Cereipo Street
Alturas de Santa Maria
Telephone: (809) 790-2210
750 N. Saint Paul Street, Suite 1700
Dallas, TX 75201
Telephone: (214) 922-9806
412 Plaza 600
6th & Stewart Streets
Seattle, WA 98101-1286
Telephone: (206) 443-1777
PLANNING ANOTHER TRIP?
publishes the following pamphlets: