Canadian Entry Requirements: A Guide for International Travelers

Updated on Mar 31, 2024 | eTA Canada Visa

For most international travelers, entry into Canada requires either a Canada Visitor Visa or a Canada Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The eTA program applies to citizens of specific visa-exempt countries. Only a limited number of visitors are eligible to enter Canada solely with their passport, without needing a visa or eTA.

Canadian Citizens, Dual Citizens, Permanent Residents and and US citizens

Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, need a valid Canadian passport to enter Canada. American-Canadians can travel to Canada with a valid Canadian or United States passport.

Canadian permanent residents must carry either their valid permanent resident card (PR card) or a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) when entering Canada. Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply for Canada eTA.

Holders of United States Permanent Resident Cards or Green Card Holders

Effective April 26, 2022, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) traveling to Canada require:

  • Valid Passport: A valid passport from their country of citizenship (or an equivalent acceptable travel document).
  • Proof of U.S. Residency: A valid Green Card (or equivalent valid proof of their U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident status).

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Requirement for Visa-Exempt Countries

Citizens of certain countries are exempt from obtaining a traditional visa for entry into Canada. However, these travelers still require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada by air.

Exceptions: The eTA requirement does not apply to visa-exempt travelers entering Canada by land or sea, such as those arriving by car from the United States or by bus, train, or boat (including cruise ships).

Conditional Canada eTA

Passport holders of the following countries are eligible to apply for a Canada eTA only if they satisfy the conditions listed below:


  • All nationalities held a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Canada Visitor Visa in the last ten (10) years.


  • All nationalities must hold a current and valid U.S. nonimmigrant visa.

Visa Requirement for Entry into Canada

A valid visa is mandatory for all travelers in the following categories, regardless of their intended mode of entry (air, land, or sea).

Note: Individuals with Alien's passports and those who are considered stateless require a visa for both visiting and transiting Canada.

Read here to learn about how to apply for a Canada Visitor Visa.

Workers and students

Workers and students coming to Canada still need to fulfill the country's general entry requirements. A work permit or study permit does not grant automatic entry to Canada. In most cases, you will also require a valid visitor visa or an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for entry.

Applying for Your First Work or Study Permit?

If your application is approved, you'll automatically receive a Canada visa or eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if required.

What to Bring When Traveling to Canada:

  • Valid Passport or Travel Document: This document must be the same one you used for your permit application.
  • Visa (if applicable): Ensure your passport contains the valid visa sticker we issued.
  • Canada eTA (if applicable for air travel): Make sure the eTA is electronically linked to the passport you'll be using to fly into Canada.

Already Have a Work or Study Permit?

  • Re-entering Canada: If you belong to a visa-required country and plan to leave and re-enter Canada, ensure your visitor visa remains valid.
  • Flying into Canada with an eTA: If you need an eTA and are flying, make sure you travel with the same passport electronically linked to your eTA.
  • Essential Travel Documents: Always bring your valid work or study permit along with your valid passport or travel document when traveling.

Working or Studying in Canada (Permit-Exempt)?

f you qualify to work or study in Canada without a permit, you'll be considered a visitor. This means you'll need to fulfill the standard entry requirements for visitors from your home country.

Planning a Long Visit with Canadian Family? Consider the Super Visa.

Are you a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident? The Super Visa program could be your key to extended visits with loved ones!

Benefits of a Super Visa

  • Long Stays: Enjoy visits lasting up to 2 years at a time.
  • Multiple Entries: Travel in and out of Canada freely during the visa's validity period (up to 10 years).

Check your eligibility for eTA Canada Visa and apply for Canada eTA 3 days prior to your flight. Australian citizens, German citizens, New Zealand citizens, and French citizens can apply online for eTA Canada Visa.