ESTA electronic system for travel authorization​​
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Are Canadians Required to have an ESTA Application

Canadian citizens are not required to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to enter the United States.

Canada is not part of the Visa Waiver Program. Canada and the United States have special agreements that ensure that Canadian and American citizens can easily travel between the two countries. For this reason, Canadians are not required to apply for ESTA.

Essential Facts for Canadian Citizens:

  • In most cases, Canadian passport holders are not required to hold a U.S. visa to enter the United States directly from Canada.
  • Canada is not a part of the Visa Waiver Program, and Canadian passport holders do not need and cannot apply for ESTA.

What documentation are Canadians required to show to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be admitted into the United States:

Canadian visitors must present proof of citizenship (e.g., passport, birth certificate, or naturalization certificate) and a government-issued photo ID (e.g., passport, driver’s license, or provincial health card) at the U.S. Port of Entry if entering via a land border crossing. A valid Canadian passport is required to arrive in the United States by air or from outside the Western Hemisphere. After June 2009, a Canadian passport is required for all air, land, and sea entries. A Canadian passport does not need to be valid beyond the duration of the planned trip to the United States and does not need to be machine-readable.

U.S. Entry Requirements for Canadian Landed Immigrants

Landed immigrants in Canada with a passport from one of the 40 Visa Waiver countries must apply for ESTA if entering the United States via air or sea. Land border crossings do not require an approved ESTA but Form I-94W (the green form). The Form I-94W can now apply online at the CBP website. Canadian Landed Immigrants from non-visa waiver countries must apply for a U.S. visa.

Are Canadian citizens allowed to apply for a U.S. visa?

Yes, Canadians are allowed to apply for a U.S. visa, and in some instances, Canadians are required to apply for a visa. However, under normal circumstances, Canadian citizens do not need access to the United States.

Nonimmigrants already in the United States with an expired visa and who remain legal are encouraged to apply at U.S. Consulates and Embassies for a visa. This is done in conjunction with foreign business or pleasure travel. Those who intend to visit Canada, Mexico, or, in cases of exchange visitors, adjacent Islands can re-enter America within 30 days of expiring U.S. visas, provided they have a valid admission stamp or paper Form I-994 unless they are exempt from automatic revalidation.

When is a U.S. Visa necessary?

If you intend to visit the United States for reasons other than tourism and non-paid business events, you may need to apply for a visa in advance. There are numerous U.S. visa categories depending on the purpose of your visit, and a visa can only be used at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your U.S. visa or entry requirements.