Canadian Border Laws

Canadian border laws are written to protect the soundness of the country, ensure the internal security of the citizens, and safeguard the nationhood. These laws, however, are tailored in such a way that they will allow entry to any foreign national or returning visitor who meets the requirements for entrance.

Canadian Border Rules, Regulations, and Requirements

The regulations and requirements set for by Canadian government have been changing since 2004. These requirements include new rules designed to reform intelligence and prevent terrorism.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, for instance, is a product of the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. The main effect of this initiative is the change to the rule where documentation and proof of identity are no longer valid in and of themselves.


Always be prepared before booking a flight to the country. This means that you should apply for the eTA before you are due to travel. Although most applicants receive approvals in a matter of minutes, some applications do take a couple of days to process. This means that you should never wait until it is too late.

Today, new entry requirements stipulate that visa-exempt foreign nationals require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) to transit through or fly to Canada. Exceptions to the rule include travellers wielding a valid Canadian visa and U.S. citizens.

However, Canadian citizens – including dual citizens – and permanent residents are not allowed to apply for this authorization.

Other regulations regarding cargo and legal issues attached to travellers also apply as part of the main border laws.

Consider the following laws applicable to the Canadian border:

1. Documentation

All travellers intending to travel into Canada are required to provide proof of citizenship and identity. A valid passport is highly recommended; in lieu of which a government-issued identity card can be presented.

Persons under the age of 16, however, should be travelling with an adult upon entry into the country. These individuals only need to provide proof of citizenship to be allowed into the country.

American visitors can travel to the country for a maximum of 180 days without the need to procure a visa for the same.

2. Questions at the border

Anyone looking to gain admission into the country will be asked a couple of questions. Typically, these revolve around the duration of their stay, the destination, and the reason for the visit/travel.

The immigration/border officers might also ask the traveller whether they have ever appeared before a magistrate/judge. DUI charges, felony convictions, and a number of other criminal offences can prevent your entry into the country. To enter, you will need to obtain a waiver from the main Canadian Customs office.

Basic Requirements

To visit the country, you need to meet such basic requirements as:

– Possess valid travel documents, such as a passport

– Be in good physical/mental health

– Have no immigration-related or criminal convictions

– Convince the immigration officer that you have such ties as financial assets, family, home, and a job that will ensure you return to your home country

– Convince the officer that you intend to leave the country once your visit ends

– Have enough finances for the stay


Over and above everything, Canadian border laws are pretty strict. This ensures that the country is safeguarded against those who intend to cause harm to the nation, its peoples, and its resources. However, if you are on the good side of the law and can prove your intentions are pure, entrance into the country should not be difficult.