Crossing the Canada – U.S. border
Do you plan to travel to the USA following your stay in Canada? In this case, you will not just need the eTA for Canada, but a travel authorisation for the United States too. On this page you can read up on European and UK to USA travel requirements for travel to the USA from Canada, as well as on the requirements for travelling from the United States of America to Canada.
Canada to USA travel and travel to Canada from the US
For both a journey to Canada as a journey to America, you will need a valid passport and the valid travel authorisation. The easiest way to comply with this, is to apply for the respective ETA (electronic travel authorization). For Canada this is the eTA Canada. Upon arrival by air you will always either need the eTA travel authorisation or a visa. The eTA is more speedily processed, cheaper, and more easily applied for than a Canada visa. The eTA needs to be applied for before departure to Canada.
Travelling from Canada to the USA
If after your stay in Canada, you would like to continue your journey by travelling to the USA, you will also need an ESTA or US visa. The ESTA USA is an electronic travel authorisation that is comparable in use with the Canada eTA, but which is issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection services. For travel to the USA, a travel permit always needs to be applied for, irrespective of your mode of transport (arriving over land, by sea or by air). Whether you need the authorisation for UK travel to the USA or otherwise, the ESTA can be applied for more easily, more quickly, and at a lower cost per application.
Travel from the USA to Canada
If you are in the US and want to travel to Canada by land, whether by car, train or bus connection, by boat or on a cruise, there is no need to apply for the Canada eTA for your travel. This is because, for overland or sea travel from America to Canada the eTA is not required, as long as the traveller meets all other requirements as for travel without a Canada visa. This, therefore, also means holding the nationality of a visa-exempt country. When eligible for visa-free overland or sea travel to Canada, you will only need to fill out a form, after which you can continue with your journey. Please note that for any travel to Canada you always need to hold a valid passport. Travellers who are not eligible for the eTA and who therefore need to apply for a Canada visa, also need to do so for travel to Canada over land or sea.
Flying from the USA to Canada
When flying to Canada from the USA you will always need an eTA, as you won’t be arriving by overland or sea travel. Even if you fly from the US to Canada for a transit to an onward destination. When arriving in Canada by flight, you always need a valid travel authorisation, regardless of the departure country for the flight to Canada or the destination country for your onward travel from this country. In such cases therefore, a valid eTA or Canada visa is always required. For any traveller eligible for the Canada eTA, this travel authorisation is the easiest and quickest way to meet this requirement.
When you don’t meet Canada eTA or ESTA requirements
When you don’t meet eTA Canada requirements, you need to apply for a Canada visa. The same applies to the ESTA USA. If you do not meet the requirements for this, you need to apply for a US visa. What visa you need to apply for, depends on personal circumstance. If you only need it for a transit, for both countries a (separate) transit visa Canada needs to be applied for. Its counterpart, US visa for a transit in the United States, is the C visa. For Canada, if you already have a valid visitor visa, this means you can also use it for a Canadian transit. It is important that, prior to your departure, you read up on Canada or US visa policy, when departing to Canada and/or the United States. Please make sure all your travel documents are in order well in advance of the moment of your departure.