Our most popular question at Niagara Falls Tourism is information regarding crossing the Canadian and United States border. Border Services are responsible for entry into the country. For specific and the most accurate information please check with those agencies. Below is a general condensed idea of what you may need to cross the border.
Visitors to Canada
When you enter Canada, a border services officer may ask to see your passport and a valid visa (if you are arriving from a country from which one is required). If you are a United States citizen (U.S.), you need a passport to enter Canada.
All travellers, including U.S. citizens, are encouraged to visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Web site at www.cbp.gov for information on the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and its traveller requirements to enter or return to the United States.
Bringing Children into Canada
Border services officers are on alert for children who need protection. Children under the age of 18 seeking to enter Canada are classified as minors and are subject to the entry requirements set out under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
A more detailed examination will be conducted for minors entering Canada without proper identification or those travelling in the company of adults other than their parents or legal guardian(s). This additional scrutiny helps ensure the safety of the children.
Minor children travelling alone must have proof of citizenship. We also strongly recommend that the children carry a letter from both parents (if applicable) that authorizes the person meeting them to take care of them while they are in Canada. The letter should include the length of the stay and the address and telephone numbers of the parents.
If you are travelling with minors, you must carry proper identification for each child such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status. If you are not the parent or guardian of the children, you should also have written permission from the parent/guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.
Divorced or separated parents should carry custody or legal separation documents and/or a letter of authorization to facilitate their entry into Canada.
If you are travelling with a group of vehicles, make sure you arrive at the border in the same vehicle as your children, to avoid any confusion.
Crossing the United States Border
When entering the United States by land or water, Canadian citizens are required to present one of the following valid documents: a passport, a NEXUS card, a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card or an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card or a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (when this certificate is available and approved by the United States).
Crossing the Canadian & United States Border Wait Time
About 30 million visitors cross the border every year from the United States into Canada and an additional 18 million visitors arrive by boat or airplane from the USA and every other nation on earth. Visit the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission's website for more information to make the crossing easier, that shows hourly updates regarding border wait times.
NEXUS Pass Links
If you are a frequent, low risk traveller, you may be eligible for NEXUS and you will enjoy a simplified entry process while travelling back and forth across the Canada/U.S. border.
Buffalo Niagara NEXUS Crossing Locations
Each of the region's four international border crossings sites all offer NEXUS lane access:
Peace Bridge: U.S. and Canadian Bound TrafficWhirlpool: U.S. and Canadian Bound Traffic (NEXUS Travel Only)Rainbow Bridge: U.S. Bound Traffic OnlyQueenston-Lewiston Bridge: Canadian Bound Traffic Only
For more information about the Nexus Pass visit their Nexus Niagara website.
We always recommend that you visit the Canadian Border Services Agency for detailed information on crossing our borders.