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 ACCURATE INFORMATION PLEASE REFER TO THE GOVERNMENT'S WEBSITES - To VISIT CANADA. To VISIT the USA .
Below is a general condensed idea of what you may need to cross the border as per the websites above.
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, a Passport Card or an Enhanced Licence ( The states of Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington are issuing) to enter Canada. These are issued and applied for in your home country; the Passports and Passport Card applications can be picked up at your local Post Office and the Enhanced Licence is issued at your DMV. A passport is required for anyone travelling by air, while by land U.S. Citizens 16+ can use the Passport, Passport Card or the Enhanced Licence.
As a U.S. Green Card holder, you do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. However, you are expected to have an eTA if you plan to fly to or transit through Canada.
When flying to Canada, you will need to present:
- proof of status in the U.S. (such as a valid Green Card), and
- your valid passport that you used to apply for your eTA.
The border services officer will verify your eTA when you arrive in Canada.
When travelling by land or sea directly from the U.S., you will only need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card).
Some people are inadmissible—they are not allowed to come to Canada. Several things can make you inadmissible, including involvement in criminal activity(including driving while impaired convictions), in human rights violations or in organized crime.
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).
For US citizens returning by land you will need a U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License,Trusted Traveler Cards (Global Entry*, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST), Military Identification Cards (for members of the U.S. armed forces on official orders), U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business)
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.