Can I Get a Canadian Tourist Visa from the USA?

The thought of looking at the walls of your apartment for any longer can be especially daunting now thanks to COVID-19, so wanting to change that view to the beautiful views of Lake Louise just makes sense!

The simple answer to your question, “Can I get a Canadian tourist visa from the USA?” would be that you don’t need one. Lucky you! As a U.S. citizen travelling to Canada for a stay of fewer than 180 days, all you would require for your visit is a valid passport. That being said, as a permanent resident of the U.S. (green card holder) you would need to apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) and have this document with you as well as your green card.

Travelling from the USA to Canada might just be one of the easiest journeys to have on your bucket list. Not only because the two destinations are close in proximity to each other, whether it be by car or plane, but also because of the simple process put in place.

See below for a better understanding of the eTA process.

What is an eTA?

This entry requirement is for any individual who is part of the visa-exempt foreign nationals list. To qualify for this specific entry you would need to be travelling by air. Having the eTA would allow you as a tourist to do multiple visits and stay for durations as long as six months at a time. The eTA is valid for five years or up until your passport expires. This would be the case of whichever comes first.

If your passport does expire first you would need to re-apply for the eTA. Having an eTA doesn’t mean you will necessarily get into the country, that would be at the border services officer’s discretion.

How To Apply for an eTA

The entire process is available online and is quite simple. If needed there is a help document that can be very useful and is available in several languages.

What You Will Need To Complete the eTA Form:

  • A valid passport from a visa-exempt country
  • A valid email address
  • A credit or debit card

Once you’ve started the application, you can’t stop halfway through to complete it at another time. The application is time-sensitive, you can, if needed, request to extend your session. This is done by clicking the “continue session” button.

After you’ve sent through your completed application you should, in most cases,receive an approved email within a few minutes. The email will contain your eTA number. There are cases, however, where you will need to submit more documents before getting approved. In the case this happens to you, an email will be sent with instructions within 72 hours.

We suggest applying for your eTA and waiting for approval before booking your flight. This eTA application only applies to one person, so a family wanting to travel would need to submit an application per family member.

It’s important to check that your passport number matches the approved passport number in your email, as the eTA is linked to your passport. So when presenting your passport at the check-in counter it will scan as valid and you'll be able to board your flight.

So if you are a U.S. citizen or green card holder with an approved eTA application, you won’t need to get a Canadian tourist visa from the USA. It’s that simple.

Working Holiday Visa

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A working holiday visa is a wonderful way for young adults to travel for a period of 12 to 14 months while earning money along the way. It’s a fun and non-conventional way to gain experience, evaluate your skills or determine the career you want to go into.

You have the freedom of choice in terms of the type of work you do, the contract type or which city you would like to work in.

The visa applies to citizens of countries who have a consensual youth mobility arrangement with Canada, this arrangement is with 34 countries.

What Are the U.S. To Canada Travel Restrictions?

Travellers arriving by land, as of February 15, 2021

Those travelling to Canada need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test, taken in the U.S., within 72 hours of your flight to Canada.

Essential workers such as emergency service providers, truckers, and cross-border communities are exempt from the above requirement.

The updated Canada travel restrictions state that travellers will need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on their arrival as well. The Government has set up 16 testing sites at the points of entry across Canada. Again, travellers will need to take the test close to the end of their 14-day quarantine.

Travellers arriving by air, as of February 22, 2021

  • Travellers need to take a COVID-19 test before leaving the airport, as well as close to the end of their 14-day quarantine.
  • In most cases, travellers need to book a three-night stay to wait for test results. It’s important to remember this needs to be done before arriving in Canada and will be at your own cost.
  • The hotel you book has to be in the same city as the one you arrive in. In the case of having a connecting flight, you are only able to proceed once you receive a negative test result.

Both travellers, arriving by land or air need to submit their quarantine plan along with their contact and travel information. This needs to be done electronically via ArriveCAN prior to boarding your flight or crossing the border.

What Is ArriveCAN?

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ArriveCan is used to submit all your contact information as well as all documents and information related to your travel plans. The uploading process is easy to do and your information is secure. This application is an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and plays a big factor in Canada’s response to COVID-19.

As a traveller, you must use ArriveCAN when entering airports or crossing the borders of Canada.

To access ArriveCAN you can log in to the website and create an account or download the mobile app available. This app has been updated so it’s crucial to re-install the app if you’ve downloaded it before February 22, 2021.

Things You Can Do on ArriveCAN

A great element about ArriveCAN is that you can upload information on behalf of a traveller if they are unable to do so themselves. This can be done online, after which you need to email the receipt to the person travelling.

Upload the reservation for your three-night stay.

Once you arrive in Canada, you can confirm this via the app and begin your daily symptom reporting. You can use one ArriveCAN account to report the daily symptoms of up to eight family members.This is only permitted for those staying in quarantine together.

Without this app, your daily reporting can be fairly more time-consuming as you would need to report via a phone call instead. Having the app simplifies your quarantine period.

Things To Do in Canada

When you think of Canada, the picture that comes to mind is of snow-covered mountains, the still waters of Lake Ontario and the historical city of Quebec. Taking a break from the stressful year of 2020 and now the adjustment year of 2021 couldn’t be done in a more peaceful place.

There are so many things to do in the Great North, like witnessing the great Niagara Falls, skiing at the most famous resort, Whistler Blackcomb and so much more. Canada is the second-largest country in the world after all. And who wouldn’t want to try their famous maple syrup? Not to mention the U.S. being so close to the border, you won’t need a long vacation time to visit.

And lastly but certainly most importantly the simple application process of the eTA, granting you the pleasure of not needing to get a Canadian tourist visa from the USA.

By simply clicking the link below, you’ve taken the first step to your vacation.