Time Zone: -5 hours. GMT -4 hours from March 9 to November 2, 2008. in the west , GMT -3.5 in the east.
Tel. Country Code: 1
USADirect Tel.: 1
Electrical Standards: Electrical Current 110/60 (volts/hz). American Style Grounding Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plug A.
HIV Test: Required for any foreigner suspected of being HIV positive (HIV testing is not mandatory for entry).
Required Vaccinations: None
Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law. Visitors are required to have the necessary travel documentation and be in good health. If asked for, they must satisfy an immigration officer of ties to their country of origin. Such ties include a job, home, and family. They must satisfy the officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their visit. They must also have sufficient money for their stay.
All items belonging to an individual, including the vehicle an individual may be traveling in, are subject to search by the CBSA.
Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada must carry both proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport or passport card is preferred, although a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, citizenship certificate, or another document proving US nationality together with a government issued photo ID (such as a driver's license) is acceptable to establish identity and nationality.
Enhanced Driver's Licenses
An enhanced driver's license or EDL (currently issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington) is specifically designed to meet the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to re-enter the United States via a land or water border. An EDL will also suffice as proof of identity and citizenship for American citizens entering Canada by road.
NEXUS is a joint US/Canadian program for pre-approved, low risk travelers and requires an extensive background check and face to face interview with border officials of both nations. FAST is the equivalent for international truck drivers. Membership in either program can expedite border clearance through the use of dedicated lanes.
United States Permanent Residents
Minors 18 and under
Children under 16 need only present proof of U.S. citizenship. Nevertheless, it is recommended that identification for children be carried anyway. Any person under 18 traveling alone requires a letter from a parent or guardian granting permission to travel to Canada. The letter must state the traveler's name and the duration of the trip.
A divorced parent who has or shares custody of a child should carry a copy of the custody document. An adult accompanying a child and who is not the child's parent or legal guardian should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the child. When traveling in a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should be in the same vehicle as their children when arriving at the border. CBSA personnel are looking for missing children and may question adults about children traveling with them.
Documentation for vehicles
Visas and admissibility
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens to visit Canada for up to 180 days. Anyone seeking to enter Canada for any purpose besides a visit (e.g. to work, study or immigrate) must qualify for the appropriate entry status and can see the Canadian immigration website. The Canadian embassy or nearest consulate can be contacted for additional information.
Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the NEXUS trusted traveler program. NEXUS members receive a special travel card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through both U.S. and Canadian border controls very quickly.
Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada must carry both proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under sixteen need only present proof of U.S. citizenship.
U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid U.S. passport. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens to visit Canada for up to 180 days. Anyone seeking to enter Canada for any purpose besides a visit (e.g. to work, study or immigrate) must qualify for the appropriate entry status, and should contact the Canadian Embassy or nearest consulate and see the Canadian immigration web site at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp. Anyone with a criminal record (including even misdemeanors or Driving While Impaired (DWI)) charges may be barred from entering Canada and must qualify for a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel for further processing, which may take some time.
For further information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Canadian Embassy at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001, tel. (202) 682-1740.
Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine
Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A. Although the risk of hepatitis A in this country is low, protection against hepatitis A should be considered routine for all travelers.
Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers who might be exposed to blood or body fluids from unsafe/unprotected sexual contact; from injecting drug use; Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B.
Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.
Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
Note: According to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, 29 cases of measles have been reported since February 2010, primarily in the Lower Mainland region. These are the first reported cases since 2007. Travelers born in 1957 or later (1970 or later in Canada) without history of disease or of 2 adequate doses of live measles vaccine at any time during their life should be vaccinated.
• The Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.
Hospitals / Doctors
Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government controlled and rationed. The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Quick and easy access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of each province’s government run health care plans. Many physicians will not take new patients. Access to a specialist is by referral from a general practitioner only and even with a referral it may take months to obtain an appointment with a specialist. Emergency room waits are very long. No Canadian health care provider accepts U.S. domestic health insurance. Visitors who seek any medical attention in Canada should be prepared to pay in cash in full at the time the service is rendered. Traveler’s medical insurance is highly recommended even for visits to Canada. Some health care professionals in the province of Quebec might only speak French.
• All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip.
Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage. Policies should cover: ground and air ambulance transport, including evacuation to home country; payment of hospital bills; 24-hour telephone assistance.
Destination Health Info for Travelers
AIDS/HIV: The prevalence of HIV in Canada is estimated at 0.3% of the adult population. High-risk groups are men who have sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users. MSM remains the largest single exposure category. In recent years, around a quarter of new adult HIV diagnoses have been among women. Nearly two-thirds of the women diagnosed in 2006 with reported exposure category were probably infected through heterosexual contact. (Source:www.Avert.org)
• The development of AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes. Important safety rules to follow are 1) Do not drive at night, 2) Do not rent a motorcycle, moped, bicycle, or motorbike, even if you are experienced, and 3) Don't swim alone, at night, or if intoxicated.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.
Avian Influenza A (Bird Flu): In November 2005, the H5 strain was reported in Canada. Two wild ducks in Manitoba tested positive for H5N1 virus, though not the same virulent type found in Asia. The virus was also found in a commercial duck on a farm in Chilliwack, B.C. Another case was reported on P.E.I. in June 2006.
Avian influenza A (H5N1) is predominantly a disease of birds. The virus does not pass easily from birds to people and does not to pass from person to person (except in very rare cases of close contact with an infected blood relative).
• The risk to humans from avian influenza is believed to be very low and no travel restrictions are advised, except travelers should avoid visiting animal markets, poultry farms and other places where they may come into close contact with live or dead poultry, or domestic, caged or wild birds and their excretions. In addition, travelers are advised to:
1. Cook poultry and egg dishes thoroughly. (Well-cooked poultry is safe to eat.)
2. Wash hands frequently with soap and water if around poultry.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend travel restrictions to countries experiencing outbreaks of influenza A (H5N1) in birds, including those countries which have reported associated cases of human infection. To date, no cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) illness have been identified among short-term travelers visiting countries affected by outbreaks among poultry or wild birds.
Giardiasis: Giardia is the most commonly reported intestinal parasite in North America and in the world. The prevalence rate in Canada is typically 5-10%. Confirmed outbreaks of waterborne giardiasis in Canada have occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Over 9,000 confirmed cases of giardiasis are reported each year.
• Giardiasis occurs sporadically in wilderness areas. Rural streams, lakes, and ponds may be contaminated by the cysts and hikers and campers may be at risk. The beaver is often implicated in waterborne outbreaks of giardiasis, but other mammals, including dogs, muskrat, and cattle–and humans–can be carriers of the parsasites. Campers and hikers should follow safe food and water guidelines. Water filtration or boiling is preferred to prevent transmission of disease. Giardia cysts are resistant to chlorine—long contact times are required. An infected camper can also infect others. To help prevent the spread of giardiasis, all campers should dispose of fecal material in a safe fashion.
Hepatitis B: There is a low risk of hepatitis A in Canada, but all travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should consider vaccination against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may endemic but at a low level. Sporadic cases may be underdiagnosed or underreported. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. Farm animals, such as swine, and also deer and wild boar, may serve as a viral reservoirs. (HEV is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food.) In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at <2% but there is a high carrier rate (>25%) in the Inuit population in northern Canada. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic at a very low level with a prevalence of 0.1% in the general population. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C - an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Influenza A (H1N1-Swine Flu): An outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) was reported from Canada in April 2009, resulting in 389 cases by May 14, one of them fatal. The outbreak was caused by a previously unknown strain of influenza that contained a unique combination of swine, avian, and human influenza gene segments. Initial reports from Mexico, where the outbreak started, indicated a high fatality rate in previously healthy young adults and older children, raising concerns that a worldwide pandemic might occur, similar to 1918. However, subsequent data from Mexico, as well as experience from the United States, Canada, and other countries, indicate the H1N1 strain from 2009 may not be nearly as lethal as some people initially feared.
• The World Health Organization does not recommend any travel restrictions at this time. To protect yourself from H1N1 influenza, wash your hands regularly and avoid close contact with anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Routine use of face masks is not recommended.
Source: MD Travel Health
Infectious Diarrhea: Alberta Health Services in Canada announced in March 2015 that 122 people across the province have been diagnosed with E Coli infection over the past month. There is a low risk of travelers' diarrhea in Canada.
Insects: Blackflies and mosquitoes are a significant problem during the spring and summer months. Travelers to outdoor rural areas (especially campers, hikers, fishermen) are urged to have adequate protection against insects. Adequate protection consists of head nets, mosquito bed nets, a skin repellent containing DEET, and permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
Liver Fluke Disease: An outbreak of acute liver fluke disease caused by the consumption of parasite-contaminated raw fish (white sucker) caught in the Pembina River north of Montreal occurred in 1993. Symptomless human infection has been reported from Quebec to Saskatchewan, and on the eastern coast of Greenland. Fish that potentially carry the North American liver fluke parasite (Metorchis conjunctus ) include the longnose sucker, yellow perch, brooktrout, and fallfish.
Lyme Disease: Populations of infected ticks are established in parts of southern Ontario, the southeastern corner of Manitoba, areas along the south shore of Nova Scotia and in British Columbia.
Lyme disease does not seem to be very prevalent in Canada. Between 1984 and the end of 1995, there was a total of 228 reported cases for all of Ontario. In the same period, 14 cases were reported in the Thunder Bay district: nine of these people had no history of travel outside the area. The disease is often concentrated in specific regions that have large populations of deer or other wildlife. In some areas where Lyme disease is common, blood tests in people show that up to 24 percent of the general population have been exposed to the infection. Long Point, Ontario appears to be the only region known to have a concentration of infected ticks and wild animals. Scattered cases of Lyme disease in other regions of the country suggest that pockets may exist.
• Tick-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and permethrin (spray or solution) to clothing and gear.
Rabies: There is a very low risk to humans. Less than 5% of cases are transmitted by dogs. Most rabies in Canada is confined to animals, particularly arctic and red foxes, and bats. Travelers should seek immediate treatment for any unprovoked animal bite, particularly if from a fox, raccoon, skunk, or bat. Other wild animals in Canada that can potentially transmit rabies include groundhogs, wolves, bobcats, and black bears.
West Nile Fever: In June 2007, The Province of Manitoba reported the country’s first human case of West Nile virus infection for the year. In Ontario, one dead bird was tested positive of West Nile virus in May. (Source: ProMED-mail 5 July 2007). Nocases reported in 2014-2015.