Travel to Canada for Non-Canadians

Many visitors to the United States want to visit our splendid neighbor, Canada. You should be certain to have the appropriate documents or you will risk not being admitted to Canada or not being re-admitted to the United States.

Canadian Entry Visa

Consult the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to determine if you need a Canadian visa stamp to enter Canada, and for instructions on how to apply.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

For visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air: More information about Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

General Documentation

The following is a checklist of documents which non-immigrants need to enter and return from Canada:

  • Valid Passport
  • Visa Eligibility Document:
    • If you are in J-1 status, you must have a Form DS-2019 valid beyond the date on which you will return to the United States with a valid "Travel Validation" signature (within the past twelve months) by a Responsible Officer of the Exchange Visitor Program.
    • If you are in H-1B status, you must have a valid Form I-797, the Approval Notice.
    • If you are in F-1 status, you must have a valid Form I-20 with your school officer's "Travel Endorsement" signature, authorizing travel. Those on F-1 Optional Practical Training must also have a valid employment authorization card (EAD).
  • I-94 record. International travelers are REQUIRED to present a printed copy of their Form I-94 as downloaded from the CBP I-94 website for entry to Canada and for return to the United States.
  • U.S. Entry Visa: You may re-enter the United States from Canada without getting a new visa stamp under a program called Automatic Revalidation, even if your visa stamp has expired or if you have changed your visa status since your last entry only if ALL of the following conditions are true:
    • You are in J-1, F-1, H-1, or B-1 (others may be eligible)
    • Your visit to Canada will not exceed 30 days and you will return directly to the United States from Canada
    • All of the above documents (items #1-4 above) are in order
    • You have NOT applied for a visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Canada during your visit (if you have applied for a visa and are waiting for a response or your application has been denied, you may not reenter under this program. You must enter on a newly issued visa or leave Canada and reenter the United States after seeking a U.S. entry visa stamp abroad).

NOTE: Revalidation is not currently available to individuals from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, as designated by the U.S. Department of State. More information from the U.S. Department of State.

If your U.S. entry visa has expired and you are traveling to Canada for a visit of more than 30 days, you will need to get a new U.S. visa stamp while in Canada.

To apply for a new U.S. visa stamp you will need to go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Advance appointments are required. Please consult the U.S. embassy website.

Page updated May 2023