Travel to Canada With a Green Card
Green Card

How Can I Travel to Canada With a Green Card?

Green card holders (permanent residents of the United States) can travel to Canada provided they meet all the relevant entry requirements. Those traveling to Canada by air must obtain an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

This blog will explore the rules surrounding US green card holders travelling to Canada, including documentation, exceptions and procedures.

Do I Need a Visa?

If you are a US permanent resident (Green Card Holder), you can travel to Canada as long as you have the proper documentation. The requirements for Green Card holders vary by mode of transportation and whether you are entering or transiting the country.

To enter the US, a Green Card Holder must have a valid passport and a visa or waiver (eTA or ESTA). To travel to Canada, you only need your green card and your valid passport. However, you may need additional documents to cross the border if you are travelling by air. In this case, you will need to apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) before your trip.

You can save time at the airport by submitting your advance declaration online up to 72 hours before your flight. This allows CBSA to process your information in advance and will speed up your entry into Canada. The eTA is free and only takes a few minutes to complete.

The US and Canada have a close relationship that has led to special immigration treatment for citizens of each country. As a result, US Green Card holders are considered permanent residents of the United States and can travel to Canada without having to obtain a visa. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be subject to inspection by border services officials.

Border services officers have full access to the FBI criminal database and can detect any convictions that could make you inadmissible to the country. This is why it’s important to be as prepared as possible. If you have a serious conviction, you will likely be denied entrance into the country unless you can acquire special entrance permission.

If you are a Green Card Holder, the best option is to apply for an ETA before your trip to avoid any issues at the airport or upon entering the country. This is especially important if you are flying to the US from a country that requires an ETA. In addition, be sure to carry all the other necessary documents listed above for your mode of travel.

Do I Need a Visa

Do I Need a Passport?

If you’re a US permanent resident, or “Green Card” holder, you can legally travel to Canada without needing a passport. However, you’ll still need to present the appropriate documents when crossing the border by land or sea. You’ll also need a valid driver’s license if you plan on driving in Canada.

If traveling to Canada by air, you’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This is an easy and inexpensive process that can be completed online. You’ll need to supply your name, email address, and the details of your trip. Most applicants receive their eTA approval within minutes, but it can take longer if additional information is needed.

While you can technically travel to Canada with just your Green Card, it’s not recommended. The US-Canada border has full access to FBI criminal databases, so it’s not uncommon for border agents to detect a Green Card holder’s past convictions and deny them entry to the country. This is particularly true for convicted felons, as well as individuals with outstanding arrest warrants.

If you’re planning on flying to and from Canada regularly, consider applying for a NEXUS card instead of a visa. This is a convenient and affordable option that’s valid at 9 Canadian airports, 21 land border crossings, and 396 marine reporting centers. You’ll need to provide your fingerprints and photo when you apply, but you don’t have to do so as soon as you get approved.

As a Green Card holder, you’ll need to keep your US passport and Green Card on hand throughout your trip to ensure that you can return to the United States safely. It’s also a good idea to carry some extra identification, such as a credit or debit card and a phone number, in case something goes wrong on your trip.

You’ll need a reentry permit if you’ve been out of the United States for more than one year. You can apply for one at the Canada border, or online, before your departure. The process can take up to 120 days, so it’s best to do it ahead of time.

Do I Need a Reentry Permit?

As a green card holder, you have the ability to travel freely within the United States and Canada. However, if you plan to spend extended time outside of the country, it’s important that you have proper reentry documentation. Without a reentry permit, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official could view your trip abroad as abandonment of your U.S. residence, which could lead to a loss of your permanent residency.

A reentry permit is a form that authorizes you to return to the United States after an absence of more than 180 days. You must apply for a reentry permit by filing Form I-131 at least 24 hours before your departure from the U.S. The process can take up to a month, so it’s important that you start the application well in advance of your trip.

To apply for a reentry permit, you’ll need to provide information about your trip, including why you need to leave the United States, where you’ll be traveling and for how long. You’ll also need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) to complete your application.

Once you have a reentry permit, you’ll be able to present it along with your passport and green card when entering the United States by plane, car, train or cruise ship. CBP officers will inspect your documents, ask questions and – assuming everything is in order – readmit you into the country.

Even with a reentry permit, CBP officials may interrogate you about your trip abroad. However, if you have a clear connection to the United States, such as family ties, tax filings, a U.S. mailing address or a job in the U.S., it’s unlikely that you’ll be found to have abandoned your residence.

While a reentry permit helps protect green card holders from being found to have abandoned their residence, it’s always a good idea to check with your immigration attorney before travelling overseas. At Boundless, we help our clients navigate the U.S. immigration process and get the peace of mind that comes from knowing they can legally travel to, work in and live in the United States and Canada with confidence.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

If you have a green card, you can travel to Canada and stay for up to six months at a time for tourism or business purposes. However, you should always consider purchasing a travel insurance plan for your trip to ensure that you are covered in the event of an emergency. This type of insurance can cover medical expenses, travel delays, and lost or stolen luggage. It can also provide assistance with re-booking flights, as well as other financial compensation for unforeseen circumstances that may impact your trip. Manulife has a mobile app that gives you fast access to its travel assistance centre, and they can help you book hotel rooms, transportation, or even replace your credit cards. If you need to use the services of a medical provider, you can call them directly from the app or provide them with receipts, bills, invoices and medical records.

When you arrive at the Canadian border, you should carry your green card and passport with you. You will be required to present them both when you are questioned by the border service officer, so make sure that they are both valid and up to date. You may also be asked to present proof of funds for your trip. It is a good idea to keep receipts for accommodation, purchases and repairs to your personal vehicle as these can be used to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada.

Most green card holders will need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before they fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. This is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals and is electronically linked to your passport.

A criminal record can affect your ability to enter Canada as a green card holder. For example, a DUI conviction can prevent you from entering the country unless you are granted a waiver by the Canadian government. This waiver is typically available as either Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit, and it is only granted to individuals who finished their probation greater than five years ago.

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