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Travel to Canada for Non-Canadians

International Scholars > 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. 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 signature (within the past twelve months) of 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 signature authorizing travel. Those on F-1 Optional Practical Training must also have a valid employment authorization card (EAD).
  • If you have an admission stamp in your passport, your length of authorized stay in the U.S. as indicated on the admission stamp must be valid beyond the date on which you will seek re-admission to the United States.
  • If you have an I-94 record. International travelers who entered the U.S. by air or sea, are REQUIRED to present a printed copy of their electronic Form I-94 for entry to Canada and for return to the United States. International travelers who entered the U.S. by land ports of entry, will be given a paper Form I-94 in their passport and are REQUIRED to present the paper form I-94 for entry into 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 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).

    - You are NOT a citizen or legal permanent resident of, or born in, a country designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism (currently Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan).

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 State Department's website.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

For visa-excempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. More information

Canadian Entry Visa

Consult the list on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to determine if you need a Canadian visa stamp to enter Canada. Citizens whose countries are not on this list or people who are legal permanent residents of the United States entering Canada directly from the United States do not need Canadian visa stamps.

You may apply for a Canadian visa stamp to visit Canada at the Canadian Consulate in Detroit, MI or New York City. Please consult the website of the Consulate for specifics on the application process. You also can download the application forms, get complete instructions, and learn about the required fees from these websites.

Canadian Consulate General, Detroit
Immigration Section
600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1100
Detroit, MI 48243-1798
Canadian Consulate General, New York
Immigration Section
1251 Avenue of the Americas
Concourse Level
New York, NY 10020-1175

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Last Updated: December 2017

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