The Proper Documentation — Border Crossing Requirements for Canada
Millions and millions of people a year visit Niagara Falls, and of those, most certainly tens of thousands cross over the three border bridges in the Niagara vicinity to Canada. Many of the tourists who travel to Canada on a daily basis are American citizens, and most do not realize what kind of documentation they truly need to go into Canada as smooth and fast as possible.
Since I cross the border on almost a daily basis, I seem to think of myself as a subject matter expert. I have taken countless groups of people back and forth and have encountered things you would not already think of happening – but they happen! The meaningful thing to remember is have all of the documents that you think they will probably not ask for; you could be that one out of a thousand that is asked to produce a questionable document and if you do not have it, more then likely your vacation plans are in ruins.
Generally, your driver’s license is NOT permissible proof. In most states, your place of birth is not on your driver’s license! Do not think the border inspector will assume you were born in Michigan just because your driver’s license is from the state of Michigan (especially after the events of September 11th). You should carry a certified copy of your birth certificate with you at all times when traveling oversea. Your drivers license and your birth certificate are generally permissible as proof of citizenship. A U.S. passport or resident alien (green) card will also do the trick, no questions asked. Remember, it is your burden to prove your citizenship! Parents of infants and small children are also required to carry identification and citizenship proof. If Dad stayed home from vacation because he had to work, you will want to be sure to have him sign a observe stating that he is aware that his children are traveling alone with their mother, and allowing the children to travel outside of the country.
If you have had a conviction in your past (already if you are completely reformed!) you may want to think twice about traveling to Canada. Immigration agents as been known to turn people around at the border. Most of our laws classify as a convictable or non-convictable offense in Canada. already a misdemeanor can disqualify you from entering the country. Again, DO NOT ASSUME! Did you get a DUI 8 years ago? More then likely you are not eligible to go into Canada. Call your nearest Canadian consulate for details regarding specific laws for entry if you were ever convicted of a crime.
Follow these simple steps and your border crossing will be hassle free.
Have a wonderful Niagara Falls Vacation!