6 Travel Tips for Canadians Visiting the USA
The United States is just around the corner and many Canadians visit the country several times a year. While it might seem as if there isn’t anything complicated about crossing the border and staying in the USA, some things are often overlooked. Below you can find a few tips to help Canadians enjoy their trip to the USA without any setbacks.
Get a NEXUS card
A NEXUS card allows you to avoid queues at the borders. Special processing lanes at the land border crossings help you save time when traveling to the United States and back. You also get an opportunity to use Global Entry and NEXUS kiosks when traveling by air.
You can apply for the NEXUS card in advance (it takes up to 6 weeks to be approved) and receive it for $50. The card is valid for 5 years. Canadians can apply online through GOES.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Canadians can stay in the United States for up to 182 days (about 6 months) in a 12 months period. You can either use this time all at once or break it down into several visits. It’s important to note that overstaying can lead to penalties, such as entry restrictions.
If you overstayed the allotted period and were denied entrance, you still have a chance to visit the USA by applying for a US Entry Waiver. However, getting this waiver may be a tedious process, so it’s better to follow the rules.
Be Smart About Taking Pets
If you are used to speeding through the border by showing your NEXUS card, your cat or dog won’t get through as easily. If they are at least three months old, you need to prove that they have a rabies shot by showing a vaccination certificate. All pets will be examined at the border. If they don’t appear to be in good health, the entrance may be denied.
Don’t Wait at The Border
If you don’t have a NEXUS card, you might want to check out the border waiting time. Anything longer than an hour might substantially hinder your plans. You can choose the border with the least waiting time and pass there. More often than not, the time you spend by taking a detour won’t exceed the time you spend waiting in the border queue.
Watch the Legal Drinking Age
Canadian tourists often overlook the difference between the drinking age in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, it’s rather substantial. While you can buy a beer in Canada when you turn 18 or 19, depending on the jurisdiction, in the USA the legal drinking age is 21
Get Permission for the Children
If a minor is traveling without parents or with just one parent, a special notarized permission from the absent parent should be obtained. The permission must contain contact information of the absent parent. In case a parent is deceased, you should provide a death certificate. In the case of sole custody, the parent or guardian should be ready to present the according documents.