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Getting here and advice about your stay

Entry requirements

Passports

Your passport does not need to be valid beyond the proposed duration of your stay.

Visas

British citizens do not usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods. However, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

If you are visiting Canada you will need an eTA to board your flight unless you are otherwise exempted. If you have British-Canadian dual nationality, you should present a valid Canadian passport to board your flight to Canada.

You do not need an eTA if entering Canada by land or sea, but you must travel with appropriate travel documents and ID. Visit: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html for further details.

You can apply for an eTA at the official Canadian Government site: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta.html?utm_campaign=eta_20150417_travel&utm_source=online_vanity-url&utm_medium=web-marketing&utm_content=canada.ca-eta.

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs)

ETDs are accepted for entry, airside-transit and exit from Canada, and it is possible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) using an ETD.

Travelling to the United States

You are advised to check the entry requirements of the US authorities at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements if you intend to travel on to the United States from Canada.

If you have already been admitted to the USA under the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and are making a short trip to Canada, you should be re-admitted to the United States as long as you continue to meet the VWP requirements. However, you are advised to check on the website of the US Customs and Border Protection at: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program.

[Source – Foreign Travel Advice: Canada, gov.uk]

 

Local laws and customs

Although recreational cannabis is legally available throughout Canada, local laws vary between provinces. However, you should be aware that cannabis is a Class B prohibited substance in the UK, and it is illegal to bring any form of cannabis into the UK without a valid licence issued by the Home Office – this includes cannabis and cannabinoid oils prescribed for medicinal purposes in Canada.

It is also illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border without a permit or exemption authorised by Health Canada. For further information visit the Canadian Border Services Agency site at: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/cannabis-eng.html.

 

Safety and security

Crime

Crime levels are generally similar to those in the UK, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from petty crime.

In an emergency, call 911 or 0 and ask the operator to connect you to the police. Emergency calls from a public pay phone are free. If your passport is lost or stolen, contact the British High Commission or Consulate immediately. See: https://www.gov.uk/world/canada for further details.

Road travel

You are allowed to drive a car in Canada using a full UK driving licence, but some hire companies may require you to additionally have an International Driving Permit (IDP). See: https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/driving-abroad/idp. Make sure you take out full insurance cover if you hire a vehicle.

Each province has its own traffic and safety laws, but seat belts are compulsory in all provinces. With the exception of some parts of Québec, right turns on red lights are generally allowed, but in towns and cities you can only turn right on a green light at certain junctions.

Take extra care when travelling on country roads, and watch out for wild animals such as moose.

Winter driving conditions can be extreme. Always monitor local weather broadcasts and take advice before driving in winter, and take food and water, blankets and a shovel in your vehicle. Snow tyres and snow chains are required in some provinces.

Visit the Canadian Government’s Transport Canada site at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/, the Travel Canada site: http://www.canada.travel/ and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) site at: https://www.caa.ca/ for further information on driving in Canada.

Terrorism

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals. You should monitor media reports and remain vigilant as indiscriminate attacks against civilian targets in Canada cannot be ruled out.

The Canadian Government’s threat level for Canada is published on their website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/defence/nationalsecurity/terrorism-threat-level.html.

Visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reduce-your-risk-from-terrorism-while-abroad to find out how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

[Source – Foreign Travel Advice: Canada, gov.uk]

Natural disasters

Although Canada is prone to a number of natural disasters, including hurricanes, very low temperatures – particularly in the north – snowstorms, avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis, thunderstorms, tornadoes and forest fires, following local warnings and monitoring news bulletins for any latest details will help ensure you stay safe.

You should make sure you have adequate travel insurance, and check with the Canadian Government’s Environment and Climate Change Canada site at: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html and the UK Government’s FCO Travel Advice pages  at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/canada/natural-disasters for up-to-date information and advice.

 

Health

You should visit your GP or health provider a minimum of eight weeks prior to travelling to Canada, to assess any health risks specific to you or the country itself, and to allow time for any necessary vaccinations.

For information and advice about any risks, visit the Canada-specific pages of the TravelHealthPro website at: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/41/canada. You can also receive useful information, advice and guidance from the NHS via the FitForTravel website at: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations and the NHS Choices website at: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/.

Some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be of an alternative legal status and regulations surrounding their usage may vary in other countries. If it is necessary for you to travel with either prescription or over-the-counter medication you should consult the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) or TravelHealthPro at: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/43/medicines-abroad.

If you need emergency healthcare you can visit a hospital’s emergency room or attend a walk-in clinic. If needed, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance, and contact your insurance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

FCO foreign travel advice

If you are travelling to Canada for business, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website has travel advice to help you prepare for your visit overseas and to stay safe and secure while you are there.

For up-to-the-minute advice please visit the foreign travel section pages on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/canada.

Travel insurance

Make sure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel, as well as accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. The cost of medical treatment in Canada is high.

[Source – Foreign Travel Advice: Canada, gov.uk]

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