On January 10, 2010, Trade Lawyers Blog posted that the Canada Border Services Agency had not posted any information to assist visitors arriving to attend the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. On January 21, 2010, the CBSA posted the following information (paraphrased in parts):
Have Proper Identification
- Citizens of the United States do not need a passport to enter Canada. However, they should carry proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification. Permanent residents of the United States are required to present a Permanent Resident Card (i.e. green card) when entering Canada.
- The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is now in effect and, therefore, Americans may need a passport or other secure documentation to return home.
- Foreign nationals from other countries entering Canada are required to present a passport and a valid visa if one is required.
- For more information about Canadian entry requirements, information is available on the Government of Canada websites (link -http://www.goingtocanada.gc.ca/CIC/display-afficher.do?id=0000000000096&lang=eng)
Admissibility to Canada
- Canada’s admissibility requirements will not change during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The same policies and procedures that apply today will be in effect during the Games. All persons seeking entry into Canada must report to the CBSA and must demonstrate they meet all requirements to enter and/or stay in Canada.
- Foreign nationals can be refused admission or removed from Canada for a number of reasons. A criminal conviction — including a conviction of Driving Under the Influence — could make a person inadmissible to Canada. For that reason, be prepared to discuss your criminal history with a border services officer when arriving in Canada.
- Visitors to Canada are encouraged to visit the CBSA (www.cbsa.gc.ca) or Citizenship and Immigration Canada (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp) Web sites to ensure they are admissible to Canada.
What Can I Bring Into Canada?
- You must present and declare all goods upon entry into Canada. It is the traveller's responsibility to know what goods are allowed into Canada, such as food products, alcohol, tobacco and currency. Some goods may be prohibited and/or restricted and may require permits, such as firearms and weapons. Before travelling to Canada, check [the CBSA's] Web site for important information. [Note: See Trade Lawyer Blog Post of January 10, 2010 - http://tradelawyersblog.com/blog/archive/2010/january/article/visitors-to-the-vancouver-2010-olympics-need-to-comply-with-canadas-customsimport-laws/?tx_ttnews[day]=10&cHash=4b86f2765f]
Check Border Wait Times
- The CBSA recommends that visitors inquire about border wait times on CBSA web-site .
- Travel at non-peak times and having documentation ready may expedite the crossing .
The CBSA has provided contact information within Canada call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999. From outside Canada call 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply. Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 – 16:00 local time / except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.
If you require more information, you may also call Cyndee Todgham Cherniak at 647-290-4249.