Tips for Canadians Crossing the U.S. Border During the Holidays

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Make your trip to the U.S. hassle free by following these border crossing tips from Pardon Services Canada.

Holiday Travel Tips

With the December holidays around the corner, many Canadians are heading down to the U.S. for a chance to get away for a short holiday or do some holiday shopping. Be prepared for periods of very heavy traffic along the border between the United States and Canada. For many border crossings, this is one of the busiest periods of the year. Pardon Services Canada advises planning ahead and keeping in mind the following tips while travelling to the United States.

  • All adults and children who are travelling must have proper identification. For children under the age of 16, an original or copy of their birth certificate needs to be presented to border officials. When travelling with children, have their identification ready such as picture ID, birth certificate or passport, as well as a letter of permission for any child who is travelling without their parents or with a non-custodial parent.
  • Use your Nexus card and save time at land, air and marine ports of entry when entering Canada or the United States. Keep in mind that you can only use NEXUS if everybody in the vehicle is a cardholder.
  • Know your personal exemptions, including those for alcohol and tobacco. Declare all purchases made, including duty-free purchases, and have your receipts readily available upon your return to Canada.
  • For road trips, try to plan the time and place you return to Canada in advance and avoid crossing during peak travel times. Consider all available ports of entry in the area. If possible, use a smaller alternative port rather than the major ports.
  • Border wait times for land borders are available on the Canadian Border Services Agency website.
  • If you have a criminal record, you might require a U.S. Entry Waiver. If you already have a waiver, make sure it has not expired. Learn more on about US Entry Waivers from Pardon Services Canada.

Enjoy your trip!

About Pardon Services Canada

An industry leader in helping Canadians overcome the obstacles of a criminal record. Since 1989, Pardon Services Canada has successfully assisted over 100,000 Canadians exercise their lawful rights under the Criminal Records Act of Canada, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. Services include US Entry Waivers, Record Suspensions (formerly called pardons), and fingerprinting. Offices are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. Call toll free 1-866-972-7366 or visit the website Pardon Services Canada

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Anna Austin
Pardon Services Canada
+1 (604) 6857899 Ext: 7027
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