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Even frequent travellers can be denied entry into Canada

Crossing the border from the United States into Canada by car is serious business. Denial of entry upon arriving at the border post can be devastating. It is crucial to take the time to ensure compliance with all the do’s and don’ts of Canadian immigration laws, as they relate to border crossings and reasons that might jeopardize the right to enter Canada.

It is up to the traveller to provide appropriate documentation to the immigration officer at the border. The following are some of the primary reasons for being denied entry into Canada:

Lack of appropriate identification

Regardless of nationality, presenting a valid passport is mandatory. Even those using NEXUS or other Trusted Traveler programs or enhanced driver’s licences must still have a valid passport. Carrying only a driver’s licence and birth certificate increases the risk of being turned away at the border post.

Lack of required identification for a minor

Child abduction is a global problem, and border officials are vigilant in their quest to help prevent it. Therefore, adult travellers accompanied by minors must present the child’s citizen card, passport, birth certificate, Indian Status Certificate or permanent resident card. In addition, a letter or note of travel is required.

Lack of required documents for a pet

Bringing pets like dogs and cats across the border into Canada is permitted. However, they must be accompanied by documents showing the pet’s breed, physical description and health status, as well as proof of up-to-date rabies shots — all signed by a veterinarian.

Lack of appropriate visa

For stays longer than 180 days, U.S. citizens need visas to enter Canada. And those travelling to study or work in Canada or those immigrating to Canada need applicable visas. Individuals with criminal records or those carrying firearms without the necessary documents will also be turned away at the border.

With ever-changing border control laws and regulations, it is always a good idea to reach out to professionals who regularly deal with U.S. and Canadian immigration laws. An experienced lawyer can prove invaluable for these sometimes challenging situations. Arriving at the border knowing that the crossing will be smooth because all the requirements are met can provide much-needed peace of mind.