Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Canada set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Canada

From 7 September 2021, fully vaccinated foreign nationals are eligible to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) reasons, such as tourism; however, these individuals must:

  • be fully vaccinated: a traveller must have received, and show proof of, the full series, or a combination of, vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
  • have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or their arrival at the land border crossing, or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada. Antigen tests, often called “rapid tests” are not accepted;
  • be asymptomatic;
  • submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (App or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan in case it is determined at the border that you do not meet the necessary requirements;
  • be admissible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
  • take a test on arrival, if selected.

There are no changes to testing and quarantine requirements for travellers who are not fully vaccinated but eligible to enter Canada by right, including Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate and extended family, temporary foreign workers and most international students. They are still subject to quarantine, all testing requirements (pre-arrival, upon arrival/day 1 and on day 8) and the mandatory submission of travel, contact and quarantine information via ArriveCAN.

You can use the online tool, ‘Find out if you can travel to Canada’ to find out if they may be eligible to enter Canada.

Passengers without a valid test result will be denied boarding or entry. If you are travelling from a country where molecular testing is unavailable you will be required to quarantine for 14 days quarantine. Delays in obtaining test results does not apply.

Further details are available on the COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada web page.

At point of departure, air operators must complete a basic health assessment of every passenger. No passengers (regardless of citizenship) who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will be allowed to board. Non-medical face masks or face coverings are required for all flights to and from Canadian airports, and within airport terminals. Anyone who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must be in possession of a medical certificate.

All travellers whose final destination is Canada are required to submit their information digitally through Canada’s ArriveCAN (App or website), within 72 hours before your arrival in Canada. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan, COVID-19 symptom self-assessment and vaccine information. You must be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada, as well as evidence that you have submitted your details digitally.

If you have any questions, contact the nearest Canadian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate.

International flights are operating at 10 airports:

  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (YOW)
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

You should check with your airline before you travel for the most up to date information:

  • British Airways (1 800 247 9297)
  • Air Canada (1 888 246 2262)
  • Air Transat (1 877 872 6728)
  • WestJet (1 888 937 8538)

You should note the new specific requirements for travellers departing from Canada by air.

Cruise ships with overnight accommodation allowed to carry more than 100 passengers are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until 31 October 2021. Further information on COVID-19 measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels is available on Canada’s COVID-19 Cruise ship travel page.

If you are already in Canada and your visa has expired, or is about to expire, find out what to do if you are a visitor, temporary worker or student.

Transiting Canada

If you’re planning to transit via Canada to reach the UK, you should be aware that exceptions apply. You must:

  • plan your travel so you arrive and depart from the same airport within 24 hours (Domestic transfers are not permitted)
  • check your baggage through to a destination outside Canada
  • ensure connections occur on the same day at all Canadian airports except Toronto Pearson (YYZ)

Overnight connections are not possible at:

  • Montréal-Trudeau (YUL)
  • Calgary International (YYC)
  • Vancouver International (YVR)

Canadian authorities require passengers to wear a face covering on flights to and from Canada, and within airport terminals in Canada. Passengers arriving at or departing from Canadian airports must demonstrate that they have the necessary face mask or face covering during the boarding process, otherwise they will be stopped from continuing their journey. Anyone who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must be in possession of a medical certificate. Further information is available on the Transiting Through Canada webpage.

The Canadian authorities require visitors transiting through Canada to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), unless you are otherwise exempted (for example, if you have a valid Canadian visa or a permanent resident card).

If you have any further questions, you should contact your airline, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or your nearest Canadian high commission, embassy or consulate.

Testing / screening on arrival

All air passengers must wear a non-medical mask or face covering during travel, within airport terminals and to their place of self-isolation.

In addition to the mandatory pre-departure tests, travellers arriving in Canada by land and air are required to take an additional test on arrival and a further test on Day 8 of their 14 day self-isolation period.

Check if you qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption. If you qualify for the exemption you are exempt from the Day 8 test. Most fully vaccinated travellers won’t need to take an arrival test. However, you may be randomly selected for the border testing surveillance programme upon arrival in Canada. If selected, you must take the test or you will be subject to quarantine and penalties/fines. You do not need to quarantine while awaiting test results. Further information is available on Public Health Agency of Canada’s website. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.

For questions about travel during the coronavirus pandemic, contact Health Canada.

Quarantine requirements

Air travellers are no longer required to book and stay in a government-authorised hotel.

Fully vaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter Canada are no longer required to quarantine on arrival. You must have received the full series, or a combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Fully vaccinated travellers will still be required to produce a valid pre-departure test, take a test on arrival if selected to do so, and produce a quarantine plan, as well as be prepared to quarantine in case it is determined at the border that you do not meet the necessary requirements. You will also be required upload relevant information and documentation to the ArriveCAN (App or website) prior to arrival in Canada. Further details are available on Canada’s COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders website.

If you are not exempt you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days. Heavy penalties apply if you fail to comply. You must also produce a credible self-isolation plan. An inadequate plan would include scenarios such as planning to stay with elderly relatives or failing to have a set destination. If you have symptoms or an unsuitable quarantine plan, follow the directions provided by the government representative.

Further details are available on the COVID-19 entering Canada as a fully vaccinated traveller webpage.

Departing Canada by air

From 30 October 2021, travellers who are 12 and above departing from Canadian airports on both domestic and international flights, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will need to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, with very limited exceptions. This will also apply to travellers on cruise ships when the cruise season commences in 2022. To allow travellers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a transition period until 30 November when a valid molecular COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel will be accepted as an alternative to proof of full vaccination. Further information is available on Transport Canada’s website.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British Citizens don’t usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods, but you’ll need to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation before you travel (see below).

If you have a different type of British nationality or intend to travel for a longer period, such as for work or study, check entry requirements with the Canadian High Commission. Effective from 31 July 2018, you may need to give your fingerprints and photos (biometrics) at a visa application centre when applying for a study or work permit, or permanent residence. When you arrive in Canada, you will need to be able to show that you have enough funds available to support yourself during your stay, even if you’re staying with family and friends.

If you have any doubts about whether you’re eligible to enter Canada (eg if you have a criminal record or have been arrested even if it did not result in a conviction), or about visa matters generally, contact the Canadian High Commission before you travel.

Some unauthorised websites charge for submitting visa applications. These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Canadian government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

Visitors travelling to Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada.

If you’re visiting Canada you’ll need an eTA to board your flight unless you’re otherwise exempted (for example, if you have a valid Canadian visa or a permanent resident card). If you have British-Canadian dual nationality you won’t be able to apply for an eTA and you’ll need to present a valid Canadian passport to board your flight to Canada.

If you’re travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification.

For more information about the eTA system, and to apply online, visit the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Canada. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation using an ETD.

Travelling with children

If you’re travelling with children and only one parent is present, you should carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent. Immigration officers have the right to question children using simple and appropriate language to establish whether there are any concerns about child abduction. A letter of consent may help to dispel potential concerns.

For further information check with the Canadian High Commission or the Canada Border Services Agency.

Travelling to the USA

The US is limiting non-essential travel at land ports of entry. “Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. For more information, visit the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Canada Travel Restrictions Fact Sheet.

The Government of Canada will allow fully vaccinated international travellers who meet the conditions to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes.