The border between Canada and the United States is expected to be very busy this holiday weekend.
Increased volume is expected to increase wait times going into and out of the U.S.
Here’s some tips to make your experience better.
- Plan ahead – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, the holidays result in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tends to be busiest, plan around it.
- NEXUS members can cross faster by using the Canada-bound NEXUS lanes—in the Southern Ontario Region, NEXUS lanes are available at the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and Ambassador, Blue Water, Peace and Queenston-Lewiston Bridges. The Whirlpool Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario is the only dedicated NEXUS crossing in Canada, only a few minutes from the Horseshoe Falls.
- Be prepared – Have proper identification for you and everyone in the vehicle, including children, ready to present to the border services officer. Acceptable forms of identification for entry into Canada include a passport, a NEXUS card and an enhanced driver’s license. If you are travelling with children that you either have or share custody of, have copies of all relevant legal documents, such as custody rights, on hand.
- Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada—refer toI Declare on the CBSA website for more information on your personal exemptions including alcohol or tobacco. Keep your receipts readily available including hotel receipts to verify the length of your stay outside Canada.
- Know the contents of your vehicle and declare any weapons or firearms in your possession when entering Canada—consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods. Failure to declare any weapons or firearms in your possession may lead to penalties, including seizure action and prosecution.
- If travelling with pets, know that dogs and cats that are three months of age or older need valid signed and dated certificates from a veterinarian verifying vaccinations against rabies. These are usually valid for 1-3 years. Service dogs are exempt when accompanied by their owners.
- If camping in Canada or returning from a camping trip, ensure all camping gear, recreational equipment and supplies are clean and free of pests and soil. Firewood cannot be brought into the country because it can introduce invasive species and spread disease to Canada’s trees. Campers should buy firewood on site, burn firewood on site, and leave all unused firewood on site. Consult the CBSA’s website for information on other restricted and prohibited goods.
- Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.