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Can I enter Canada with a US Visa?
Photo of Ra'eesah Manack
Ra'eesah Manack
5 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Thinking about visiting Canada on your trip to the United States? If you're wondering whether you can visit Canada with the U.S.Visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, the short answer is no. However, other options enable you to see this beautiful country.

Whether you hold a tourist, business, student, or work visa, we’ll help you by explaining the possibilities and limitations of crossing the Canadian border with your US Visa, in this article.

canada visit city

While Canada and the United States share the longest international border, they have distinct immigration systems. Knowing how these rules connect is super important when considering visiting both countries.

Is it possible to travel to Canada with a US Visa?

No, most travelers can’t visit Canada with only a US Visa.

Depending on your nationality, you might need other documents like the Canadian eTA or Canada Visitor Visa.

On the other hand, citizens of the United States, including lawful permanent residents, are visa-exempt under the Canadian visa waiver program, so they don’t need a visa to travel to Canada. Remember that you may still need to complete the Advance CBSA Declaration, a simple customs registration form, before you enter the country.

Canadian immigration policies to enter from the United States

Canadian immigration policies are known for being easy to understand and flexible, even with foreign citizens looking for job opportunities.

However, it’s essential always to do your research to avoid issues before visiting the country. The last thing you want is to be denied entry due to having the wrong travel document for your travel purposes.

Here's an overview of key aspects of Canadian immigration policies for those holding a US Visa:

  • Tourist Visa: If you have a US Tourist Visa (B1/B2 Visa), you might still need to apply for a Canadian Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Visitor Visa (TRV) to enter the country, depending on your country of citizenship. The eTA is usually the option for travelers from visa-exempt countries, while a TRV is required for most others.

  • Work Visa: If you hold a US Work Visa, such as an H1B or L1 visa, and you have a job offer or business-related reason to visit Canada, you may be able to enter with specific documentation and permissions. If you’re only attending meetings, you might still need a valid Canadian Visitor Visa.

  • Student Visa: Students with valid US student visas (F1 or M1) still need to check if they need a Visitor Visa or eTA to enter Canada.

  • Other visas: Different rules apply to other types of US visas, such as exchange visitor visas (J1), diplomatic visas (A), or temporary worker visas (H-2).

In all cases, you should carefully plan your trip and meet Canada's entry requirements, including having a valid passport.

What US Visa holders should know to transit through Canada

Transiting through Canada as a US Visa holder requires careful planning and understanding of the rules and requirements. Let’s take a look at some key points that you should be aware of when transiting through Canada:

  • Visa requirements: Depending on the nationality, you may need a Canadian visa for transit (Valid Visitor in Transit Visa - TRV) to pass through Canada, even if you’re not staying in the country.
  • Direct transit vs. connecting flights: If you’re taking a connecting flight through a Canadian airport to a third country (e.g., United States to Europe via Canada), you may be eligible for a transit without a visa (TWOV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a full transit visa. This typically applies to travelers with a US Visa.

Transiting through Canada can be smooth if you have the necessary visas and documentation in order. It's crucial to research the specific requirements for your nationality and travel itinerary well in advance to avoid any unexpected delays or issues during your transit.

Is there any US Visa type that allows entry to Canada?

No specific type of US Visa automatically allows entry into Canada. As mentioned before, each country maintains its own immigration and entry requirements. Therefore, Canadian immigration authorities assess travelers independently of U.S. Visa status.

While having a US Visa can be beneficial and may demonstrate qualifications or travel history, it doesn’t exempt you from meeting Canada's entry requirements.

canada castle view

How do I check if I need a visa to visit Canada?

Find out if you require a visa or eTA for Canada by using our Visa Tool and entering your country of origin. Be sure to select Canada as your desired destination for recommendations on the next steps.

Visa requirements to travel to Canada can vary based on factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the length of your stay. Additionally, visa requirements can change, so it's a good idea to check this information well before your planned travel dates.

How to get the Canada Visitor Visa or eTA with us

We've simplified the online application process to make it quick and hassle-free. Just follow these steps using our mobile app or online platform:

  • Step 1: Select the right travel document and start your application by filling out your personal and travel details. Take a moment to double-check all the information for accuracy.

  • Step 2: Pay the fees using your credit/debit card or PayPal. After payment, we'll send you a comprehensive PDF guide via email to guide you through the rest of the application process.

  • Step 3: Complete any additional required information and documentation.

Once we have reviewed the application, we'll arrange your appointment (if applicable). In case of an eTA, we'll send you your approved document within the chose timeframe by email.

Contact us for more info about traveling to Canada

If you have more questions about a visa to enter Canada or the United States, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team! We’ll be happy to help via online chat or WhatsApp.

Photo of Ra'eesah Manack
Ra'eesah Manack
iVisa Travel Journalist
Meet Ra'eesah, our globe-trotting aficionado who calls both Botswana and South Africa her home. With a passion for everything travel, Ra'eesah finds joy in exploring new places and embracing diverse cultures. Join her as she shares her journey and insights, one exciting destination at a time.
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