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-   -   Visas for Canadians Travelling to Alaska? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/ask-cruisemates-staff/362536-visas-canadians-travelling-alaska.html)

SLW March 19th, 2009 08:49 AM

Visas for Canadians Travelling to Alaska?
 
Good morning everyone, we are Canadians cruising to Alaska in July on the Star Princess. We will be flying out of Detroit to Seattle. Do we need to obtain a visa? We have valid passports. Our cruise confirmation states: "If your country does not participate in the Visa Waiver Program with the U.S., you must provide a valid passport and a valid U.S. visa to enter the U.S. for cruises departing the U.S., and a valid passport and a valid multiple-entry visa to re-enter the U.S. for roundtrip cruises departing the U.S."

Thanks!
SLW

Ephraim March 19th, 2009 09:18 AM

Boy, this is a tricky one. The rules for entering Canada haven't changed, but those for the US have changed. So I will try to do this as clearly as possible.

Canada does not require a visa for American citizens. In fact, Canada just asks for proof of American citizenship and government issued photo-ID. (But you aren't off the hook yet... you need to worry about US law).

US law requires you to present a passport if you are flying between the United States and Canada. (It's not a Canadian requirement.)

If you are crossing the border by land or sea you are required to have either a passport or an enhanced drivers' licence. Mostly border states/provinces are working or have issued them. They are special licences that have an RFID chip and you would have needed to provide proof of citizenship to obtain the licence. These are acceptable only for land and sea crossings.

The US passport card is not acceptable for flying, only for land/sea and only for entry back into the US. Canada accepts this as government issued photo ID and proof of US citizenship, but the document has no legal international standing because it is not defined in International law. No country is legally required to accept it at all.

One further note that many people forget. Those with a criminal record (with a criminal offence, not a summary offence) are generally inadmissible to Canada without a visa waiver, unless they are considered rehabilitated (usually 5 years with a clean record after the sentence.) Remember that this is defined by what is a criminal offence in Canada and that includes driving while impaired, even if adjudicated in the US as a misdemeanour.) This is one of those tit-for-tat things... the US government does it, so the Canadian government does it in kind. Information on obtaining a waiver are on the government of Canada website or you can call 1-800-OCANADA.

Mike M March 19th, 2009 05:55 PM

Re: Visas for Canadians Travelling to Alaska?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SLW
Good morning everyone, we are Canadians cruising to Alaska in July on the Star Princess. We will be flying out of Detroit to Seattle. Do we need to obtain a visa? We have valid passports. Our cruise confirmation states: "If your country does not participate in the Visa Waiver Program with the U.S., you must provide a valid passport and a valid U.S. visa to enter the U.S. for cruises departing the U.S., and a valid passport and a valid multiple-entry visa to re-enter the U.S. for roundtrip cruises departing the U.S."

Thanks!
SLW

You do not need a visa, just a, valid and current, Canadian passport. Canada is part of the VWP.

Take care and enjoy,
Mike

Ephraim March 19th, 2009 06:03 PM

I feel like an idiot. I read it the other way around. I apologize. For cruising you will need an enhanced drivers' licence or a passport. If you need to fly, like for an emergency you will need a passport. Other than in the case of where someone has a criminal record, all Canadians do not need a visa for the US.

SLW March 21st, 2009 08:15 PM

Mike and Ephraim, thank you both for replying and for the information.

SLW


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