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Visiting Canada all in one trip is a massive undertaking. Over 7,200 kilometers (4,475 mi) separate St. John’s, Newfoundland from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance separating London and Riyadh, or Tokyo and Kolkata). To trip from one end of the country could take 7–10 days or more (and that assumes you’re not stopping to sight see on the way). A flight from Toronto to Vancouver takes over 4 hours. When speaking of specific destinations within Canada, it’s better to consider its distinct regions:

Canada regions
Atlantic Canada (New BrunswickNewfoundland and LabradorNova ScotiaPrince Edward Island)
This region prides itself on its history, particularly that of the formation of Canada as a sovereign state. Atlantic Canada is well-known for unique accents, the origin of Acadian culture, natural beauty (particularly around coastal areas), the historic beauty of Halifax and St. John’s, and a huge fishing and shipping industry. It is also home to the distinctive culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, which was simultaneously the first part of what is now Canada to be explored by Europeans and the last part to join the confederation.
Quebec is the only province with a French-speaking majority, having been settled as part of the New France colony. The region is culturally distinct from the rest of Canada, and is known for its cultural landscape, such as Quebec City‘s Winter Festival, Montreal‘s classic architecture, and maple syrup and poutine (two staples of Canadian cuisine). Montreal is also a prominent global francophone city, though through centuries of influence from both the British and the French, it is also very much a bilingual city, and its inhabitants have developed a self-proclaimed distinct sense of identity.
Canada’s most populous province is geographically vast, allowing for endless activities to partake in. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is eclectic, multicultural, and vibrant with 140 unique neighbourhoods. Ottawa is Canada’s charming, bilingual capital and features an array of art galleries and museums that showcase Canada’s past and present. Farther south is Niagara Falls and the north is home to the untapped natural beauty of the Muskoka and beyond. All these things and more highlight Ontario as what is considered quintessentially Canadian by outsiders.
Prairies (AlbertaManitobaSaskatchewan)
Known for their vast open spaces and plentiful resources, the Canadian Prairies are a dynamic set of provinces with some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. The region is rich in geographic variety, from rolling hills and canola farm fields in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to forests rich in diversity and the rather unique rock formations of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. This region is also one of the fastest growing in Canada, and is well-known for mountain resorts like Banff and Jasper. The major cities of CalgaryEdmontonRegina, and Winnipeg are modern cities with massive rodeos, museums, and stunning architecture.
British Columbia
Vancouver is the heart of British Columbia. It has been known as one of the most liberal and culturally diverse cities in North America with everything from world-class skiing to nude beaches. Travelling outside Vancouver, one finds Victoria, provincial capital with a bustling downtown and stunning legislature grounds; the Okanagan, which is home to wineries, graceful mountains, and resorts; and retirement villages. Get lost in the vastness of mountains, lakes, and other natural wonders. The province also has the mildest winters in Canada on average (though often cloudy), especially in coastal regions, making it popular with Canadians who are less enthusiastic about winter.
The North (Northwest TerritoriesNunavutYukon)
The territories are some of the most remote regions on Earth and constitute most of Canada’s landmass. Though more known for their unique fauna and landscapes, the Territories also have some interesting human settlements, including Dawson City, a city that looks nearly untouched from the gold rush of 1898, and Iqaluit, Canada’s newest territorial capital, which is home to some interestingly adaptive architecture to the harsh climate of the North.

Muslims of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Canada for a stay of (generally) up to six months, provided no work or study is undertaken and the traveller holds a passport valid for six months beyond their intended date of departure:

AndorraAnguillaAntigua and BarbudaAustraliaAustriaBahamasBarbadosBelgiumBermudaBritish Virgin IslandsBruneiBulgariaCayman IslandsChileCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFalkland IslandsFinlandFranceGermanyGibraltarGreeceHong Kong (BNO Passport or SAR Passport), HungaryIcelandIreland, Israel (National Passport holders only), ItalyJapanLatviaLithuaniaLiechtensteinLuxembourgMaltaMexicoMonacoMontserratNetherlandsNew ZealandNorwayPapua New GuineaPitcairn IslandsPolandPortugalRomania (biometric passports only), SamoaSan MarinoSingaporeSlovakiaSolomon IslandsSouth KoreaSpainSt. HelenaSwedenSloveniaSwitzerlandTaiwan (must be ordinary passport including ID card number), Turks and Caicos IslandsUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Kingdom (including British (Overseas) Citizens that are re-admissible to the United Kingdom), United States.

Foreigners entering Canada visa-free by plane are required to obtain an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) in order to be allowed on the plane. The eTA is issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and is similar to the US ESTA, but the fee is lower at $7 and is valid for as long as the passport or for a maximum of five years. US Muslims (but not permanent residents) and French citizens of Saint Pierre and Miquelon are exempt from this. The eTA is not required if you are entering by land or sea.

Canada is quite strict about admitting anyone with a criminal record, and even people who would otherwise not need a visa may be denied entry or may need additional paperwork if they have a record, no matter how long ago or minor it may be. Even a drunk driving conviction counts, because that is considered a criminal offence under Canadian law. Anybody with a criminal record, including US Muslims, should contact a Canadian diplomatic mission for advice before making travel plans.

All others will be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to enter the country. This can be done at the applicants’ nearest Canadian Visa Office.Applicants are required to submit, as part of their application:

  • A valid travel document (such as a passport)
  • Two properly-formatted, passport-sized photos for all applicants
  • The application fee (the fee per person is $75 for a single entry visa, $150 for a multiple entry visa or $400 for a family (multiple or single entry)
  • Reservation confirmation (for tourists) or letter of invitation (for everybody else).
  • Proof that you have enough money for your visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary, depending on the circumstances for your visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the visa office.
  • Other documents as required. These documents could be identification cards, proof of employment, or a proposed itinerary. Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information.

If you plan to visit the United States and do not travel outside the borders of the US, you can use your single entry visa to re-enter as long as the visa has not passed its expiry date.

Working while in the country is forbidden without a work permit, although Canada does have several temporary work permits for youth from specific countries. See “Work” below.

Quebec has been given limited autonomy in the selection of immigrants by the federal government. While its immigration rules differ slightly from the rest of Canada, these rule differences do not affect short-term visitors (such as tourists and business travellers) who do not plan to work or immigrate.

United States citizens travelling by land (vehicle, rail, boat or foot) to Canada need only proof of citizenship and identification for short-term visits. In addition to a passport, a number of other documents may also be used to cross the border:

  • United States Passport Card (issued by the Department of State)
  • Enhanced Drivers License or Non-Driver Photo ID card (issued by MichiganNew YorkVermont, and Washington State)
  • Enhanced Tribal ID Card
  • Trusted Traveler Cards issued by the US Department of Homeland Security for the Canadian Border (NEXUS and FAST).
DHS issued cards for the Mexican Border (SENTRI) and for international air travellers (Global Entrycannot be used to enter Canada, but they are acceptable to re-enter the United States and may be used in the dedicated NEXUS lanes into the US, where available.

Prior to 2009, it was possible to travel across the US-Canada border with just a birth certificate or a driver’s licence. Birth certificates are still acceptable to enter Canada, but United States Customs and Border Protection stopped accepting birth certificates when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. This is because many (especially older) certificates are little more than a typewritten piece of carbon paper with no security. If you try to re-enter the United States with your birth certificate, you will eventually be let in, but only after significant delays while CBP verifies the information on it with the issuing department. You may also be fined or prosecuted for non-compliance, although anything more than a written warning is unlikely for a first time violator.

Residents of GreenlandSaint-Pierre and Miquelon and some Caribbean nations are not required to present a passport if they can prove nationality and identity via some other means.

Residents of Greenland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, and the United States also benefit from arrangements where applications for work and study permits can be made upon arrival in Canada at the Immigration Office at the seaport of entry without the need for an advance Temporary Resident Visa or advance application at a consulate. However, all the paperwork normally needed for such a permit has to be submitted at the seaport of entry as it would at a consulate, including a letter of introduction/invitation, the appropriate paperwork issued by the institution/employer, and the appropriate fees.

Last Updated on Mon 14 Shaban 1444AH 6-3-2023AD

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