British Columbia Passport Visa Requirement
One colossal mountain range after another, gigantic fjords biting chunks out of a wild coastline, and temperate old-growth rainforests hiding cougars, bears and wolves: British Columbia is nature at its best.
That said the cities are pretty special too. Clutching onto the edge of the Coast Mountains and Pacific Ocean, Vancouver may lack world-class museums, but who needs those when you’ve got beaches to flop on, food trucks to munch at and Canada’s biggest city park to play in? Not to mention an elaborate web of hiking and ski trails in the city’s backyard.
And forget what you’ve heard about Victoria replicating ye olde England. BC’s bijou capital buzzes with floatplanes, kayakers, one of the finest gardens in the nation and a resident orca population offshore.
Take a road trip past mineral hot springs and glacial lakes in the Kootenay Rockies or peach trees and vineyards in the Okanagan. Venture into Canada’s only desert at Osoyoos, home to rattlesnakes, scorpions and prickly pear cacti. Spot grizzlies in Northern BC, whose sprawling wilderness is twice the size of the UK.
The opportunity for adventure in this province is unremitting. Get out and surf Pacific swells at Tofino or ski fathomless powder in Whistler. Explore the Gulf Islands and Haida Gwaii archipelagos by kayak or paddle the Kicking Horse River by raft. Hike up and down ladders on Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail or follow the wagon wheels of pioneers and bike the Gold Rush Trail north from Lillooet.
Wherever you go, unspoiled beauty will be just around the corner.
Pleas Note: Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel. See also: List of countries with Visa Application form
Canada Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
To enter Canada, a valid passport is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except the following:
1. Citizens of France who are residents of, and entering from, the French overseas territory Saint Pierre and Miquelon; and persons entering from Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
2. Citizens of the USA holding a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalisation, US permanent resident card, or certificate of Indian status along with photo ID. However, it is recommended that you carry a valid passport. US citizens re-entering the USA from Canada via air, land or sea require a valid passport or passport card.
The following are unsuitable for travel to Canada: any passport claiming to have been issued by Somalia; non-machine readable passports issued by the Czech Republic; temporary passports issued by the Republic of South Africa; and provisional passports issued by Venezuela.
All EU nationals are considered visa-exempt for stays up to six months but all must complete an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before boarding their flights to Canada. Visit this site to apply for an eTA which is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. The cost of an eTA is CAD$7.
However, EU nationals do not need an eTA if entering by land or sea. This includes driving from the United States to Canada, or going to Canada on a cruise ship.
Citizens from the following countries are considered visa-exempt (only needs an eTA if going to Canada by air). The countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, British citizen, British national (overseas), British subject with a right of abode in the United Kingdom, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States and its lawful permanent resident, and Vatican City.
Persons wishing to attend a course of six months’ duration or less, at any level, do not require a study permit. However, if there is the possibility that you will extend your period of study in Canada, or if you are a full-time student and wish to work part-time, you may apply for a study permit.
Depending on circumstance and nationality, certain applicants may need to undergo a medical examination in order to receive their visas; this must be carried out by a doctor on Canada’s list of Panel Physicians.
Visa applicants from some countries need to provide biometrics (photo and fingerprints).
Types and Cost
Single- or multiple-entry visitor visa: C$100; family visitor visa: C$500 maximum; transit: free; study permit: C$150.
Single-entry visa: up to six months; multiple-entry visa: up to six months at a time for up to 10 years. All applicants are considered for a multiple-entry visa.
The determination regarding length of stay in Canada can only be decided by the examining officer at the port of entry. It is usually six months, but in some cases the officer may limit the permitted time in Canada depending on the purpose of your trip.
Visitors must leave Canada on or before the date authorised by the examining officer on arrival.
Transit visas are necessary for all nationals who require a visitor visa and who are stopping in Canada for fewer than 48 hours on the way to another country. However, certain nationalities travelling to the USA via Canada may be eligible for the Transit Without Visa programme; check online at www.cic.gc.ca.
Consulate (or consular section at embassy or high commission). Some applicants are eligible to apply online (www.cic.gc.ca). Applicants living in the UK either need to apply online or through VFS Global’s Canada Visa Application Centre (www.vfsglobal.ca) which charges a £21.49 processing fee.
In addition to the visas listed above, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents may apply for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, which allows stays of up to two years.
Visa processing time varies according to your nationality and your country of residence. In the UK, applications for visitor visas are usually processed within 12 days if you apply online or through VFS Global. This can vary according to the time of year.
All visitors must have enough money to cover their stay; the amount varies depending on individual circumstances, length of stay and whether you’re staying with friends and relatives or in a hotel.
Extension of stay
If you wish to extend your stay as a visitor, you must apply to the nearest Canada Immigration Centre or online at least 30 days before the expiry of the visitor visa. The cost to extend a visitor visa is C$100.
Entry with children
If travelling with children under 18 of whom you are not the legal parent or guardian, you are advised to bring a signed letter authorising entry into Canada from the child’s parent or guardian. If you are the child’s only parent or guardian, it’s recommended that you bring documents showing this.
Entry with pets
For information on importing pets into Canada, visit the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (www.inspection.gc.ca)
Embassies and tourist offices
Canadian Embassy in the USA
Telephone: +1 202 682 1740.
Address: NW, 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC, 20001,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0900-1700; 0900-1200 (consular services).
Canadian High Commission in the UK
Telephone: +44 20 7258 6600.
Address: , 38 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 4DP,
Opening times:Mon, Wed and Fri 0800-1030 (immigration and visa section).
British High Commission in Canada
Telephone: +1 613 237 1530.
Address: , 80 Elgin Street, Ottawa, K1P 5K7,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0830-1700.
Canada Health Care and Vaccinations
Visitors intending to stay in Canada for more than six months, either as tourists, students or employees, may be required to take a medical examination. Visitors working in an occupation in which protection of public health is essential may be required to undergo a medical examination even if employment is only temporary. Check with the Canadian Consulate or High Commission for further information.
There is no reciprocal health agreement with the UK, but doctors will continue medication for prescriptions issued in Europe. Private health insurance is absolutely essential as hospital charges are very high. Health facilities are excellent. Travellers to more remote northern areas should carry personal first-aid kits. Dial 911 for emergencies.
Food and Drink
Tap water is safe to drink and food safety standards are high. If camping in the backcountry, you should be aware of the risks of giardia, where water in streams or lakes has been contaminated by animal waste. This can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and headaches. Ensure you boil, filter or purify water first; purification tablets are easy to buy in any outdoor equipment store. You should also be aware of the dangers of eating shellfish directly from the sea, which can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, resulting in illness or death. Check locally before you travel.
Summer can bring extremely high temperatures, so you should guard against the problems of heat and sunstroke. Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn, particularly on days when the widely publicised UV rating is high. (Remember that sunburn can be a risk in winter too, especially if you’re skiing, when the high altitude and reflection from the snow can be a potent combination.) In winter, on the other hand, temperatures can be bitterly cold and frostbite is a real risk; ensure you wear multiple layers and a hat, and cover your face when outdoors.
Rabies is present in animals. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.
An outbreak of hepatitis A was reported in Vancouver Island in 2011, but most cases have been confined to one cultural group on the island. Vaccination against hepatitis A is not advised unless you’re visiting the outbreak area.
If walking in tick-infested woodland and brush areas, you should be aware of the risk of Lyme disease. Ensure you cover bare skin (tucking in all clothes), use insect repellent containing DEET and remove any attached ticks using tweezers. The disease is transmitted from the bites of the western blacklegged tick in British Columbia and the blacklegged or deer tick in other parts of Canada. Since 2010, there has been an increased risk in southern Quebec due to newly discovered populations of ticks carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The first symptom is usually a circular rash, accompanied by fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes. You should seek treatment as soon as possible as symptoms can worsen if left untreated, though fatalities are rare.
Canada Public Holidays
New Year’s Day
Money and duty free for Canada
Currency and Money
Canadian Dollar (CAD; symbol C$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of C$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of C$2 and 1, and 25, 10, 5 cents. Although the 1c coin (or penny) remains legal tender, as of 2013 it is being phased out of circulation.
Major credit cards are widely accepted. Use of debit cards is widespread, although many stores impose a C$5 to C$20 minimum per debit card purchase, and service charges may apply.
ATMs are easy to find in populated areas but are less common in remote regions such as rural parts of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Labrador. Use a machine affiliated with a major bank to reduce service charges; independent machines in locations such as casinos and convenience stores may carry high charges and do not always accept international cards.
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in Canadian Dollars; these are negotiable primarily in banks, hotels and tourist facilities. Their use has declined somewhat in recent years as more visitors rely on ATM cards, but travellers should bring at least some emergency currency in traveller’s cheques in case their ATM cards do not work.
Generally, Mon-Fri 0930-1700 with extended hours in some locations, particularly on Thursday and Friday evenings. Some branches open as early as 0800 and many now open on Saturdays and Sundays too, usually until 1600.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency, but amounts equal or greater than C$10,000 should be declared.
You can easily exchange currency at any bank or bureau de change. Hotels sometimes change money too, but their exchange rate is likely to be less favourable. If you’re travelling to smaller communities, ensure you have a good supply of Canadian Dollars in cash, as you may not be able to change foreign currency at all and might not have access to an ATM.
Canada duty free
The following goods may be imported into Canada without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks per person over 18 years of age.
• 1.5L of wine or 1.14L of spirits or 8.5L of beer or ale per person over 18 years of age if entering Alberta, Manitoba and Québec, and over 19 years if entering British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
• Non-residents can bring gifts to the value of C$60 per gift (excluding advertising matter, business-related materials, tobacco or alcoholic beverages).
• Canadian residents can bring goods to the value of C$200 for trips out of the country of 24 hours or more (excluding alcohol and tobacco) and C$800 for trips of 48 hours or more (including alcohol and tobacco).
The import of firearms, explosives, endangered species of animals and plants, animal products, meat, dairy, and food and plant material is subject to certain restrictions and formalities. Check the Canada Border Services Agency website (www.cbsa.gc.ca) for further details.
Some products made from endangered animals may require an export certificate.
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