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CASE 2010
Toronto, Canada
August 21-24, 2010
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Travel info/requirements for travelling to and from Canada

Note: Please contact the General Chair, John Wen, for an invitation letter (include in your request email: your name, affiliation and address, and paper #).

On this page, you will find information about visa and other documents requirements for traveling to and from Canada solely for the purpose of IDETC/CIE 2010 conference. Since the requirements may change in future, this information may turn out to be incomplete or incorrect at the time of your travel, therefore please consult the original sources given at the end of this document before traveling and read section 8 carefully. 

This document is divided in following sections:

  1. General Guidelines
  2. US Citizens
  3. Citizens of Countries That Are Exempt from Visa Requirements
  4. Citizens of Countries requiring a Visa to Visit Canada
  5. International Students/Scholars in the US
  6. Frequently Asked Questions: Visiting Canada
  7. Sources
  8. Disclaimer

1. General Guidelines

(From http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/apply-who.asp)

To visit Canada, you must:

  • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
  • be in good health
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you have ties, such as a job, home and family, that will take you back to your country of origin
  • satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit and
  • have enough money for your stay. The amount of money you will need can vary with the circumstances of the visit, how long you will stay and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives. For more information, ask the Canadian visa office in your country or region.

You may also need:

  • a Temporary Resident Visa, depending on your citizenship (see below)
  • a medical examination and
  • a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.

Some countries' citizens are exempt from the visa requirements. To find out if you are from one of the countries which are exempt from visa requirements, please visit the following page hosted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada athttp://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.

If the duration of your visit to Canada is less than six months, generally, no medical examination is required.
(From http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLIsh/information/medical/medexams-temp.asp)

2. US. Citizens

(From http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1082.html)

Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law. Please see the CBSA’s website for details. Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport, passport card or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under sixteen need only present proof of U.S. citizenship.

When returning to the United States from Canada, it is very important to note that all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the United States via air. For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. The only exception to this requirement is for U.S. citizens under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious, or other youth group) who need only present a birth certificate (original, photocopy or certified copy), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or naturalization certificate.

There are certain scenarios when U.S. citizens may not be allowed to travel to Canada or may be subjected to additional scrutiny/paperwork. Please see the above link for more details.

3. Citizens of Countries that are Exempt from Visa Requirements

(From http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp)

Many people do not require a visa to visit Canada. These include:

  • citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia (Republic of), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa;
  • persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence;
  • British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom;
  • citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  • persons holding a British National (Overseas) Passport issued by the Government of the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
  • persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China;
  • persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.

4. Citizens of Countries Requiring a Visa to Visit Canada

(From http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp)

If you do need a visa, please follow the instructions on:  Temporary Resident visa -- How to apply?

Many visa offices have specific local instructions about which documents you must submit with your application. You need to find out what they are, and make sure you include all the correct documents. Consult the list of Canadian visa offices abroad to find the office responsible for your country under “Applications for Temporary Resident Visas, Study Permits or Work Permits”. The page for your visa office includes a link to their website. Go to the website and find out what requirements and procedures you must follow when you apply. Submit the application to a visa office at a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate abroad.

5. International Students/Scholars in the US

Unless a student's country of citizenship is among the visa exempt countries, the student will need to obtain a visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If you do need a visa, please follow the instructions on: Temporary Resident visa -- How to apply? 

Many visa offices have specific local instructions about which documents you must submit with your application. You need to find out what they are, and make sure you include all the correct documents. Consult the list of Canadian visa offices abroad to find the office responsible for your country under “Applications for Temporary Resident Visas, Study Permits or Work Permits”. The page for your visa office includes a link to their website. Go to the website and find out what requirements and procedures you must follow when you apply. Submit the application to a visa office at a Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate abroad.

Ensure that all your United States immigration documents are in order so that you will not have any problems returning to the USA:

  • F-1 Student Visa Holders will require
    • Valid passport
    • A valid SEVIS Form I-20, signed on Page 3 by an advisor at your International Student Services Office;
    • A valid F visa stamp in your passport (unless you qualify for Automatic Visa Revalidation*);
    • Evidence of monetary support as listed in Section 8 of the I-20.
    • Note: F-2 Dependents will need their own originals of the first two items.
    • Note: If you have F-1 Practical Training you will need to carry your Employment Authorization Card (EAC) and your letter of employment/research. If you are not yet employed, you will need a proof of personal funds. The travel signature for Post-Graduation Practical Training is valid for a period of six months.

  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Holders will require
    • Valid passport
    • A valid DS-2019, signed in the Travel Validation section by a responsible officer of your Exchange Visitor Program;
    • A valid J visa stamp in your passport (unless you qualify for Automatic Visa Revalidation*);
    • Evidence of monetary support as listed in Section 5 of the DS-2019.
    • Note: F-2 Dependents will need their own originals of the first two items.

  • Special Cases
    • Students who have changed their visa type while in the US, if you decide to travel outside of the US after the change of status has been approved, you must apply for a new entry visa at the American Consulate or Embassy before reentering the US.
    • Students who are married to American Citizens or Permanent Residents, and students who have been included in a petition for permanent residency, please make an appointment with one of the International Student Advisors before you finalize the plans for your trip.

* Under the process of Automatic Visa Revalidation, most students can return to the US from Canada on an expired visa stamp, provided that their stay in Canada is no longer than 30 days. Citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for Automatic Visa Revalidation. These students will need to apply for a new visa stamp at a United States consulate or embassy if their visa stamp will be expired upon re-entry to the US.

Important Note: If you are in any doubt about your travel to Canada, you should consult an advisor at your international student/scholar services office. In any case, your school may have its own rules related to an international student’s travel, so we strongly advise you to visit your international students/scholar office before making travel plans.

6. Frequently asked questions: Visiting Canada

Please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/faq/visit/index.asp for FAQs about visiting Canada.

7. Sources

All the information on this page has been collected from the following sources:

  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada Website
  2. U.S. Department of State: Canada Specific Information webpage
  3. U.S. Department of State: WHTI webpage

8. Disclaimer
The information and resources gathered and presented here are not to be construed as immigration or legal advice. Please consult the relevant government agencies directly and utilize expert legal advice. The information presented here has been gathered and provided to facilitate your attendance at the 2010 CASE Conference. Neither the volunteer conference organizers or IEEE assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, nor usefulness of any information disclosed here.