Want to visit Canada? Since you’re reading this, chances are that you do. Also, you’d likely want to know whether you need a new U.S. passport to visit Canada. If you don’t have a passport yet, but are planning to visit Canada soon, you will appreciate this article. We’ll walk through your travel requirements when visiting Canada.
First, an introduction. Canada is a part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative or WHTI. The WHTI is a group of countries where Americans can use certain approved documents to enter. Areas covered by the WHTI include the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, and of course, Canada. The documents you can use to travel to WHTI areas include your passport book, passport card, or a NEXUS card.
If you’re going to travel to Canada by land, you can use your passport card. All you need to do is to present this at the US-Canada border as proof of your identity and your citizenship. Getting yourself a US passport card is a lot like your passport book. Simply fulfill the necessary requirements to get one. It’s also convenient to have a passport card as it fits in your wallet compared to the bulky passport book (although the book can also slip easily into your pocket). The passport card is also cheaper, which may be a cost-effective solution if you’re just planning on visiting Canada and other WHTI countries by land or sea.
Meanwhile, you will need a passport book if you’re going to travel to WHTI and non-WHTI areas by air. If you’re not familiar with the new us passport, it’s the booklet that’s regularly used by Americans to travel even before the passport card was issued in 2008. So when traveling by air, make sure to use your passport book.
However, if you want to combine the benefits of both the passport card and the passport book, then you can always apply for both types of passports. So for example, you just want to visit WHTI areas, you’ll just need to bring the passport card in your wallet. However, if you’re traveling to international destinations that are not part of the WHTI, you will then need to have your passport book ready. Applying for these passports at the same time is recommended, as there is a corresponding discount when you do.
On the other hand, if you’re going to travel to WHTI territories by air, or if you’re going to other destinations, use your passport book. The great thing about combining these options is that you’ll have greater flexibility when you travel to various destinations regularly. Also, there’s a corresponding discount if you apply for both types of passports at the same time.
Do you travel to Canada regularly? Then you might want to apply for a NEXUS card as well. This card is designed for those who travel to Canada often and want a hassle-free travel across the border. Having a NEXUS card allows you to use the lane made exclusively for NEXUS cardholders, ensuring there are no delays when you need to go to Canada by land as soon as possible.
So if you’re still pondering about the question of, ‘do I need a new U.S. passports to Visit Canada,’ then yes you do. However, aside from the regular new US passports book, you can also use a US passport card as an alternative. There’s also the NEXUS card which helps facilitate your travel to Canada if you travel to this country regularly. You can use other documents that will help prove your identity and citizenship, but consult with the nearest Canadian Embassy or consulate to find out what these documents are.