Canada is a beautiful country. And once you go north of the major cities along the US-Canada border, you’ll enter one of the last true wildernesses on Earth. Travelling to Canada can be extremely exciting. But are there anything that you need to remember to do before travelling to this remarkable place?
Remember How Big It Is
On a map of the world it might appear that the city of Toronto is only a short drive from Buffalo and Niagara Falls. But in reality, it’s an eight-hour drive. That means that you’ll need to find somewhere to stay overnight at the very least.
And this is the problem with Canada. The distances are so vast. Every trip must be carefully calculated and planned in order to optimise your time whilst on your trip. If you want to travel from Toronto to Edmonton, you’ll be on the road for a week.
Find Out If You Are Admissible
Getting into Canada can sometimes be a little tricky, especially if you have a criminal record. However, there are various methods you can try.
One thing you can do is to be deemed admissible. If your crime was not particularly serious and happened a long time ago, you’re more likely to be accepted. When you’re deemed admissible it means that you’ve convinced the Canadian authorities you’re safe. It’s not an exact science, but there are some basic rules.
One is that you can’t have been convicted of a crime that would have landed you a sentence of 10 years or more in Canada. The other is that you can’t have been convicted of a crime in the last five years or finished parole in the last five years.
When it comes to a full pardon Canada has some strict rules. But it may be possible for you to have your criminal record quashed. A record suspension removes your criminal record and allows you to travel through Canada just as anybody else would. Legal firms now specialised in getting people pardons, allowing you to travel and do business in Canada just like anybody else.
Get Your Documents Together
Even if you are a law-abiding citizen of another country, you still have to overcome legal hurdles for entry. Make sure that when you do travel that you have the right documents. Fortunately, like most other countries, getting into Canada is simple. If you’re a US citizen you may not need a passport at all to enter. (Although, you will need one to leave). But for other nationalities, take a passport.
In Canada, the age at which people can buy and drink alcohol differs by region. The laws are not as onerous as they are in the US, but they’re more onerous than in most of Europe.
If you’re travelling to Alberta, Manitoba or Quebec, the legal age is 18. But if you’re travelling elsewhere, it’s 19. Also, if you are bringing alcohol to Canada, remember you can only bring in small quantities. If you bring in larger amounts you may have to pay taxes and duties. So just be wary.