You’ll Need Your Passport If You’re Flying Into Canada
As of November 10, 2016, dual citizens who hold Canadian citizenship will need to present their Canadian Passport at the time of entry into Canada, if travelling by air. This new rule was not well publicized and many dual citizens are now scrambling to obtain Canadian Passports before the deadline.
This new Canadian Passport requirement arises from the Electronic Travel Authorization (“eTA”) program. Although the eTA program was supposed to be effective on August 1, 2015, the Canadian Government previously announced a “leniency period,” which delayed its implementation. This leniency period ends on November 9, 2016.
Although this new requirement could inconvenience many dual citizens, there are some significant exceptions:
- Dual U.S.-Canadian citizens will be exempt from Canadian Passport requirement. This is because U.S. citizens are also exempt from the eTA requirement. Since a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen may enter Canada using his or her United States Passport without the need for an eTA, this is still permitted.
- As mentioned above, the Canadian Passport requirement will only apply to dual citizens who are travelling to Canada by air, since the eTA program does not apply to travel by land or by sea. So a Canadian-UK dual citizen could still fly to Buffalo, New York, and then drive across the land border into Canada using their UK Passport.
If neither of the above exceptions applies, Canadian dual citizens will require valid proof of Canadian citizenship (like a Canadian citizenship certificate) if they wish to travel to fly into Canada on or after November 10, 2016.