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Canadian Border & Customs

Each guest is responsible for conforming to Canadian Customs and Border Regulations. If you are coming from the United States, it is very important to understand the process of entering Canada. When you cross the border into Canada, you will need your passport and possibly an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The immigration officers will inquire about your personal history, the purpose of your visit, and what you are bringing across the border with you. Among other things, alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs and cash are all subject to import limitations and excess quantities may be taxed. You are not allowed to import fresh fruits and meats, firearms, or mace. They may search your vehicle, so please pack carefully.

Visiting Canada as a Tourist

Most people need a Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. (US Citizens will only require a passport).

Be prepared: Apply for an eTA as soon as possible. Most applicants are approved within minutes. However, there is the possibility of a delay or a denial.

It is recommended you arrange your eTA as soon as possible to pre-determine your entry status.

Retallack, is not responsible, or liable to make any refunds, for guests who are denied an eTA. Note that a denied or delayed eTA or denied entry at the Canadian Border is not covered by Travel Insurance.

The Canadian Border Information Service can be contacted at:

    • Within Canada 1-800-461-9999
    • Outside Canada 1-204-983-3500

The Nelway Border crossing is located between Metaline Falls, Washington and Salmo, British Columbia:

    • Hours: US and Canadian customs open 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  daily

The Patterson Border crossing is located between Northport, Washington and Rossland, British Columbia

    • Hours: Canadian and US customs open 24 hours a day, daily.

Canadian Immigration regulations restrict anyone from entering the country who has a conviction that would be considered a criminal charge in Canada. Persons with DUI charges or drug convictions (anytime during your lifetime) have a very high probability of being denied entry into Canada. Your records in the US can be accessed by Canadian Customs & Immigration officers through co-operative agreements between the US and Canada.

For those who have a record, it is recommended you pre-determine your entry status prior to arriving at the border. Retallack is not responsible, or liable to make any refunds, for guests who are denied access at the border. A one-time visitor application can typically be made at the Canadian border for approximately $200 CAD, taking up to four hours to complete. A permanent application for visitor entry can be made through the Canadian Embassy and Canadian Consulates in the US for a lesser amount ($35 CAD) however; this process can take up to 16 months. Some visitors with such convictions have successfully gained entry by pre-arranging their border crossing application and carrying letters from their home police force, clergy, etc. indicating their compliance with the rules over the past five years or more.

We suggest you communicate with a Canadian Immigration office prior to your planned trip if you have past charges. Random checks into this background information do not happen to everyone, but they are common.