Entry into Canada

Important information for international visitors to Canada

Canada, like all other countries, has specific requirements which must be met for visitors to enter the country. In most cases obtaining the necessary documentation is simple and quick, but in other cases it might take several days, a few weeks, or even a few months. Bingham Cup 2020 Ottawa therefore invites all participants, whether they be players, officials, coaches, supporters, etc. to read this page attentively to decrease the risk of there being issues at the Canadian port of entry when they come to Ottawa this August.

Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens obviously do not need any documentation beyond their Canadian passport to enter Canada if they happen to arrive from abroad. Dual-nationals with Canadian citizenship who are entering Canada from abroad are required to enter Canada with their Canadian passport. If you are a Canadian living abroad, you must therefore make sure that your Canadian passport will still be valid when the time comes to travel for Bingham (click here if you need to renew your passport).

There is an exception made for American-Canadians, who can enter Canada with other forms of proper identification (such as a NEXUS card).

Information for dual-nationals can be found on this Government of Canada page.

American Citizens

American citizens can enter Canada with a NEXUS card or with a valid passport. They do not require an electronic travel authorization (eTA) if they are arriving by air. Different rules apply for permanent residents to the United States (‘Green Card’ holders). US citizens and permanent residents are invited to take a look at this page, under the heading “Identification requirements for United States citizens and permanent residents, and international visitors”, for further information.


Citizens of all other countries require either a visa or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. You can find out which of those two documents you need to obtain by answering a few questions. Obtaining an eTA is cheaper and oftentimes much quicker than obtaining a visa, but it is still a requirement to enter Canada for travellers from many countries.

Travellers from outside North America who are expecting/wishing to visit Canada and the United States on their trip will of course have to meet both Canadian and American entry requirements. Those can be and often are different – surprise! Canada and the United States are two different countries, and there is nothing like the Schengen Zone between them; US immigration officers won’t let you step off the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls to see the falls ‘from the other side’ if you don’t have proper documentation to enter the US, even if you’re on foot and you swear up and down that you’ll only be on American soil for 45 minutes.

If by any chance you wish to visit both countries, make sure you give yourself enough time to complete the entry requirements for both before you leave. Embassy/consulate immigration/visa sections are often quite busy in the summer and pleading that one’s plane flies out in less than 72 hours does not usually make processing of a visa application any faster.

Note that, contrary to myths which are still circulating, citizens of Commonwealth countries do not benefit from any special treatment regarding entry or duration of stay into Canada on the sole basis of being a Commonwealth citizen. Rules regarding entry requirements and duration of stay are determined on a country-by-country basis.

If you will require a visa to enter Canada, please contact us at vptournament@binghamcup.com as we can send you an invitation letter to add to your visa application.

DUI and criminal convictions

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A INFRACTION WHICH WOULD FALL UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE IN CANADA you will NOT be admissible to enter Canada unless you apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or complete the rehabilitation process. If you have been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, for instance, you will be blocked at a Canadian port of entry and forced to turn around. This happens thousands of times year-round, and is especially common for American visitors who just drive up to the border expecting a quick and easy entry into Canada. If you have a DUI or any other criminal activity in your past you MUST either obtain a Temporary Resident Permit or complete the rehabilitation process.

This can be quite complex and time-consuming so we would invite you to start this now. The Immigration section of the Consulate General of Canada in New York City has put together a useful document which describes the process for applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The process is similar for citizens of other countries, with the exception that case review and decision will take place in the visa office covering their respective country of residence (not of citizenship: an Afghan residing in Glasgow must deal with High Commission in London, not with the Embassy in Abu Dhabi). This is the list of Canadian visa offices abroad.

If you apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or for rehabilitation to enter Canada, please contact us at vptournament@binghamcup.com as we can send you an invitation letter to add to your application.