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This thread has a number of different sub-issues, one of which is the question of Canadian entry requirements for US citizens. To put an end to debate over the requirements, I wrote to the Canada Border Services Agency and received the response that follows below. Of note, given the discussion here, is the fact that passports and a number of other documents are deemed acceptable proof of US citizenship, but a birth certificate plus valid government photo ID are only considered "an indicator and may be an acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship". (emphasis added) 

 

The response:

 

Foreign nationals seeking entry into Canada must meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The requirement of subsection 16(1) of the IRPA states that a person who makes an application to enter Canada must answer truthfully all questions put before them for the purpose of the examination and must produce all relevant evidence and documents that the officer reasonably requires. The individual seeking entry must be able to satisfy the border services officer (BSO) of their identity and nationality. This may be facilitated by providing the BSO with a valid passport or other original document that clearly denotes identity and nationality.

 

The following documents may be satisfactory evidence of United States (U.S.) citizenship:

 

·         A valid U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, or a Certificate of Citizenship and Naturalization are considered primary evidence and are acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship. 

·         The Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) and Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) (non-drivers) are alternative travel documents denoting the holder's identity and citizenship and are acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship when entering from the U.S. through land and marine ports of entry only. 

·         An original U.S. birth certificate, when accompanied by a valid government issued photo identification document, is considered an indicator and may be an acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship. 

 

Land and sea entrance into Canada by a U.S. citizen seventeen (17) years of age and under can be completed with an original birth certificate alone. Photo identification is not required until the age of eighteen (18).

 

Please note that international transportation companies may require travellers to present a valid passport. Travellers who present other documents may face delays or may not be allowed to board. Please contact the transportation companies to confirm the required boarding documentation.

 

You should also be aware that foreign nationals may be found inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of criminality, security, human or international rights violations, health, financial reasons, misrepresentation, and non-compliance with the IRPA.

 

Information on visiting Canada is accessible at:

http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html

 

Children may require additional documentation when travelling without the presence of all parents or guardians. More information can be found at:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/minors.asp

 

Should you require additional assistance with your inquiry, we recommend that you contact the Border Information Service (BIS). You can access the BIS line free of charge throughout Canada by calling 1-800-461-9999. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access the BIS line by calling either 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long-distance charges will apply). If you call during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, except holidays), you can speak to an officer by pressing “0” at any time after you have made a selection of either English or French.

 

Thank you for contacting the Canada Border Services Agency.

 

 

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Fouremco, thank you for doing that!

 

Interesting that they have the warning to check with your transportation company. So they do give HAL or other carriers the right to be more restrictive about documentation.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think their "may" qualifier on the birth certificate is because it has to list specific criteria to be considered valid.  For example, they won't accept something like the decorative certificate that has baby feet stamped on it if it's just issued by the hospital where you were born. You have to submit a certified version that contains all of the information you would need in order to prove citizenship to obtain a passport.  You can get that from the state vital statistics bureau in the state where you were born.

Edited by bEwAbG

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1 hour ago, bEwAbG said:

I think their "may" qualifier on the birth certificate is because it has to list specific criteria to be considered valid.  For example, they won't accept something like the decorative certificate that has baby feet stamped on it if it's just issued by the hospital where you were born. You have to submit a certified version that contains all of the information you would need in order to prove citizenship to obtain a passport.  You can get that from the state vital statistics bureau in the state where you were born.

My DW had that problem obtaining her first passport after our marriage as her mother threw out the real birth certificate and sent her the hospital one. Luckily we had time before our trip for her to obtain a certified birth certificate.

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