Travelling from the UK or Europe
Safety and Security – Air Travel
Ensure that for all flights (other than your UK departure flight) you call the airline locally to reconfirm your flight times at least 48 hours prior to departure. The majority of airlines are continuing to recommend up to a three-hour check-in for international departures due to the increased security. You should consult with your airline and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority for up to date information regarding screening procedures and which items are permissible onboard an aircraft.
Local laws and customs
Do not attempt to carry meat, animal or dairy products into Canada at any time without declaring these products to Canada Customs. Banned food products will be confiscated and you could be subjected to severe penalties. Further information can be obtained from: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canada Customs require you to declare if you intend to visit a farm within 14 days of arrival.
The plant Qhat (Khat), although legal in the UK, is illegal in Canada. Do not attempt to bring this plant into Canada. Penalties for possession of Qhat include imprisonment for up to 10 years.
It is your responsibility to know and obey local laws, which can vary depending on the province or territory you are visiting so you should make yourself aware of them.
For more information on customs regulations in Canada check: Canadian Border Services Agency.
Entry Requirements – Visas
Visas are not generally required for British Citizens visiting Canada for short periods. However, some categories of British nationals, including those with a criminal record or who do not have enough funds to support themselves for the duration of their anticipated stay, and not allowed to enter the country. Check requirements before making firm plans. Information on inadmissibility can be found here. If you intend to work, study or stay for a longer period, consult with Citizenship and Immigration Canadafor more information on the documentation you will require.
Entry Requirements – Passport Validity
You must hold a valid passport to enter Canada. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. However, it is always sensible to have a short period of extra validity on your passport in case of any unforeseen delays to your departure. You do not have to wait until your old passport expires to apply to renew it. Any time left on your old passport when you apply will be added to your new passport, up to a maximum of nine months. For passport applications in the UK, you should apply to the Identity and Passport Service. Citizenship and Immigration Canada also provides complete and up-to-date information on the entry requirements and status of travel in Canada.
Entry Requirements – Emergency Travel Document
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Canada.
Entry Requirements – Travelling with children
If you are travelling with children, and where only one parent is present, you should bear in mind that it is advisable to carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent. Immigration officers have the right to question children using simple and appropriate language, to establish if there are any child abduction concerns. There is discretion, but this depends on the attitude of the accompanying parent. A letter of consent will help to dispel potential concerns, and should refer to the travel details in question and provide the necessary agreement to the visit. For further information please check with Canada Border Services Agency.
Entry Requirements – Travelling to the United States
If you intend to travel on to the United States you should check the entry requirements of the US authorities (see the US section of the FCO’s Travel Advice).
The British Consulate General in Toronto has reported some cases of British nationals being denied re-entry into the USA under the VWP after a previous stay in the US. Travellers who have been admitted to the USA under the Visa Waiver Programme and who make a short trip to Canada generally can be readmitted to the United States under the VWP as long as they still meet the requirements of the VWP. Granting entry under the VWP is a matter for the US authorities and travellers are advised to check they meet the entry requirements at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel.
General – Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurancepage.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see our When Things Go Wrong page and http://ukincanada.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/when-things-go-wrong/.
Please note, the British High Commission and Consulates-General cannot assist with expenses that may arise due to unforeseen events. In addition to insurance, it is advisable to have access to additional funds beyond your travel budget in case of emergency.
When things go wrong
What if something goes badly wrong while you’re abroad? What if you’re the victim of a crime, or fall ill?
What if someone close to you dies abroad, or suffers other serious misfortune? In this section we explain how we can help.
Our Consular Assistance team in London can be reached on:
020 7008 1500 (+44 20 7008 1500 from abroad)
This number operates 24 hours a day
If you become sick or are injured abroad you should seek medical attention locally if you feel you need it. Your travel insurance should cover most medical expenses if you have taken out a comprehensive policy.
Please be aware that medical facilities abroad may differ from those in the UK.
We’ll take into account of factors as your condition, your ability to speak on the phone, whether you have relatives and friends with you, whether you have a tour company representative and the standard of medical facilities before deciding whether a visit is appropriate. If we believe a visit is appropriate and there is a British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in the same city as the hospital you are in, we aim to visit you within 48 hours of being told you have gone into hospital.
What we cannot do:
We cannot pay for your medical treatment or provide treatment ourselves.
We do not usually contact or visit you if you have travelled specifically for medical treatment.
If you are travelling within the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you should carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will entitle you to medical treatment at a reduced cost, or free of charge in some cases. If you normally live in the UK, you can apply for the EHIC at any point, even after medical treatment has become necessary or started.