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Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Entry formalities

Before any trip to Canada, it is advisable to determine the type of stay envisaged, by consulting the website of the Canadian Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Immigration Canada officers show great vigilance and refuse entry into the territory in case of doubt about the reason for the stay and the probity of the travellers. They have all the power to decide on an immediate refoulement at the border, possibly to impose an inadmissibility for a given period.

The French consular services can in no way intervene in a deportation procedure, this decision being at the sole discretion of the Canadian authorities. The questions asked are very specific and target attempts to divert tourist stays for the purposes of job prospecting, temporary jobs, studies or settling outside the immigration procedure.

Visa-free stay

For a tourist or business stay of less than six months, there is no visa requirement for French nationals. However, any visa-exempt person must apply, well in advance, for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) on the official website of the Government of Canada. The AVE is valid for five years. Electronically linked to the passport, it ends at the end of the validity of the passport.

Travelers going to Canada by land or sea, French-Canadian dual nationals (who must have a valid Canadian passport) and permanent residents of Canada (who must hold a valid permanent resident card) are not affected. by AVE.

Travelers applying for an eTA are advised to be on the lookout for companies that claim to offer (paid) assistance in obtaining Electronic Travel Authorization.

The eTA does not constitute a study or work permit in Canada.

Stay with visa

A work permit is required for:

  • engage in a professional activity (including childcare, sales, catering, concerts or other artistic activities);
  • carry out an internship, paid or unpaid (the internship is assimilated to a job).

A study permit is required for anyone wishing to study in Canada.

As of July 31, 2018, people applying for a visitor visa, study permit, work permit or permanent residency must provide their biometrics as part of the application process.

Customs regulations

Traveling with pets

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for determining the import conditions for animals and animal products entering Canada, including pets. These rules apply to animals entering permanently, for a temporary visit or in transit.

When entering Canadian territory, travelers must declare all the animals accompanying them and have in their possession the certificates required for their entry.

It is the responsibility of travelers to determine if their pet is subject to the controls provided for by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and to ensure that they have the necessary permits. and certificates requested.

Dogs and cats must meet the following conditions:

domestic dogs

Pet dogs can be admitted to Canada without quarantine. Identification by chip or tattoo is not required.

Dogs must meet all vaccination requirements according to their age.

  • Dogs 3 months or younger : Vaccination against rabies or the presentation of a certificate attesting that the dog comes from a country free from rabies is not required. This exemption also applies to guide dogs, dogs for the hearing impaired and assistance dogs when the person importing them is the user.
  • Dogs over 3 months old : France is not one of the countries that Canada recognizes as free of rabies, the animal must be in possession of an original valid rabies vaccination certificate issued by a veterinarian.

If the dog is not traveling with you and is less than eight months old, it must have a zoosanitary certificate issued within 72 hours prior to its entry into Canada. This document certifies that the animal was at least six weeks old at the time of its vaccination against distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza virus and hepatitis.

Note that since 2005, Ontario has banned the import of pit bulls.

domestic cats

Pet cats can be admitted to Canada without quarantine. Identification by chip or tattoo is not required.

  • Cats under 3 months old : vaccination against rabies and the presentation of a certificate are not required.
  • Cats 3 months or older : France is not one of the countries that Canada recognizes as free of rabies, an original certificate of vaccination against rabies valid or established by a veterinarian must be presented.

Domestic dogs and cats from a country other than the United States presented at the Canadian border are subject to a CFIA inspection, for which a fee is applied. Their certificate is also checked.

For more information, consult the CFIA website.

Traveling with medication

It is possible to enter Canada with a course of treatment or a 90-day supply of a prescription or over-the-counter medication. The use of the medication must be personal, or it must be intended for a person for whom the traveler is responsible and whom he accompanies. The lower of the two values ​​(cycle / 90 days) will be retained according to the mode of use of the drug.

The medicine should be transported with its original packaging (including the leaflet), in the container provided by the hospital or pharmacy. The label informing the product and its components must be attached. It is recommended to travel with the prescription corresponding to the prescribed treatment and not to carry large quantities of medication at the risk of being questioned by the customs service.

It is advisable to first consult the list of prescription drugs in Canada

Customs exemptions

A Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration Card is issued on board the aircraft and must be completed by the traveler prior to arrival. Travelers are required to report to a border services officer upon arrival in Canada and to declare, if applicable, the goods in their possession. An estimate of the Canadian dollar amount of the imported goods may be requested.

Alcoholic beverages

Travelers benefit from a personal exemption which allows them to import goods of a certain value without having to pay duties and taxes.

As such, they are only authorized to import one of the following quantities of alcoholic beverages:

Product Metric system Imperial system
Wine 1.5L max 53 fluid ounces maximum
Alcoholic beverages 1.14L (total) 40 fluid ounces (total)
Beer or ale 8.5 L (total) 287 fluid ounces (total)

If the quantity of alcohol imported exceeds the personal exemption, federal taxes and duties as well as provincial or territorial levies may apply. The traveler must also meet the age criteria established in the province or territory of entry.

Tobacco products

Travelers may import duty and tax free the following quantities of tobacco products, provided they are stamped ” duty paid Canada duty paid”. In general, tobacco products bearing this stamp are sold in duty-free shops / duty free.

Stamped tobacco products
Product Quantity
cigarettes 200 cigarettes
Cigars 50 cigars
Manufactured tobacco 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
tobacco sticks 200 tobacco sticks
Unstamped tobacco products

A special rate of duty applies to cigarettes, manufactured tobacco and tobacco sticks that do not bear the ” duty paid Canada duty paid”.

There are import limits, in addition to the personal exemption amounts, for unstamped tobacco products. The limit is five units of tobacco products.

If the imported tobacco products (stamped or not) exceed the personal exemption, the traveler must pay duties and taxes and any provincial or territorial levies. The traveler must also be 18 years of age to bring these products into Canada under its exemption.

The importation of certain goods is regulated or prohibited in Canada.

Amounts equal to or greater than 10,000 Canadian dollars (or the equivalent in foreign currency) must be declared to the CBSA by the traveler upon arrival and departure from Canada.

For more information, see:


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