Travel Documents

It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you - and any child travelling with you - have all the travel documents necessary to enter in, or transit through, each country on your itinerary. Please make sure you check the requirements for each country as the documents that you must have for the outbound portion of your travel may differ from those required on the return.

Along with the normal travel documents needed to enter Canada, additional documents may be required depending on your country of origin, even if they’re used solely to land in Canada and re-board a connecting flight.

Select from the options below to view travel document requirements as they apply to specific itineraries. 

Check-in Requirements:

Valid government-issued identification documents including name, date of birth and gender may be required when checking in for the flight. For examples and other important information, visit the Passenger ProtectOpens in New Window website.

 

Boarding Gate Requirements:

In accordance with government regulations, Air Canada must check identification at the boarding gate for all passengers who appear to be 18 years of age or older. The name on the ID must match the name used on the reservation or ticket. At the boarding gate, a passenger must present:

  • Two (2) pieces of valid government-issued non-photo identification with matching names, as long as at least one piece also includes the date of birth and gender; or
  • One (1) piece of valid government-issued identification with photo showing the name, date of birth and gender.

Carriage will be refused if the passenger:

  • doesn’t appear to be the age indicated by the date of birth on the government-issued identification,
  • doesn’t appear to be the gender indicated on the government-issued identification

Young Travellers:

For travellers younger than 18, an original birth certificate or non-government issued ID (e.g. a student card) is suggested but not mandatory, unless our Unaccompanied Minor Service is used.

Boarding Gate Requirements

Air Canada is legally required to compare a passenger's entire face against the photograph shown on:

  • One (1) piece of government-issued identification with photo, which also includes the name, date of birth and gender.
  • Redress Number (optional)

Carriage will be refused if the passenger:

  • doesn’t look like the photo on the government-issued photo identification;
  • refuses to provide government-issue photo identification refuses to show his/her entire face.

Secure Flight Program:

  • As required under the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA)'s Secure Flight Program, Secure Flight information must be provided at least 72 hours before travel, or at time of booking for bookings made within 72 hours of departure if you’re travelling:
    • to, from or via the U.S.
    • on a flight that is overflying the continental United States (excluding flights between two points in Canada)

More about the Secure Flight Program

Travel Documents:

  • Canadian and U.S. citizens must present either a valid passport or a valid Nexus cardOpens in New Window when travelling by air between Canada and the United States.
  • Foreign nationals must ensure that they have all of the necessary documents in hand (e.g. valid passport, visa, permanent resident card).
  • Landed immigrants in Canada seeking to enter the United States as non-immigrants must have a valid passport and valid non-immigrant visa in order to enter. 

Boarding Gate Requirements:

Air Canada is legally required to compare a passenger's entire face against the photograph shown on:

  • One (1) piece of valid government-issued identification with photo, which also includes the name, date of birth and gender.

Carriage will be refused if the passenger:

  • doesn’t look like the photo on the government-issued photo identification;
  • refuses to provide government-issue photo identification;
  • refuses to show his/her entire face.

For identification and security purposes, you may have to give your full name as it appears on your passport, as well as your date of birth and gender when completing your booking.

Flights over the United States:

General Travel Document Requirements:

  • A valid passport is required to travel to foreign countries for most travellers, including children. Some countries may even require a visa. For detailed information on travel to other countries, including entry and exit requirements and any travel advisories, please visit the Travel and Tourism CanadaOpens in New Window website, or contact the local consulate or embassy of the country you’re visiting.

  • Only Canadian permanent residents from non visa-waiver countriesOpens in New Window travelling outside Canada are required to carry a valid Canadian permanent resident (PR) card or a valid visa, in addition to a valid passport, to return to Canada. The IMM1000 Record of Landing is no longer acceptable. Without a valid Canadian PR Card or valid visa, these passengers are not permitted to board the aircraft, and will need to contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate to obtain a limited use travel document to re-enter Canada.

Travel to and from Argentina:

  • Visit the Argentina Ministry of the InteriorOpens in New Window website to complete your migratory card; it’s required for all travel to Argentina.
  • Canadian, U.S. and Australian citizens must pay Argentina's reciprocity fee in advance of travel by visiting Argentina's Ministry of the Interior or Provincia PagosOpens in New Window website. Proof of payment (in the form of a receipt) is required upon arrival at Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza Int. Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires.

Travel to and from Australia:

Travel to and from Chile:

Flights over Russia:

  • The government of Russia has implemented regulations which require airlines to supply the name, the date of birth, the gender and passport information of all passengers travelling on flights that fly over Russian territory.

Boarding Gate Requirements:

Air Canada is legally required to compare a passenger's entire face against the photograph shown on:

  • One (1) piece of government-issued identification with photo, which also includes the name, date of birth and gender.

Carriage will be refused if the passenger:

  • doesn’t look like the photo on the government-issued photo identification;
  • refuses to provide government-issue photo identification;
  • refuses to show his/her entire face.

Secure Flight Program:

  • As required under the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA)'s Secure Flight ProgramOpens in New Window, Secure Flight information must be provided at least 72 hours prior to travel, or at time of booking for bookings made within 72 hours of departure if you’re travelling:
    • to, from or via the U.S.
    • on a flight that is overflying the continental United States (excluding flights between two points in Canada)

More about the Secure Flight ProgramOpens in New Window

Passengers transiting through Canada on their way to/from the U.S.

Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express are approved air carriers participating in the Canadian government's Transit without Visa (TWOV) program, and China Transit Program (CTP). This participation allows our customers who are citizens of certain Asian countries and who are transiting through either Vancouver Airport or Toronto-Pearson Airport (Terminal 1 only) to travel to or from the U.S. without obtaining a Canadian temporary resident visa under certain specific conditions.

Learn more about transiting through Canada without a visaOpens in New Window

Travel Document Requirements:

  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA):
    Citizens from countries participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) who wish to travel by air to the United States must obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) using the convenient ESTA online formOpens in New Window. Passengers who have not obtained prior approval via ESTA before departure will be denied boarding.

  • Canadian permanent residents from non visa-waiver countries:
    Canadian permanent residents from non visa-waiver countriesOpens in New Window travelling outside Canada are required to carry a valid Canadian permanent resident (PR) card or a valid visa, in addition to a valid passport, to return to Canada. The IMM1000 Record of Landing is no longer acceptable. Without a valid Canadian PR Card or valid visa, these passengers are not permitted to board the aircraft, and will need to contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate to obtain a limited use travel document to re-enter Canada. For more information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
    • Canadian Certificates of Citizenship are not valid for travel.

If you are travelling between Canada and Cuba and are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. permanent resident or other person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, please be advised that you will be asked to complete and sign an Affidavit for Cuba Travel formOpen PDF file at the airport prior to boarding your flight to Cuba. This form will be available at the departure gate.

The OFAC requires that travellers acknowledge that they are holders of a specific travel license for Cuba, or that their travel to Cuba is related to one of the following general license categories:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain authorized export transactions

For specific information on the Cuba sanctions regulations including fact sheets on recent changes regarding Cuba, applying for an OFAC license online, and more guidance regarding travel to Cuba, please refer to this U.S Department of the TreasuryOpen PDF file document.

For travel-specific questions, please visit the official Office of Foreign Assets ControlOpens in New Window website.


Frequently asked questions:

Why do I need to document my travel reasons and where will the Affidavit form be collected?

The U.S. Government currently limits the reasons for which U.S citizens, U.S permanent residents and other persons subject to U.S jurisdiction may travel to Cuba. As such, these travellers must complete and sign an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Affidavit form which will be provided at the departure gate from airports in Canada which offer service to Cuba.

The completion of the form is mandatory for U.S citizens, U.S permanent residents and other persons subject to U.S jurisdiction, as well as their family member (including infants and children). This document is required because the U.S. Government requires U.S. passengers to certify that they fall within one of the permitted travel categories and airlines to capture and store passengers’ reasons for travel.

How long will this Affidavit be required?

The Affidavit form will be required until the U.S. Government changes its policy.

Passports

Your passport remains the best internationally-accepted evidence of your citizenship. It may be required for any number of financial or legal transactions abroad, and can be replaced if stolen while you are away, unlike a birth certificate or driver's license.

You and your family need valid passports for travel to most countries, including return travel to Canada. Never assume otherwise. If you don’t have a valid passport, we strongly recommend that you apply for a new one well in advance of travel plans.

Canadian and U.S. citizens must present a valid passport or a valid Nexus card when travelling by air between Canada and the United States.

Nexus card holders who are permanent residents of Canada or the U.S. must travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence, in addition to their Nexus card, and may be asked to present these documents upon arrival at the border.

Foreign nationals must ensure that they have all of the necessary documents in hand (e.g. valid passport, visa, permanent resident card).

Some countries require that your passport be valid for six months beyond your date of entry. You’re advised to check with Travel and Tourism CanadaOpens in New Window to establish whether the six-month rule applies to your destination.

Visas

You should check with your travel agent or the appropriate foreign diplomatic or consular missions about the visa requirements for the countries that you plan to visit or transit through. 

  • Consult with the appropriate foreign diplomatic or consular missions about the visa requirements for the countries that you plan to visit or transit through.
  • Many countries no longer issue paper visas but rather electronic visas or E-visas. Applications for E-visas must be made online prior to travel. You must print your E-visa and carry it with you when you travel as you will need to present it to immigration authorities at destination. Travel will be denied to all travellers who are not in possession of a copy of their E-visa.
  • Obtain visas well in advance of your anticipated departure date; this may involve mailing your passport to the visa-issuing mission.
  • Some countries require passports to be valid for a minimum period before they will issue a visa.
  • There may be an extended delay if you apply for a visa from a third country while you are travelling.
  • Visas can be quite expensive. You should include their cost in the budget for your trip. Make photocopies of your visas, and keep them separate from the originals.

For extensive details regarding country-specific visa & health entry requirements, you can visit the IATA Travel CentreOpens in New Window search tool to determine what you will need for your trip.

Permanent Resident (PR) Cards

All Canadian permanent residents travelling outside Canada are required to carry a valid Canadian permanent resident (PR) card or a valid visa, in addition to a valid passport, to return to Canada by commercial carrier. The PR card provides proof of your immigration status. Without it, you will not be allowed to board the carrier back to Canada. Canadian citizens do not need a PR card.

The PR card is valid for five years. CHECK THE EXPIRY DATE AND APPLY FOR A NEW ONE AT LEAST TWO MONTHS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL.

For more information on valid Canadian travel documents and current application processing times, visit the Passport CanadaOpens in New Window and Citizenship and Immigration CanadaOpens in New Window websites.

Entry and Exit Requirements

On your arrival in a foreign country, be prepared to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your intended stay and that you’ll be admitted to the next country on your itinerary. (For example, have a visa for that country if it's required.) Many countries will grant entry only if you're in possession of return or onward tickets.

Some countries impose exit controls, which may include exit permits, proof of payment of local taxes if applicable, payment or sometimes very costly fines for visa overstays, etc. In some countries, you must register with local authorities if you're not staying at a recognized hotel. Otherwise, your departure may be delayed, or you may be fined when you leave.

Canada does not allow children to travel on their parent's passport, even though some countries still do. For travel to countries where a passport is required, all Canadians, including children, must carry their own.

In addition, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended a policy requiring every individual, including a child, who travels by air to have his or her own travel document.

A child must hold a valid passport for all international travel. Furthermore, prior to any international travel that includes a child, parents should contact the Embassy or Consulate of all countries the child will be visiting to enquire about entry and exit requirements.

The following documents are recommended for travel within Canada and may also be required for international travel to/from certain countries.

  • The child’s birth certificate showing the names of both parents.
  • Any legal documents pertaining to custody.
  • A parental consent letter authorizing travel (if the child is travelling with one parent, the letter must be signed and dated by the other parent; if the child is travelling without his parents, the letter must be signed and dated by both parents.)
  • A death certificate if one of the parents is deceased

See valuable information from the Government of Canada on children and travelOpens in New Window.

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