US Visa Overview
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the US directly from Canada for the purpose of visiting or studying. However, every case is different and it also depends on which country you’re entering from. It is best to consult an immigration expert to find out more information.
Check If You Really You Need a US Visa
You need to check if you need a visa first because you could be a citizen of a country that is eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program and might not have to go through the application process.
US Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa.
These citizens can use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). A program managed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security.
US Visa Waiver Program Requirements
To be eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you need to be a citizen from one of the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
If you are not from one of the aforementioned countries, you need to fully apply for a US visa.
How to Apply for US Visa Waiver Program
International travelers planning to visit the U.S. for business or pleasure can get a visa waiver. To get a visa waiver, you must be a citizen of one of the 39 countries that participate in the U.S.' Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
If you plan to visit the U.S. under the VWP, you must get an approved travel authorization before your trip. Authorization approvals are determined using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization
The ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under theVisa Waiver Program (VWP). Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveler is admissible to the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers’ arrival. The ESTA application collects biographic information and answers to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended that travelers apply as soon as they begin preparing travel plans or prior to purchasing airline tickets.
Do I Need a US Visa if I Have a Canadian Visa?
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the US directly from Canada for the purpose of visiting or studying. However, every case is different and it also depends on which country you’re entering from.