Cross-Border Travel Tips for Australians Traveling in North America
The itinerary of many Australian tourists includes a visit to the United States, followed by sightseeing in Canada. This is an excellent travel plan, but it means that they must cross the border from the United States into the territory of its northern neighbor. This requires some time and planning so that there will be no problems with the authorities. The following is good information that may be helpful for any Australian tourist who wants to travel into Canada from the United States:
Before embarking on a trip to the United States, visitors from Australia should get a passport and a visa that will validate their right to travel in the United States. Since 2009, it is also possible for Australians to travel to the United States under a visa waiver program. This is a free process and allows Australian tourists to answer questions about their health, their previous activities and work history, their travel plans, and their eligibility to enter the United States online. Approval for travel through this Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) usually takes only minutes, but it is best to complete this application a week or so before any trip just to allow for delays in the system. Once a traveler has applied for and received clearance using this system, he or she should not have to do so again for two years. Tourists should keep a copy of the ESTA application and approval readily available during their travels.
Have Everything in Order to Cross the Border
While Australians do not need a visa to cross from the US into Canada, they will have to show border agents a valid passport. A copy of their birth certificate can serve as proof of citizenship. Canadian authorities will also need to be assured that any visitor is in good health and has ties in Australia that are close enough that it is likely that he or she would want to return home. Every visitor arriving in Canada will also be required to fill out a CBSA Declaration Card upon entry so keep a pen handy. This questionnaire asks some personal questions and requests that visitors list all items they are bringing into the country. This card, once completed, should be kept with all other important travel documents to be shown quickly when requested by border officials. Many visitors prepare to fill out the CBSA Declaration card by bringing two copies, listing all of the items they are bringing into the country.
The rules for traveling into the US and for crossing the Canadian border change periodically; therefore, it is always best to access their official websites for updates on any new entry requirements before leaving Australia. This will ensure that delays are infrequent, and most snags are averted.
Claire Atkinson writes for www.kanetix.com, an insurance comparison site. She has traveled extensively in North America, and has also spent a year living, working and traveling in Australia and New Zealand. She is now a freelance writer and website owner. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, hiking and dancing. For her next trip, she would love to explore South America.