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Travel Related FAQ

Helpful tips and information on travel related issues for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who need help whilst traveling abroad. Further information can be found at any of the websites listed below:

Passport Canada
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
Canadian Automobile Association
Canada Border Services Agency

What are the Emergency Numbers for Canadians involved in problems abroad?

You can either call the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate or call the Emergency Operations Centre in Canada on 613-944-2320 or email>

My Canadian passport has been stolen. What should I do?

You must report the theft to the local police immediately and then contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate who will issue you with a temporary travel document. On your return you should apply for a new passport with Passport Canada.

I will be out of the country for around 6 months do I have to register my departure and where I am going?

You are not required by law to register your departure; however it is wise to register with Foreign Affairs and Trade Canada so that you can be assisted by the Canadian government in the event of a disaster or emergency in the country you are staying in.

I am going to Iraq on business. Where can I find out more about civilian safety in this country?

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada offer a variety of country by country reports. The reports provide travel warnings as well as information on security, local laws and customs and health conditions.

I have never flown before. What can I take on board the aircraft?

You are allowed one piece of hand luggage which must be mall enough to fit into the overhead locker. Each airline will be able to advise you on the size and weight allowed on board their aircraft. You are not allowed to carry on certain items like knives, scissors, lighter fluid etc. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has an easy look up tool allowing you to check if the items you pack are allowed on board.

How can I get through the airport security lines faster?

First of all check that your carry-on baggage meets your airlines specifications and that it is not over-packed and that it does not contain any prohibited items.

Limit the amount of metal on your person e.g. no big jewelry, belt buckles, watches, hidden body piercings. All of these items will sound the metal detector and slow you down.

Put any liquids, aerosols and gels into a resealable transparent plastic bag and place this bag in the tray provided at the scanner.

Do not carry any drinks through to the departure lounge.

Ensure that any electrical items like laptops and cell phones are places in the trays provided and passed through the scanner.

Have the items at hand before you reach the scanner. Remove your coat or jacket and belt before reaching the front of the scanner line.

Have your boarding pass ready to hand to the officer. Never joke about bombs or weapons whilst going through security. All statements are taken seriously and could result in a conviction.

I am a citizen of both Canada and Bulgaria. Which passport should I use to enter and exit Canada?

The Canadian government recommends all Canadian citizens with dual nationality to travel using their Canadian passport. The Canadian government cannot help you if you travelled to another country using your other passport because you have entered the country as a citizen and are the responsibility of that government should you encounter any problems.

What should I do if my credit cards are stolen whilst I am abroad?

Cancel your cards and report the theft to your credit card company immediately and notify the local police. If you need money try and arrange a transfer from your bank using an agency like Western Union or contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate for help.

What should I do if I loose my airline ticket?

Notify the airline company you were flying with immediately. You will be able to find their details from the local airport or from an internet search. They will instruct you further on what to do.

Do I need some kind of travel insurance for a week’s holiday in Barbados?

Yes. It doesn’t matter which country you visit you must always ensure that you are covered for illness, death, loss and theft or belongings whilst abroad. Many insurance policies cover a wide variety of other aspects of your travel. Your travel agent will be able to advise you oh travel insurance or you can do an internet search for travel insurance.

How can I check if the country I am traveling to requires a visa?

YoYou can check if the country you are traveling to requires a visa by consulting the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s list of tourist visa requirements. This shows by country whether Canadian citizens need to get a visa before they travel.

How can I find out what vaccinations I need to travel to Burma?

You should consult with a health care clinic or medical provider 8 to 12 weeks before you travel to ensure that you have all of the right vaccinations. Each person’s requirement for vaccine is different dependent on their previous vaccination history and the country they are visiting. At times some countries may have additional requirements in case of current outbreaks.

I want to take my grandson with me on vacation to Florida. Do I need to prove he is my grandson when I enter the US?

Yes. You need to take a consent letter from both parents, even if they are separated or divorced. If one parent is deceased you need to show a copy of the death certificate as well as the consent letter from the parent who has custody. You grandson will also need his own passport and you should take a copy of his birth certificate to help prove your relationship.

My 13 year old daughter is due to visit her father but he now lives abroad. Can she travel alone and what does she need to do this?

You must first consult with the airline you intend to use to determine whether they accept unaccompanied minors and to find out if the airline will escort and supervise her from the check-out desk to the aircraft. You must stay with your child at the airport. Once she has left your care you must remain at the airport until the flight has departed. You must also ensure that her father arrives at the arrivals airport with appropriate ID and with a letter of authorization from you stating that she may be placed in his care.

If I do not have any travel insurance and I get sick on vacation, who will cover my medical bills?

You must travel with travel insurance that covers health and accident cover as well as expenses for loss or theft of your personal belongings. If you do not have travel insurance you are personally liable for all costs incurred should you for example take ill on vacation. If you are unable to pay you will have to make arrangements with your Canadian bank to transfer funds. The nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate will be able to advise you but they will not be responsible for your bill.

Can I take prescription drugs abroad with me if they are for my own personal use?

You can take your medication out of Canada but you should be aware that some medicines that are legally available for the treatment of illness in Canada may be illegal abroad. To be sure that your medication will not arouse suspicion you should contact one of the Foreign Government Offices Accredited to Canada for the country you are visiting to check on their restrictions. You should also pack all of your medication in its original packaging and carry a copy of your prescription and / or a doctor’s note outlining your medication. Yu must ensure that you have enough medication with you to cover your trip and an additional supply to cover any unforeseen delays to your trip.

What should I do if I am arrested abroad?

Inform the police arresting you that you want them to notify the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate of your arrest. The police are obliged to comply with your request under the Vienna Convention. The Consulate will be in touch with you but they cannot get you out of jail. You are subject to the laws of the country you visit. The Consulate will notify your next of kin and will arrange for an English-speaking lawyer.

I want to hire a car whilst I am abroad. Can I use my Canadian driver license?

You should apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the Canadian Automobile Association. It proves that you are qualified to drive abroad and that you have a valid drivers’ license in Canada.

I have a pacemaker. Will I still have to go through the airport screening machine?

When you reach the screening area you should advise the supervising officers that you wear a pacemaker and bring medical proof of this e.g. a letter from your doctor. Before you depart on vacation, you should also check with the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting about their policies on screening.

Where can I find out what goods I can bring back to Canada with me?

Canada Border Services Agency has produced a booklet called ‘I Declare.’ It details all of the entitlements and restrictions on goods that can be brought back into Canada. All Canadian citizens embarking on a trip abroad are recommended to familiarize themselves with this booklet. Ignorance is not an accepted reason for bringing restricted items or items over your entitlement back into Canada.


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