Travelling to Canada

If you are a citizen of the United States, you need to present a valid passport to enter Canada. If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S, you should bring your Permanent Resident Card with you. If you are from another country and have a valid passport, you may also need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization.  Read more about the eTA below.

Be sure your passport is not within six months of expiring. Please note if you are applying for a passport, the wait time is approximately six weeks.  Apply or renew your passport here.

Canada has a travel requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for certain international travelers who fly to Canada. Read about the eTA and how they may affect you. Not only will you need a passport, but you may need an Electronic Travel Authorization.  Check the website above to see if you need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization.

To facilitate border procedures, bring this letter with you for presentation to a Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) officer, if necessary.  This letter shows the customs agent that the meeting has been recognized by CBSA.

The citizens of many countries require a visa to enter Canada, while the citizens of others do not. Find out if you need a visa to enter Canada before you leave your home country. Visas are issued by Canadian government offices abroad. Not all of these offices have visa officers, but those that do not will direct you to the nearest visa office.   

Arriving by air: If you are arriving by air, you will receive a CBSA Declaration Card while you are onboard your flight. You must complete it before arriving in Canada. For a step-by-step guide, consult Arriving by Air.

When you arrive in Canada, proceed to the customs area and get in line to see a border services officer. The officer works for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA protects Canada's borders and points of entry.

The officer will ask to see your passport or travel documents.  Make sure that you have them with you and that they are not packed in your luggage.

Even if you do not need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visa to enter Canada, the officer will ask you a few questions. The officer will make sure that you meet the requirements to enter Canada.

If you have a misdemeanor offense in the U.S., such as a DUI, check to be sure you will be able to travel through the Canadian border.  Check here for more information.

Children under 18 must travel with appropriate documents and meet the same entry requirements as adults. The border services officer may ask minor children to present other documents depending on whether the child is travelling alone or with someone. Find out about the specific requirements for minor children.

The officer will stamp your passport and you can proceed. 

If you need more information, please visit the links below.

Travel from the U.S. to Canada 

Canada Border Services Agency 

Do you need an eTA or visa to travel to Canada 

Travel Advisories or Alerts

Invitation Letters

To Obtain an Invitation Letter
In order to assist with the travel visa application process, we will provide upon request a letter of invitation to attend the Annual Meeting to authors of papers that have been accepted and to non-authors who have paid the conference registration fee. The invitation “letter” will normally be provided in the form of a pdf file via email.

If you wish to receive an invitation letter to help with your visa, then submit the information listed below to: Rob Winters.

Include the following information:

  • Your full name (as it appears on your passport) – please use CAPITAL letters for your family name (also called your last name or surname);
  • Your “pre-title” (Dr., Mr., Ms.);
  • Your job title (for example: BS/MS/PhD student, Research Associate, Assistant Professor, Director of Mathematics, Research Scientist (companies/ government) etc.);
  • Your affiliation (university, company, organization etc.);
  • Postal address (this may be either your work or home address, whichever you prefer), make sure that you include room number (if required), building, street, city, state, postal code and country;
  • Email address, and phone number (home or work);
  • Your paper title(s) where applicable.

Please format your information as per the example below.

Dr. William HOWELL 
Scientific Research Program Manager Natural Resources Canada
P.O. Box 57023, Station M
Calgary, Alberta T2P 3C1 Canada
Email Address:
Presentation Title: Genetic specification of recurrent neural networks: Initial thoughts

This information is required so that we can send you an electronic letter of invitation, but it does not give you a visa or guarantee that the embassy will grant a visa. Submit your request for a visa invitation letter as soon as possible. Please allow 7 days for an email response. This service is provided to attendees for free.  

Note that participants are responsible for conference registration, paying appropriate fees for conference activities, as well as assuming full responsibility for any travel and accommodation expenses, and their activities and arrangements while at the Annual Meeting.


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