Help your guests navigate visas, insurance and must-see wish lists in advance of their arrival.
Canada is quickly becoming one of 2018’s must-see destinations. Montreal topped Forbes’ best budget travel destinations for next year, Edmonton placed third on Airbnb’s trending destinations, and both Edmonton and Toronto made Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018 list.
In 2018, many Canadians with family and friends abroad are apt to see an influx of visitors. But before rolling out the welcome mat, there are several things visitors to Canada should be mindful of before making the trip.
1. Visitors To Canada Need An eTA
As of March 2016, travellers flying into Canada (with the exception of U.S. citizens with a valid Canadian visa) are required to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The process costs $7 CAD and can be applied for online. The eTA lasts five years before it needs to be renewed and is often approved within a few days. If your whole family is visiting, each family member, including minors will need to have an eTA.
2. They May Need To Visit More Than Once
Your guests have a lot of options (and a lot of ground) to cover. Take the time to make a wish list together in advance, so you can learn what their must-see items are and how they fit within the time-frame.
First-time visitors to Canada may not fully grasp how large the country is. Your guests have a lot of ground to cover if they want to see each province.
For trips that are longer than six months, they’ll have more opportunity to explore far-off territories of Canada, but for shorter trips, suggest they look at curated guides from sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia to narrow their must-see list down.
3. Parents And Grandparents Can Visit Longer
Parents and grandparents can visit for up to two years with a Super Visa. The process is lengthier than an eTA and can take upwards of 85 days to get approved, but for longer term family visits it can ensure their trip is stress-free. You can find out what kind of visa they’ll need by answering the Government of Canada’s quick questionnaire.
4. Medical Insurance Could Be A Necessity
When applying for a Super Visa, your visitors will need to show proof they have private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company when visiting for longer than six months. Applications require that policies be valid for at least one year, and cover, “Health care, hospital costs and your return to your home country,” and provides coverage of at least $100,000.
For trips shorter than six-months, insurance is up to the individuals’ discretion; however, it may help to inform your guests that Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. If your guests do want coverage you can help them arrange it online, or set up a conference call with your provider in advance.
5. They May Need Additional Auto Coverage
While U.S. licenses are valid in Canada, international visitors will need both a valid license from their home country and an International Driving Permit (IDP) from their home country. U.S. drivers can use their auto insurance from home, provided they bring documentation. If your guests are coming from another country, they’ll need to have travel insurance that includes coverage for rental vehicles, or they can purchase it through the rental company itself.
Give Them Peace Of Mind
As Canada becomes a must-see destination for international travellers, helping your friends and family plan can help ensure they have an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re helping to make sure they have the proper visas, the right insurance coverage, or a realistic must-see list, a little advance preparation will mean getting the most out of their Canadian visit.
Need Help Ensuring Your Visitors’ Insurance Needs Are Covered?
We’ll Help You Get It.
- Learn more about Visitors to Canada travel insurance
- Call 1-800-769-2568
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.