Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Canada
Reload this Page >

CAN/AU citizen with no CAN passport- is the land border a viable option?

CAN/AU citizen with no CAN passport- is the land border a viable option?

Old Oct 9, 18, 9:36 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
CAN/AU citizen with no CAN passport- is the land border a viable option?

Hi,

This post is in reference to the recent changes in Canadian law regarding dual citizens- we can no longer enter Canada on non-Canadian passports so we must enter Canada on a valid Canadian passport if flying by air.

I'm a dual citizen (CAN/AU) and I was planning on visiting Vancouver at the end of this year.

I gained Canadian citizenship following permanent residency when I was 11 years old but left Canada around then, and my parents never applied for a Canadian passport on my behalf. I haven't been there since I was 11.

Its been 12 years since then (currently in Australia), and we've moved houses a couple of times. I haven't been able to find my citizenship paperwork anywhere so I can't actually apply for a Canadian passport at the moment. I can't apply for a temporary passport either because I've never held a Canadian passport before as per the consulate. There isn't enough time to apply for a replacement certificate (since the processing time is 5+ months).

I'm eligible for special authorization but I'm worried I might be rejected since I've never held a Canadian passport so I don't want to risk it.

My only real option (if it counts as one), is to fly into Seattle and take a train up to Vancouver all on my Australian passport. Is this doable and allowed? I'm just scared that the border staff will flag me down and ask why I didn't just fly into Vancouver directly. Likewise, will I have any issues at SeaTac if I explain that the main purpose of my trip is to visit Vancouver?

I'm also brown and wear a headscarf so I also have an irrational fear that I'll be denied entry either into Seattle or Canada via land based on my appearance.

What's my best plan of action here?

Thanks!
inapickle is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 12:20 pm
  #2  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 11,780
Exclamation Moderator's Action

This question appears to be specific to Canada, so please follow this thread as it moves to the Canada forum.

TWA884
Travel Safety/Security co-moderator
TWA884 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 12:41 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,282
Originally Posted by inapickle View Post
Hi,

This post is in reference to the recent changes in Canadian law regarding dual citizens- we can no longer enter Canada on non-Canadian passports so we must enter Canada on a valid Canadian passport if flying by air.

I'm a dual citizen (CAN/AU) and I was planning on visiting Vancouver at the end of this year.

I gained Canadian citizenship following permanent residency when I was 11 years old but left Canada around then, and my parents never applied for a Canadian passport on my behalf. I haven't been there since I was 11.

Its been 12 years since then (currently in Australia), and we've moved houses a couple of times. I haven't been able to find my citizenship paperwork anywhere so I can't actually apply for a Canadian passport at the moment. I can't apply for a temporary passport either because I've never held a Canadian passport before as per the consulate. There isn't enough time to apply for a replacement certificate (since the processing time is 5+ months).

I'm eligible for special authorization but I'm worried I might be rejected since I've never held a Canadian passport so I don't want to risk it.

My only real option (if it counts as one), is to fly into Seattle and take a train up to Vancouver all on my Australian passport. Is this doable and allowed? I'm just scared that the border staff will flag me down and ask why I didn't just fly into Vancouver directly. Likewise, will I have any issues at SeaTac if I explain that the main purpose of my trip is to visit Vancouver?

I'm also brown and wear a headscarf so I also have an irrational fear that I'll be denied entry either into Seattle or Canada via land based on my appearance.

What's my best plan of action here?

Thanks!
The land-border is a viable option, but how it goes can vary. Between the lack of Canadian passport history and little to no proof readily available to demonstrate Canadian citizenship/identity, the condition and period of detention for them to confirm Canadian identity and citizenship is something to consider. Itís illegal for Canada to deny recognized Canadian citizens entry into Canada if the Canadian citizen is at a Canadian port of entry on Canadian territory.

Also, US CBP could be at least as much of a hurdle
as their Canadian functional equivalents.
Often1, jc94 and pilot007 like this.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 1:18 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,908
This is an important point. CBP will want to know that OP is admissible to Canada before admitting him to the US. Indeed, his air carrier will likely want to know that as well before permitting him to board in Australia.
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 1:41 pm
  #5  
Moderator: Travel Safety/Security, Travel Tools, California, Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: VNY | BUR | LAX
Programs: AAdvantage | MileagePlus
Posts: 11,780
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is an important point. CBP will want to know that OP is admissible to Canada before admitting him to the US. Indeed, his air carrier will likely want to know that as well before permitting him to board in Australia.
Why would an Australian citizen have a problem being admitted into the US? They are eligible for the visa waiver program.
foreigncontent likes this.
TWA884 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 2:06 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,282
Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Why would an Australian citizen have a problem being admitted into the US? They are eligible for the visa waiver program.
Being eligible to use the US VWP isnít a guarantee of not having a problem being admitted by US CBP into the US when heading to Canada for what may be an indefinite period of time with a purpose that itself may be subject to doubt given the potential lack of supporting evidence if the purpose of the trip comes up.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 4:00 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,046
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


Being eligible to use the US VWP isnít a guarantee of not having a problem being admitted by US CBP into the US when heading to Canada for what may be an indefinite period of time with a purpose that itself may be subject to doubt given the potential lack of supporting evidence if the purpose of the trip comes up.
I don't see how the airlines would know the OP is a dual-citizen if he/she only has an Australia passport and never had a Canada passport.
JimInOhio is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 4:12 pm
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,282
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
I don't see how the airlines would know the OP is a dual-citizen if he/she only has an Australia passport and never had a Canada passport.
Itís not about the airline giving issue, itís about encountering issues with US CBP and/or the Canadian equivalent of CBP after flying to the US.

And I have seen this be an issue with US CBP, where US CBP tried to disallow entry because CBP didnít believe the attempting US VWP user was admissible to Canada in the manner suggested by the attempting VWP user seeking entry into the US so as to transit onward to Canada by surface transport means.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 4:13 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 42,908
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
I don't see how the airlines would know the OP is a dual-citizen if he/she only has an Australia passport and never had a Canada passport.
Be careful of the advice you are giving.

For OP to travel to Canada illegally on an Australian passport, he will require an eTA from Canada. But, Canadian law requires him to travel to Canada on his Canadian passport.

So, either he makes false statements to Canada in order to obtain an eTA so that he is permitted to board, both in Australia and in the US, and then asserts to Canada that he is Canadian on arrival in Canada or he advises that he is a Canadian national and is required by the air carriers both departing Australia and the US (if he gets that far) to produce a Canadian passport.

This isn't one of these tall tales which people tell to get out from under a change fee. It can have real consequences for OP.
NeedstoFly likes this.
Often1 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 4:20 pm
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,282
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Be careful of the advice you are giving.

For OP to travel to Canada illegally on an Australian passport, he will require an eTA from Canada. But, Canadian law requires him to travel to Canada on his Canadian passport.

So, either he makes false statements to Canada in order to obtain an eTA so that he is permitted to board, both in Australia and in the US, and then asserts to Canada that he is Canadian on arrival in Canada or he advises that he is a Canadian national and is required by the air carriers both departing Australia and the US (if he gets that far) to produce a Canadian passport.

This isn't one of these tall tales which people tell to get out from under a change fee. It can have real consequences for OP.
The OP is female, not a ďheĒ.

To enter Canada without a Canadian passport is still legally possible for Canadian citizens, dual or otherwise. US-Canada dual-citizens fly to Canada on a US passport just fine and do so very routinely as legal.

For other Canadian dual-citizens, there is special authorization to use a non-Canadian, non-US passport to do so: https://secure.cic.gc.ca/dc-dn/dcc-e...387.1539123700

Are you a dual Canadian citizen flying to Canada without a valid Canadian passport?

If you are a dual Canadian citizen flying soon to Canada and you do not have a valid Canadian passport, temporary passport or emergency travel document, you can apply for a special authorization that if approved will allow you to board your flight with your valid non-Canadian passport. Most applications are processed shortly after receipt. This authorization will be valid for only 4 days from the date of travel you select on the form.

This authorization is a temporary measure to help avoid travel delays for dual Canadian citizens who were unaware of the need to travel with a valid Canadian passport to help prove their Canadian citizenship.

You can use this form if you:
  • have a flight to Canada that leaves in less than 10 days,
  • have a valid passport from a visa-exempt country,
And:
  • have previously received a certificate of Canadian citizenship, or
  • held a Canadian passport in the past, or
  • you were granted Canadian citizenship after having been a permanent resident of Canada.
Your information will be verified in our electronic systems to confirm that you are a Canadian citizen.

Enter the information below exactly how it appears on the passport you are planning to travel to Canada with. Review your information carefully. Mistakes can either delay your application, or cause a refusal, meaning you wonít be able to board your flight to Canada.

You can only apply for one person at a time. For example, for a family of three, you will need to complete and submit the form three times.
:D!, Beltway2A and nancypants like this.

Last edited by GUWonder; Oct 9, 18 at 4:28 pm
GUWonder is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 4:33 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 234
Originally Posted by inapickle View Post
Hi,

This post is in reference to the recent changes in Canadian law regarding dual citizens- we can no longer enter Canada on non-Canadian passports so we must enter Canada on a valid Canadian passport if flying by air.

I'm a dual citizen (CAN/AU) and I was planning on visiting Vancouver at the end of this year.

I gained Canadian citizenship following permanent residency when I was 11 years old but left Canada around then, and my parents never applied for a Canadian passport on my behalf. I haven't been there since I was 11.

Its been 12 years since then (currently in Australia), and we've moved houses a couple of times. I haven't been able to find my citizenship paperwork anywhere so I can't actually apply for a Canadian passport at the moment. I can't apply for a temporary passport either because I've never held a Canadian passport before as per the consulate. There isn't enough time to apply for a replacement certificate (since the processing time is 5+ months).

I'm eligible for special authorization but I'm worried I might be rejected since I've never held a Canadian passport so I don't want to risk it.

My only real option (if it counts as one), is to fly into Seattle and take a train up to Vancouver all on my Australian passport. Is this doable and allowed? I'm just scared that the border staff will flag me down and ask why I didn't just fly into Vancouver directly. Likewise, will I have any issues at SeaTac if I explain that the main purpose of my trip is to visit Vancouver?

I'm also brown and wear a headscarf so I also have an irrational fear that I'll be denied entry either into Seattle or Canada via land based on my appearance.

What's my best plan of action here?

Thanks!
Time is not on your side as your trip is planned soon but have you contacted a Canadian Embassy in your area? I ask because they help/advise citizens who have lost passports or papers, etc. Maybe they could help?
MAXII is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 6:51 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: FOTSG Tangerine Ex E35k (AC)
Posts: 5,473
Originally Posted by MAXII View Post
Time is not on your side as your trip is planned soon but have you contacted a Canadian Embassy in your area? I ask because they help/advise citizens who have lost passports or papers, etc. Maybe they could help?
Definitely worth trying... Embassies are there to help citizens (PRs are another story).

And as has been stated, Canada canít deny you entry but without proof you may be there some time. As long as you enter the US with the ESTA and tell them you are staying there for a day and then going up to Canada they really shouldnít care more. Itís a fine line between telling the truth and omitting the fact that you plan to try and enter Canada as a citizen without proof.

To be honest, it may be worth consulting an attorney about this who can likely give you much better advice. Likely for a cost, but for peace of mind is a few hours and some $$$ worth it? They may even tell you what your options are as a free evaluation?

Theres also a free forum not on FT setup for Canadian immigration and citizenship that may be able to provide threads specific to your situation and/or people who have been in a very similar situation. I can try and dig it out if helpful.

Oh and people fly into the US instead of Canada all the time as it tends to save significant money. Flying into and around Canada is much more expensive thanks to a lack of airlines and other factors. Of course, if you donít have a return ticket from Canada or the US back to Australia that may raise a large red flag.
jc94 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 8:29 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Houston
Programs: UA 1K and Million Miler, *A Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium, Hertz Five Star,
Posts: 826
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


The OP is female, not a ďheĒ.

To enter Canada without a Canadian passport is still legally possible for Canadian citizens, dual or otherwise. US-Canada dual-citizens fly to Canada on a US passport just fine and do so very routinely as legal.

For other Canadian dual-citizens, there is special authorization to use a non-Canadian, non-US passport to do so: https://secure.cic.gc.ca/dc-dn/dcc-e...387.1539123700

it seems the OP cannot prOvide evidence of any of the AND items and thus is going to have a problem.
Collierkr is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 11:25 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,282
Originally Posted by Collierkr View Post


it seems the OP cannot prOvide evidence of any of the AND items and thus is going to have a problem.
The OP says she is eligible for the special authorization mentioned to use a non-Canadian passport to fly to Canada as a Canadian (non-US) dual-citizen.
nancypants likes this.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 11:33 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YYZ
Programs: Hilton Plat Mariott Gold UA Gold NEXUS
Posts: 1,019
You won't get denied the waiver; I can' t see why they'd do that. You can apply to have the documents replaced while you're here. They may consider expedited processing right now; here's some notes, it specifically mentions your situation:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration.../urgently.html
atsak is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread