Citizens of the EU, Scandinavia and most Commonwealth countries travelling to Canada do not need an entry visa: all that is required is a valid passport. United States citizens simply need some form of identification .
All visitors to Canada have to complete a customs declaration form , which you'll be given on the plane or at the US-Canada border. On the form you'll have to give details of where you intend to stay during your trip. If you don't know, write "touring", but be prepared to give an idea of your schedule and destinations to the immigration officer.
At the point of entry, the Canadian immigration officer decides the length of stay permitted up to a maximum of six months , but not usually more than three. The officers rarely refuse entry, but they may ask you to show them how much money you have: a credit card or $300 cash per week of the proposed visit is usually considered sufficient. They may also ask to see a return or onward ticket. If they ask where you're staying and you give the name and address of friends, don't be surprised if they check.
For visa and immigration enquiries, visits of more than six months, study trips and stints of temporary employment, contact the nearest Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission for authorization prior to departure . Inside Canada, if an extension of stay is desired, written application must be made to the nearest Canada Immigration Centre well before the expiry of the authorized visit.
The duty-free allowance if you're over 19 (18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Québec) is 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars, plus 1.4 litres of liquor or 24 355ml-sized bottles of beer.
Canadian consulates and embassies abroad
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Auckland 9th Floor, Jetset Centre, 44-48 Emily Place, Auckland 1 (tel 09/309 8516, www.dfait=maeci.gc.ca/newzealand ).
Canberra Commonwealth Ave, Canberra, ACT 2600 (tel 02/6270 4000, www.dfait=maeci.gc.ca/australia ).
Sydney Level 5, Quay West Building, 111 Harrington St, Sydney, NSW 2000 (tel 02/9364 3000. 24-hour visa information and application tel 02/9364 3050).
Germany 6th Floor, Internationales Handelszentrum, Friedrichstrasse 95, 10117 Berlin (tel 030/203120).
Ireland 65 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 (tel 01/478 1988).
Norway Wergeslandsveien 7, 0244 Oslo (tel 022/995300).
Sweden Tegelbacken 4, 7th Floor, Stockholm (tel 08/453 3000).
United Kingdom Macdonald House, 1 Grosvenor Square, London W1X 0AB (tel 020/7258 6600).
Chicago Suite 2400, 2 Prudential Plaza, 180 N Stetson Ave, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60601 (tel 312/616 1860, www.canadachicago.net ).
Los Angeles 9th Floor, 550 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90071-2627 (tel 213/346-2700, www.cdnconsultat-la.com ).
New York 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020-1175 (tel 212/596-1628, www.canada-ny.org ).
Washington 501 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 (tel 202/682-1740, www.canadianembassy.org ).
There are also consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis and Seattle . Check the phone book for details.