If you're an intrepid traveler, you'll want to cross over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when you visit. Here you will learn how to proceed and what documents you will need.
Niagara Falls, seen from the air. | © Pixabay
Niagara Falls deserves to be seen from both the American and Canadian sides. But you're probably wondering how to get from one side to the other, since they're two different countries. I hope that I can clear your doubts with this post.
If you're an EU citizen, the Canadian government makes it easy for you and doesn't require a visa, just your passport and completion of the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization), an online form that allows you to enter Canada by air from New York or another European country (not to be confused with the ESTA, the visa for entry into New York).
The distance between New York and Niagara Falls is not too far, so there is no excuse to avoid this natural wonder. To make sure you don't go crazy organizing your visit, there are numerous tours that will take you to both sides so you don't miss anything. Here are the documents you need to prepare for your visit to Niagara Falls from New York.
How to get from the American side to the Canadian side with a European passport
Seeing the American side of Niagara Falls is impressive, but seeing the falls from the Canadian side is an experience not to be missed – it's like a big theme park! Don't forget to bring your European passport (valid for at least 6 months) so that you can show it at the border control when you enter Canada, so that you don't get any problems.
Anything else you need? For entering Canada by land (also by ship) an EU passport is sufficient. However, if you are traveling by air, it is important that you have filled out and paid for the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization ) before you begin your trip, as you will be asked for it at the airline counter. This electronic document is very cheap (from 7 Canadian dollars), you can order it online and it is processed quite quickly.
The fastest and most efficient way to get to the Canadian side of the falls
I advise you not to pass the border control at rush hour. It's best to head out early to avoid long lines that can frustrate you unnecessarily before you've even started your visit.
Since many of us want to see the falls from the viewpoints and attractions on the Canadian side, you can book an organized tour that will pick you up at your hotel and then take you by boat from the U.S. side to the Canadian side. You will probably have to decide before your trip whether you prefer a one-day or two-day trip to Niagara Falls. My advice: if you want to see both sides of the falls, book a day on each side.
If you don't want to worry about schedules, transportation and international controls, you only need to worry about your passport and visa. The organizers of the trip will take care of presenting it at the customs checkpoint.
Do you need a visa to visit Niagara Falls? Check
What happens if you don't have a passport from an EU member state?? In general, all citizens of non-European countries or countries that do not have a border agreement with Canada need a tourist visa if they want to visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.
Is a tourist visa always required in these cases? There is one exception where an eTA is sufficient: if your country is Brazil, Bulgaria or Romania and you want to enter Canada by air. In all other cases you need to apply for a tourist visa.
What kind of visa should you apply for?
There are different types of non-permanent visas for entering Canada, but since we want to enjoy and admire Niagara Falls, a tourist visa is sufficient.
The best travel tip I can give you is to check the information on the Canadian government immigration website. Nevertheless, I would like to clarify that the visa and the eTA for entering Canada are not the same: If you want to stay in Canada longer than six months (I hope you like the Falls, but not that long) or if you don't meet the eTA requirements, you need to apply for a visa.
How to get a visa to visit Niagara Falls?
If you don't have a European passport, don't live in the U.S. and your country doesn't have an agreement with Canada, you will need to apply for a Canadian tourist visa to travel to Niagara Falls.
This is almost as easy as applying for an eTA, although the process takes a bit longer, you need to provide more documents, and the cost is higher (starting at $100 Canadian, depending on your nationality). Remember to start well in advance of your trip.
In any case, the good news is that you can do this online from home. You can also fill out a paper application, although I don't recommend that because then you will have to go to the nearest Visa Application Center (VAC) and complete the process there.
What documents do I need to apply for a tourist visa in Canada?
If, like me, you are looking for convenience and have decided to apply for your tourist visa online, remember to scan and attach all the required documentation.
What are the documents? A valid passport, proof that you have ties to Spain that compel you to return, and financial proof that you can afford the cost of entering, staying in, and leaving Canada.
Depending on your country of origin and length of stay, you may be asked for additional documents, e.g. B. A certificate of good conduct, letter of invitation, or proof of insurance and health.
Do you have everything? Perfect, now all you have to do is fill out the application form, submit the required documents and wait for your visa to be approved, which is valid for 5 years (or until your passport expires).
Don't waste your time! It takes a little longer to process, so don't leave it to the last minute.
What if I don't have the necessary documents when I arrive at the Falls?
If you do not have the required documents to cross the two banks, you will not be able to visit the Canadian side of the falls. So take your documents with you and don't rely on your luck.
Even if your stay in the country will be short, just a few hours to enjoy the attractions on this side of the falls, you will have to pass the border control of the Canadian government, and for that you will need the said documents.
If you are a European entering by land, you only need to present your passport. However, if you are arriving by air and need an eTA or your nationality requires a tourist visa, you will need to apply for and present these documents in the same way as if you were staying in Canada for six months.
Is it possible to get into Canada from the Canadian side of the falls if I started my trip in New York?
If you want to extend your stay in Canada, this is a good idea! If you started your trip from New York and passed border control with the required documents during your visit to Niagara Falls, you are now in Canada and can easily move around the country.
Canada is a great country that has so much to offer, you will love it! The only thing you need to be aware of is the maximum length of your stay in the country.
How do you know that? If you entered Canada with your European passport, you can stay for a maximum of 3 months. If your country of origin is not part of the EU and does not have an agreement with Canada, you can stay for up to 6 months on your tourist visa (the same time if you entered with an eTA).
The most impressive part of Niagara Falls awaits you on the Canadian side, believe me. So make the most of your trip to New York, make sure you have all the necessary documents to enter Canada, and take a trip that will leave you with your mouth open.