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Tips for Canadian travelers crossing the U.S. border

Crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. can be easy if you take a little time to prepare in advance. Here are four time-saving tips that can help make your trip across the border a smooth one.

Check border wait times

Crossing the border during off-peak periods can significantly reduce your traveling time. Most of the time, wait times at the Prescott, ON-Ogdensburg, NY, border are only a few minutes.

Check Canada-to-US border wait times
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Gather your documents

Required travel documents

For up-to-date information on what travel documents Canadians need to cross the US border by land, visit the Government of Canada travel advisories website:

Travel documents required to cross the US border by land

Other documents to bring

In addition to official travel documents, Canadian travelers who are crossing the US border to take a direct or connecting flight departing from OGS should have the following information on hand:

  • Your flight itinerary
  • The name and address of where you will be staying
  • Any documents related to the purpose of your visit (for example, if you are traveling for a wedding, have the wedding invitation with you)
  • The length of your stay in the United States

All of these documents will help the border officer establish where you are going, why you are going, and when you will return. Having this information in an easily accessible location will help you pass through the border more smoothly.

Take only what you need

If you are selected for a search at the border, an uncluttered vehicle, luggage and other baggage will make it easier and faster for officers to complete the inspection. If you don’t need it on your trip, best to leave it at home.

Take the interaction seriously

Crossing the border from one country to another is an activity that all travelers should take seriously. When approaching a border crossing be sure to:

  • Take off your sunglasses
  • Turn off your radio or other in-vehicle devices
  • Stay off your cell phone
  • Roll down any tinted rear windows so that the officer can see all passengers
  • Stop talking to your passengers and focus your full attention on the officer

Being polite and respectful to border officials is not just common courtesy, it’s also important for your own safety. The officer will have questions to ask and possible information to provide that will help you stay safe during your trip.

Your flight is booked, your bags are packed, your plants are watered and you’re ready to go. With these tips in mind, you can cross the border with ease and then sit back, relax, and enjoy the convenience of boarding a domestic flight departing from OGS.

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