If you are traveling to North America for a vacation or business trip, some arrangements are necessary. In this article we describe what you need to focus on.
Apply for a digital travel permit
You must have a passport valid for at least one day after you leave Canada to enter Canada. Therefore, first check if your passport is still valid for a longer period. You also need an ETA or visa to enter Canada. Most travelers can travel to Canada via ETA and do not need to apply for a visa. If you have a passport issued by one of the visa-free countries, you can apply for a Geek eTA Canada Request. Most European countries, including the Netherlands and Belgium, are exempt from the visa requirement. The ETA is valid for five years.
Keep in mind that with an ETA you can stay in Canada for a maximum of six consecutive months and you cannot work for a Canadian employer. If you plan to stay or work in Canada for more than six months, you will need a visa or work permit.
Similar rules apply to travel to the United States. Most European travelers can Apply for ESTA. However, ESTA is only valid for two years in the United States and the maximum stay is 90 days. If you are traveling to both the US and Canada, both visits are the maximum validity. This also applies to stays in Mexico or the Caribbean.
Pay in North America
The Canadian dollar is used in Canada and the US dollar in the United States. No need to exchange money before departure. Exchange offices often use unfavorable exchange rates and you have to pay a commission. Withdrawing dollars at an ATM is usually easy upon arrival. This can usually be done at the airport. It may be helpful to bring a credit card in addition to your debit card because a lot of money is paid by credit card in North America. However, paying with a credit card can be more expensive than a regular debit card because credit card companies often charge higher transaction fees.
Please note: Most Dutch banks have banned the use of bank cards outside of Europe for security reasons. So, before departure, check whether you can withdraw money with your bank card in Canada or the US or enable this option in your bank first.
Documents to take with you on the trip
In any case, take the following documents with you when you travel: your passport, air tickets, documents from your travel insurance, your bank card and credit card and an international driver’s license if you plan to rent a car. If you lose your passport or your passport is stolen, it is a good idea to bring a copy of your passport with you.
Confirmation of your ESTA or eTA approval does not have to be taken with you on your trip. These are automatically attached to your passport electronically. It works as follows: The travel authorization is stored digitally in the database of the Canadian or US Immigration Service. Flights have access to this database and you can see that you have valid travel authorization from your passport number. So there is no need to print to confirm the work. You only need to scan your passport at the airport. Since ETA and ESTA are attached to your passport details, it is essential that all passport details are entered correctly in the application form. If you make a mistake in the passport information or enter incorrect information, the airline will not see that you have the correct travel authorization and will not allow you to verify the flight. In this case, you will need to reapply for an ETA or ESTA. We therefore recommend that you complete the application form accurately.