All visitors require a valid passport to enter Canada. The less expensive passport card (for land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry from the United States only) are also accepted. Visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit for the most up-to-date information concerning passport and visa regulations.
Citizens of certain countries and territories need a visa to visit or transit through Canada. The list of entry requirements by country is available at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp
Guidelines for applying for a visa are available at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp
Please note that a letter of invitation signed by the event organization will be required when applying for a visa. Make sure that your letter follows the specified guidelines at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/letter.asp
Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or U.S citizens travelling with a valid Canadian passport or a permanent resident card or a U.S passport can use Automated Border Clearance (ABC) self-serve kiosks when they arrive at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to avoid long lines.
Visit www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/abc-cfa-eng.html for more information.
Authors with Travel Restrictions Policy
The Signal Processing Society values diversity. Authors who anticipate inability to travel to a conference because of a government-imposed travel restriction are still encouraged to submit papers. Such papers will be reviewed and accepted on their own merit for publication without any knowledge of the author’s travel restriction. Within one week of paper acceptance notification, travel-restricted authors must notify the Technical Program Chair of the conference with proof of their restriction. Substitute presenters may be possible or, depending on conference resources, other accommodations may be available, such as a remote presentation or pre-recorded video.
New Entry Requirement (March 15, 2016)
Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada. This regulation becomes mandatory March 15, 2016. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa.
The eTA is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires. Applying for an eTA is a simple and inexpensive ($7 CAD) online process that will take just a few minutes. Most eTA-eligible applicants will get their authorization within minutes of submitting the online form.
For more information or to see if you need to obtain an eTA, visit: www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp
General Information About Canadian Customs
The Canada Border Services Agency has developed streamlined border procedures and services to assist meeting planners and convention organizers in holding their meeting in Canada. With over $2 billion in trade passing through the Canada-U.S. Border every day, Montréal is a destination fully capable of handling large shipments of material from the U.S. and around the world.
Canada Customs makes it possible for your material to clear customs following its arrival in Montréal. The on-site customs facility clears convention goods at the show rather than at the border, ensuring that your goods are not delayed when they arrive in Canada.
As well, the Palais des congrès, Montréal’s convention centre, is considered “in bond” by Canada Customs and acts as a customs clearance point. You can obtain official recognition status for your event and avoid paying duties and taxes.
Foreign organizations are permitted to import certain goods into Canada for use at meetings without paying customs duty and tax (subject to a security deposit typically handled by your customs broker). In order to qualify for the Foreign Organization Remission Order, a foreign organization must have its head offices outside of Canada. Furthermore, the meeting must not be open to the general public, and Canadian attendance should not exceed 25%.
Exemption from custom duty and taxes is then granted on the following: convention material imported for free distribution to persons attending the meeting or conference, advertising material and souvenirs (valued at no more than $25 CAD each) imported for free distribution to attendees and audio-visual equipment and office machines that are imported for use at the meeting or convention (on condition that this equipment is exported at the conclusion of the meeting).
“Official paraphernalia” (goods bearing the official logo of the Association) may be sold by the Association to attendees provided the event is not open to the public and the goods are valued at no more than $25 CAD. Your staff members do not require work permits.
Guest speakers do not require work permits to address your delegates but should be provided with a letter of introduction from your association.
Personal computers, tape recorders and the like may be brought into Canada by delegates and speakers alike, provided it is for their personal use.