COVID-19 Updates - Driving to the U.S. from Canada

Canada / U.S. Land Border Closure Updates for Snowbirds

LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2020

Get updates about Canada/U.S. Land Border Travel Restrictions below. 

This page will be updated when significant changes or developments occur.

As of December 12, 2020:


Current Status of the Canada/U.S. Land Border Closure

  • On December 11, 2020, Canada and the United States agreed to extend the land border closure through January 21, 2021.
  • It is possible that the current land border travel restrictions may be extended on or prior to January 21 for one or more additional 30 periods or some other length of time, and there is currently no clear indication as to when land border travel restrictions may end.

What qualifies as "Essential Travel" vs. "Non-Essential Travel"?

In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determine what qualifies as "essential travel" and what is deemed "non-essential travel" to the U.S. from Canada

  • “Non-essential Travel” includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature, according to the DHS website.
  • "Essential Travel" is limited to individuals who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and other individuals travelling to the U.S. for clearly defined purposes that have been deemed essential. You can find a list of what qualifies as "Essential Travel" on the U.S. Embassy in Canada website.

Can Canadians who own U.S. real estate drive to the U.S.? 

Many rumours have been circulating that Canadians who own property in the U.S. are exempt from land border travel restrictions and are able to drive across the border if they are travelling to their property in the U.S.

However, this is not accurate.

At this time there is no directive deeming this type of travel to be "essential" and there is no exemption allowing Canadians who own U.S. property to drive across the border, although it is possible that this policy may change in the future.

Do travel restrictions apply to flights between Canada and the U.S.?

Land border travel restrictions do not apply to air travel from Canada to the U.S.

You can get more information about flying from Canada to the U.S. here.

NOTE: The information provided on this page is intended for Canadian citizens and permanent residents

Disclaimer: The material provided on the website is for informational purposes only and does NOT constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, real estate, medical or other advice, and should not be relied on as such. If you require such advice, you should retain a qualified professional to advise you.

Snowbird Services & Resources

Travel Insurance

The travel insurance specialists for snowbirds, boomers and seniors. Get the right coverage at the right price...

Virtual Pharmacy & Doctor Visits

Free prescription medication delivery + virtual doctor visits and more...

Currency Exchange

Save on currency exchange with preferred rates from Snowbird Advisor...

Vehicle Transport

Have your car shipped between Canada and the U.S. for the winter...

Snowbird Destination Guides

Get the inside scoop on select snowbird destinations...