Information for Travelers

Notice regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

17 March 2020 - ISPD Headquarters and the Board of Directors have been continuously monitoring the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada, and US Department of State on the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. We are aware of the increasing number of travel bans being imposed by hospitals, organizations, and universities around the globe as well the new restrictions announced on international travel.

With the recent announcement of Canada closing borders to most noncitizens, the ISPD Executive Committee will be meeting to discuss the impact on the conference. ISPD is also investigating options including remote presentations and remote attendance. 
Please do not make travel arrangements at this time.


Travel Visas

eTA Required for Visa Exempt Foreign Nationals

As of 10 November 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada.

Exceptions include U.S. citizens, and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents are not eligible to apply for an eTA.

Find out if you need an eTA or a visa to travel to Canada.

Visa Applications

Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that delegates visit the website of the Canadian visa office responsible for processing their visa application. Information is available on the website on how to submit a visa application and the documentation required.

Processing times for visa applications vary depending on the visa office and the time of the year. Participants are encouraged to apply approximately 12 weeks in advance of their departure date to ensure they receive the visa in time.

Electronic Applications (e-Apps)
  • This system allows clients to submit applications online.
  • Delegates that choose to apply on-line will not have to submit their passport until requested to do so by a visa officer.
  • The visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passports to finalize the visa process.
Submission at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)In person or by mail
  • VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants.
  • VACs provide a number of services to clients, including help applicants fill out forms, answer questions and ensure that applications are complete.
  • Reduces unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications.
  • VACs serve as a collection point for applicants required to provide a biometric (see below).
  • VACs send applications to visa offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner.
  • VACs do not process visa applications and have no decision-making authority.
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to give your biometrics:
  • Starting 31 July 2018 the biometric requirement became mandatory for nationals of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
  • Starting 31 December 2018 the biometric requirement became mandatory for nationals of Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

For additional information on whether or not you require a biometric, please refer to the fast facts about Biometrics.


Customs and Immigration

Airport Baggage Claim and Inspection

Montréal Airport customs page

Entering Canada by Ground

Canada Border Services Agency