I am a Canadian citizen. I am traveling to the USA from the United Kingdom (I am on a working holiday visa for the U.K.). The British friends I am traveling with need to apply for an ESTA. I am aware that Canadians cannot apply for this, but will I need another visa to enter if I am traveling from the U.K.?

I have gone to this website http://www.esta.us/canada.html , and I am confused at what it says.

"Important Facts for Canadian citizens:

In most cases Canadian passport holders are not required to hold a U.S. visa to enter the United States directly from Canada. Canada is not a part of the Visa Waiver Program and Canadian passport holders do not need and cannot apply for ESTA."

The part where it says "directly from Canada" makes it very confusing, since I'll be traveling from the U.K.

  • 3
    Not only do you not need an ESTA, you're not eligible for one unless you hold a non-Canadian/US citizenship. Canadians only need visas in the US in rare circumstances, e.g. for very long stays, to stay for employment, and the like. May 19, 2018 at 13:45
  • 3
    @JimMacKenzie the visa exemption for Canadian citizens extends to the most common employment statuses as well. H-1B and TN are absent from the list, for example. The duration of stay is not relevant, only the nonimmigrant category.
    – phoog
    May 19, 2018 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


You do not need a visa.

That website is not an official site. It exists for the purpose of overcharging people for their ESTA applications. Note the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, which states that it is "is a private information website not affiliated with the United States Government."

Have a look at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/, which by contrast has a banner at the top reading "Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security."

Its frequently asked questions page says

No, citizens of Canada who are traveling with a Canadian passport do not need an ESTA.

No mention of the point of origin.

As to the question of visas, have a look at the State Department's page on citizens of Canada and Bermuda:

Citizens of Canada traveling to the United States do not require a nonimmigrant visa, except for the travel purposes described below.

The purposes described are independent of the point of origin, and visiting for business or pleasure (the B-1 and B-2 categories) is of course not among them.

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