I will be working in Canada this summer under the "Global Skills Strategy" program. While the invitation letter of the institution hosting me as a "NOC 4012 - Visiting Scholar, Award Recipient" has well defined start/end dates, I would like after the end date of my appointment to spend a couple more weeks in Canada as a tourist. In order to be considered as a tourist after this appointment, I have to physically re-enter Canada. As far as I am aware this can be done at the Niagara Falls Border.

The question though is, after exiting Canada, is there an intermediate zone before the Canada/US border? That is, when exiting Canada do I first need to get rejected from the US border (as I do not hold a US visa nor ESTA) before coming back or once I cross the Canadian border, at once may I return?

I'd appreciate any input and also, any links about entering Canada by land as a European passport holder.


1 Answer 1


While it may be possible to exit Canada and re-enter without attempting to enter the United States, in your circumstances this would be inadvisable. Consider the situation where, for some reason, you were denied entry back into Canada. You would be stuck in between border crossings, with no possibility to go either way.

(I have done something similar, exited the US at the bridge in Buffalo and re-entered the US without entering Canada. However, I hold a Canadian passport so there was no possibility of getting stuck.)

If you are eligible for ESTA, I would suggest getting one before exiting Canada, so that you have somewhere to go if things go wrong. If you're uncomfortable about getting an ESTA and not actually using it, then enter the US after you exit Canada and spend a few hours there.

  • 2
    But ESTA is entirely irrelevant for crossing a land border into the USA. Apr 12, 2022 at 9:35
  • @AriBrodsky this faq from CBP states that if you have an ESTA, you don't have to fill out the I94W form.
    – mkennedy
    Apr 12, 2022 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .