Because I have a previous history of being denied entry into the UK for inadequate paperwork, my eTA application is in serious danger.

Even after my eTA application is denied, can I enter Canada by car from the USA as a VMP citizen?

My passport allows me to enter Canada and the USA without a visa.

Thank you!

  • 1
    Please state your nationality, it's very important in questions such as this one. I see you wrote it already and then deleted it. Please add it back. Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


A Japanese passport holder visiting Canada by land from the US does not need an eTA to apply for admission. If you fly, even if you fly from the US, you do need an eTA, however.

The easiest way to know if you will be accepted or rejected for an eTA is to apply for one. It is possible that your UK immigration history will present problems for your Canadian travel, or it is possible that it might not.

If you do apply for an eTA and are denied, it is likely that whatever causes that denial will also cause you to be denied entry at a Canadian land border, or at a minimum to undergo a lot of extra scrutiny. Again, though, the only way to know with certainty what will happen is to attempt the visit and see what happens.

Note that US immigration is not especially less strict than Canadian immigration; if you are not currently physically present in the US and there is some problem with your immigration history that would prevent you from visiting Canada, it may also prevent you from visiting the US. Yet again, however, the only way to know with certainty is to attempt the ESTA application and the trip and to see what happens.

If you have special concerns and wish to maximize the chances of success, it may be wise to hire a qualified immigration attorney licensed in the country you seek to visit.

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    @Mick You will still be assessed by Canada border officials as you cross the border, so eTA issues are likely to also be border officer issues
    – Midavalo
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 16:46
  • OK, so I should not try to cross the border by car in this case. I appreciate this.
    – Mick
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 9:23

UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand share huge amounts of intelligence data (incl. immigration-related data) through the Five Eyes alliance.

If your denial of entry to the UK has been due to a minor problem, you can safely attempt entering Canada directly. If you committed a more serious offence (such as presenting fraudulent paperwork or otherwise lying anyhow) and got a permanent ban, both US and Canadian officials would know. It's impossible to game the Canadian immigration officials by entering not by air, but by land from the US.

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