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Next June I'm going to attend a conference+school in Canada for 2 weeks, flying from Europe with a possible layover of some hours in JFK; I am Italian citizen.

Are there some requirements I must fullfill before departure, like e.g. asking Canadian or US embassy in my country for some visa (e.g. ESTA), or possessing some special kind of passport (I think mine is Machine-Readable, since I can look at the two lines of 44 digits each, but not biometric -- does it need some particular kind of photograph?), or some medical test (sorry if this sounds silly) ?

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With regards to Canada, you are fine. Italians do not need a visa and your passport is fine.

For the layover in New York you will need an ESTA from the Americans. You will also need an "e-Passport" if yours was issued after 10/25/06. See further here: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visa-waiver-program.html

  • A couple of notes, firstly since this answer was posted canada has introduced the ETA which visa-free visitors are required to get in advance when arriving by air. Secondly not all EU citizens are equal in this regard. – Peter Green Dec 15 '16 at 3:30

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