Note:  The AAS has provided this information below as a courtesy but encourage each individual travelling to do your due diligence to ensure all travel documents and requirements are in order and completed. 

Travel to Canada | Visa Information | F-1 Student US Re-entry Information | Letter of Invitation

Travel to Canada

U.S. Residents

Travel to/from US/Canada requires the use of a passport.  All U.S. residents must show a passport when traveling via air.  If traveling by land, you may present either an enhanced Drivers License (issued by the states of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington) or a Passport.


Non-U.S. Residents - Visa-exempt Foreign Nationals

NEW! - Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.

To check to see if you need an eTA, click here.

More information regarding eTA, view this video.


VISA Information

Not sure if you need a visitor visa to travel to Canada?

View this Government of Canada webpage and select 'Find out if you need a Visitor VISA'.  You need only to select the country code that matches the one on your passport and click Go.  The website will generate a response.  If the answer is "You need a visa to visit or transit Canada", next steps will be provided. 

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

Attendees are encouraged to submit a visa application well in advance of the March conference at a Visa Application Centre or on-line E-applications (e-Apps).


This system allows clients to submit applications online.

Attendees that need a visa but require their passport for other travel purposes are strongly encouraged to submit their visa applications on-line (e-Apps).  Attendees that choose to apply on-line will not have to submit their passport until a decision has been taken on their applications.  If required, the visa office will send the applicant instructions on how and where to send their passwords to finalize the visa process.

Visa Application Centres (VACs)

VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants.

VACs provide a number of services including help applicants fill out forms, answer questions and ensure that applications are complete, thereby reducing unnecessary delays or refusals due to incomplete applications.

Applicants that are required to provide biometrics information as part of the visa application process can do so at a VAC.  Additional information on the biometrics requirements is available at the IRCC website.

VACs send applications to Visa Offices and transmit decisions to applicants in a secure and confidential manner.  VACs do not process visa applications and play no role in the decision-making process.

Visa Application Processing Times:

Processing time for visa applications vary depending on the office an the time of the year.  Conference participants are encouraged to apply early for a Visa.


F-1 Student Visa Holders in the U.S. - Re-entry to the U.S.

If you are in the United States on a Student Visa, please make sure to check with your University regarding the documents required to RE-ENTER the United States. 

Students should consult their Designated School Official (DSO) prior to travelling. Your DSO generally works in the International Student Office. You must have a current SEVIS Form I-20 endorsed for travel and your DSO needs to be able to verify that your SEVIS record is accurate and up-to-date.

Official government information may be found on the

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website

Please make sure you also check with the appropriate government agency to ensure your travel

Additionally, you may need a Canada visitor visa.  Check the Canadian Consulate's website to see if you need a visitor visa and if so, how to apply. Plan ahead, as processing can take approximately one month or longer. Applications are accepted online or by mail.

Citizens of many countries might also be required to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a visitor visa to Canada.

You must have a valid travel signature on your current I-20 or DS-2019 (J-1) before you apply for a Canadian visa.   

The AAS has provided this partial information for your convenience.  This is not meant to be the complete information regarding the process of traveling to Canada and re-entering the USA.  Please check with the appropriate officials.


Letter of Invitation

To assist you with your Visa Application, the AAS will provide a Letter of Invitation to all individuals participating on a panel session and/or anyone registered to attend the AAS conferenece.   

CLICK HERE to request a letter of invitation.

If you are not a formal panel participant or have NOT registered for the conference we are unable to provide a letter of invitation.