Ports of Entry

A Port of Entry (POE) is the first place you cross into Canada – it may be an airport, land crossing, or – in some cases – an entry port via boat. 

Upon entry to Canada, you will need to submit to an examination with an officer of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The officer may grant you entry into Canada if you are: 1) eligible to immigrate to Canada; 2) have made the appropriate applications (where required); and 3) not inadmissible to Canada.

You can enter Canada by air, car, or water. You can find a list of Ports of Entry on the CBSA website. 

By Air:

All of Canada’s international airports are considered a Port of Entry. Nova Scotia has two international airports – the JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport (in Cape Breton) and the Halifax Stanfield International Airport (mainland Nova Scotia). You will need to complete a Declaration Card or use a Primary Inspection Kiosk when you arrive. 

By Car:

Canada’s only land border is with the United States. If you’re coming from the US, you can enter Canada by car. A border services officer will examine your identification and travel documents. 

By Water:

You can also enter Canada by private boat. You will still need to present yourself to obtain CBSA clearance if you enter Canada by boat. From within Canada, you can get to Cape Breton from Newfoundland and Labrador aboard Marine Atlantic ferries. Ferries come from Port-aux-Basques and Argentia to North Sydney.

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Last Modified: June 26, 2023