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Visa & CustomsAll international visitors, regardless of country of origin, must present a valid passport or secure document when entering the United States, including Hawaiʻi. Travel.State.gov is an excellent resource for in-depth information on types of visitor visas. For more specific information on entering U.S. borders, please review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program enables nationals of 38 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. All travelers entering under this program are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel.
See U.S. Customs and Border Protection's frequently asked questions here.
While you are on the plane to Hawaiʻi, make sure you receive and complete the following forms. Each form must be completed on both sides in English, using black or blue ink.
- Customs Declaration Form. This form is required from all arriving passengers and crew, even if you have nothing to declare. One customs form may cover multiple persons as long as they are from the same household. Any type of dutiable good, food, plant or animal product must be declared. If you and your travel companions together are carrying $10,000 or more in cash or other negotiable instruments such as endorsed checks, you must declare it upon arrival. If you do not, it is subject to forfeiture. Your money is not subject to taxation or duty.
- Immigration Form. An immigration form is required from all non-U.S. citizens with the exception of permanent U.S. residents and Canadian citizens.
For information about admission into the United States, visit the Customs and Border Protection website.
The most important formality on entering the United States is providing proof of your Canadian
Information for Canadian Citizens
citizenship. Your Canadian passport is the best document for this, but review the complete list of documents and requirements below.
When arriving in Hawaiʻi by air, all Canadian citizens (including children) are required to produce a passport or NEXUS card, valid for the duration of their stay.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information. Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
More detailed information is available on the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) websites.
By Water (Cruise)
As per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Canadian citizens aged 16 and over must present one of the following documents when entering the U.S. by land or water:
- NEXUS card
- Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card
- Enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province or territory where a U.S.-approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented
- Secure Certificate of Indian Status
The WHTI-compliant document you choose to use must be valid for the duration of your stay in the United States. Canadian citizens aged 15 and under entering the U.S. by land or water require proof of citizenship, such as a passport, an original or a copy of a birth certificate or an original Canadian citizenship card. Canadian citizens aged 18 and under who are traveling with a school or other organized group under adult supervision with written parental/guardian consent must also present proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate or passport. For more information, consult the CBP website.
For additional information on utilizing a Secure Certificate of Indian Status as your entry identification, please visit Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Canadians who are permanent residents of the U.S. must comply with special entry requirements. For more information, consult the CBP website.
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada for the purposes of visiting or studying.
Length of Stay
Canadians, including “snowbirds” who winter in the U.S., are generally granted a stay for up to six months at the time of entry. The length of stay is determined at the port of entry by a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer and is based on the purpose of travel at the time of initial entry. If you wish to stay longer you must apply for an extension with the nearest office of USCIS once you are in the U.S. and before the expiry of your initial authorized stay. You may be asked to demonstrate that you are only visiting the U.S. temporarily.
Some Canadians may have U.S. as well as Canadian citizenship through birth in the U.S. or through naturalization or descent. Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport to enter or re-enter the U.S. by air. Although U.S. authorities do not formally require dual nationals to carry both a U.S. and a Canadian passport, carrying both documents as proof of citizenship may facilitate both entry into the U.S. and return to Canada. For more information, consult the Dual Citizenship section of the Travel.State.gov website of the U.S. Department of State, as well as the Laws and Culture tab.
For additional information on traveling as a Canadian, please visit www.travel.gc.ca.
CurrencyHawaiʻi uses the United States Dollar as its currency. Exchanging money in Hawaiʻi is as simple as using an ATM (automated teller machine), however, it’s helpful to exchange some of your currency before you travel so you’ll have money for cab fare and other incidentals.
Recently, U.S. currency has been reissued with new safety features, so there are many different varieties of bills and coins in circulation. U.S. paper bills come in $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Please note that some small stores and fast food outlets in Hawaiʻi will not accept bills over $20.
U.S. coins include the penny (one cent), nickel (five cents), dime (10 cents) and quarter (25 cents). There are also $1 coins, but they are not used very often, and can be easily mistaken for quarters.
What Can I Take Home?
Protecting ecosystems and agriculture goes two ways. Click here to find out which agricultural products you will be allowed to take on the plane.
For more information on what you can bring to and from Hawaii, click on the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture links below or call (808) 837-8413.
Traveling from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland
Traveling to and from Foreign Countries
Shipping items from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland
Before you return home, take a few minutes to check your country's return policies. Some of Hawaiʻi's plants, foods and products may not be accepted. We want you to have an enjoyable stay and be able take home your mementos.
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