Travel advice and general information about Canada.

This is not official advice. If you need help, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

Table of Contents

About Canada

Canada is a sovereign country and Commonwealth realm located in North America, which is constituted of ten provinces and three territories. Each province and territory has its own legislature and laws can therefore vary across Canada.

Population: 40 million

Language: English, French

Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)

Religion: Christianity (53%)

Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Political Rights and Civil Liberties: 97/100 (Free country)

Head of State: His Majesty King Charles III

Head of Government: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau PC MP

Information for Barbadian nationals

Entry requirements

Barbadians do not need a visa to enter Canada for tourism purposes, or to visit friends / family. You can usually stay in Canada as a visitor for up to six months, but this is at the discretion of the Canadian border authorities. You may be asked to prove that you have the means to support yourself.

Persons entitled to travel to Canada without a visa must have an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) prior to travel. To apply for an eTA, complete the online application form. Please note the Government of Canda imposes a non-refundable application fee of CAD $7. If your application is approved, your eTA is valid for five years or until your passport expires (whichever is sooner).

Having an eTA does not mean that you are guaranteed entry into Canada. You will still be assessed by an officer of the Canadian Border Services Agency on arrival to determine your suitability for admission.

Currency and payments

The currency in Canada is called the Canadian Dollar (CAD). $1 is equivalent to 100 cents. Foreign currencies are not accepted by local businesses as a means of payment.

Local laws and customs

There is zero tolerance to the possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs in Canada. Persons convicted of drugs-related offences can expect long prison sentences and heavy fines.

Communication style

Don't try to mimic the Canadian accent.

Avoid speaking in Bajan creole or using Bajan terms or idioms as the locals will not understand you.

Be mindful how you respond to closed questions. Avoid responding with "no, please" in all situations as this phrase sounds unusual to persons outside Barbados and may cause confusion. If you are asked a question in which you are being offered something, you should respond with "yes, please" or "no, thank you". For all other yes/no questions, you should simply respond with "yes" or "no" and avoid using the verb "please" as this will confuse a Canadian or cause a misunderstanding.

Avoid saying "good night" as a greeting as this will cause a misunderstanding. In Canada, the expression "good night" is only ever used when departing. To greet someone in the late evening, even if the time is one minute before midnight, it is customary to say "good evening". If it's after 12 PM but before 5 PM, you should say "good afternoon".

Cultural differences

Never hang up the phone without saying bye. This would be considered rude, even in informal settings.

You may see public displays of affection between same-sex couples, such as hand-holding. Do not express derogatory remarks about a person's sexuality: homophobia is not tolerated in Canada.

If you are arrested or detained in Canada

The High Commission of Barbados in Ottawa may be notified of your arrest. You may be able to ask the Canadian government not to notify, but this is at the discretion of the local authorities.

If you are not sure whether the Barbados government has been notified of your arrest, you have the right to ask the police to notify Consular Services of the High Commission of Barbados in Ottawa and they must comply with your request without delay.

Any person charged with a criminal offence has the right to receive a timely, fair and public hearing by an independent, impartial court and to be tried by jury. You have the right to be present at your trial and to consult with an attorney at law of your choice. You cannot be compelled to testify or confess guilt. These rights are guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution.

You may be entitled to free legal aid if you are charged with a criminal offence and do not have the means to pay for your defence. To apply for legal aid, you should submit a request to the nearest legal aid centre of the province or territory in which you are located. If you cannot visit a legal aid centre in person because you are detained by the police, you have the right to call your nearest legal aid centre by telephone.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, if you are travelling overseas you should also take your Barbadian passport with you, as you will need it to re-enter Barbados without being subject to immigration control.