Using ArriveCAN to enter Canada

Updated: Jan 08, 2024 | Tags: ArriveCAN, Canada Entry Requirements

As travel to Canada becomes easier, more and more travellers are preparing for trips to the country. However, even people who regularly visited Canada before and after the Covid-19 pandemic will find that travel regulations have changed. One of the most important changes is the introduction of ArriveCAN, the government's travel information app. If you're planning a trip to Canada, understanding what ArriveCAN does and how to use it.

Is ArriveCAN needed after COVID-19 precautions ended?

As of October 1, 2022, COVID-19 precautions for travellers entering or returning to Canada by air, land or sea have ended. Thus, you will not need to provide COVID-19 test results using the ArriveCAN app or website. ArriveCAN 

ArriveCAN was mandatory for almost all travellers entering Canada. However, ArriveCAN is now primarily used for Advance Declaration features to expedite arrivals when entering Canada and is thus not a requirement, like the Canada eTA.

You will not have use for ArriveCAN if you're passing through Canada enroute to another country. Air travellers who aren't leaving the secure section of the airport but catching a connecting flight to somewhere other than Canada do not need to submit their details using ArriveCAN.

Setting Up Your ArriveCAN Profile

The ArriveCAN app is available for both Android and iOS devices; you can download it either from Google Play or from the Apple App Store. The app is free, so beware of sites that claim you need to pay for it. ArriveCAN is available in English, French and Spanish.

If you don't have access to an Android or iOS device, you can use ArriveCAN via its web interface. The web interface can also be useful if you use assistive technology such as a magnifier or screen reader. If you're an Internet Explorer user, you'll need to switch to another web browser, since the web version of ArriveCAN isn't compatible with IE.

Providing your information

When you sign into ArriveCAN, you'll be asked to provide details about yourself and about your journey. This includes your full name, date of birth, passport details, and contact information. You'll need access to your travel documents, such as passports and visas. Once you've finished your first submission, you'll be able to save personal information for each traveller, meaning that you won't have to resubmit that information the next time you want to visit Canada.

For each person travelling on the journey, you'll have to submit full contact information. In addition, you'll need to provide the reason for your travel, as well as the details of your journey. This information includes your flight details if you're arriving by air, port of origin and boarding time if you're arriving by sea, and date, time, and port of arrival in all cases.

Your ArriveCAN receipt

Once you've finished providing your information, you'll see an ArriveCAN receipt appear in the app. If you completed your submission using the web version of ArriveCAN, a copy of the receipt will be emailed to the address you provided. This receipt doesn't validate the information you've provided or confirm your eligibility to enter Canada. However, it's still important as proof that you have submitted your information as required. You'll need to show your receipt to your airline or other carrier before boarding.

Once you've received your ArriveCAN receipt, you can't edit your submission. If you need to alter your details (for instance, if your travel plans change), you will need to create a new submission.

In total, creating your ArriveCAN account and filling out your first submission should take you a few minutes but can expedite border crossings into Canada.

Arriving into Canada with ArriveCAN

Upon arrival, use an airport kiosk or eGate, where available, to scan your travel documents. Groups of up to 5 travelers can utilize a single kiosk simultaneously. Individual travelers aged 16 and over are eligible to use eGates.

  • At the kiosk or eGate, you can review and modify your declaration if necessary.
  • Complete the process by submitting your definitive declaration.
  • Present the receipt obtained from the kiosk or eGate to a border services officer for additional processing. Should there be any changes to your declaration prior to your arrival, you have the option to update your declaration at the airport's kiosk or eGate.

In the event you fail to verify / certify your declaration at a kiosk or eGate within 72 hours of making it, the declaration becomes invalid. Consequently, you will be required to submit a new declaration. This could occur in situations such as flight delays or trip postponements.

Advance CBSA Declaration

If you're flying into a participating airport, you can also use ArriveCAN to fill out your Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) declaration in advance, saving time on arrival. Using the advance CBSA declaration is optional; you can still fill it out on arrival if you prefer.

Expedite Customs and Immigration with ArriveCan Advance Declaration

Use the the Advanced Declaration feature in the ArriveCAN application to pre-emptively complete your customs and immigration declaration before arriving at select Canadian airports. When you land:

  • Verify (affirm) your declaration at a kiosk or eGate for a 30% increase in processing speed.
  • Access the dedicated express lanes for Early Declaration.

Please be aware that currently, the Early Declaration cannot be used with NEXUS kiosks.

Below are a list of airports that support Advance Declaration:

  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) (Terminals 1 and 3)
  • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Ottawa International Airport (YOW)
  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)

Deleting ArriveCAN

Once you've completed your journey, you can delete the ArriveCAN app. If you have to complete daily check-ins, you will need to use the web version of ArriveCAN to do so. Deleting the app will not delete your account, which you can do separately in the app or on the web. However, if you delete your account before entering Canada, your receipt will also be deleted. You'll have to register again and resubmit your information if you want to enter the country.

Mastering ArriveCAN

The ArriveCAN app and web service are a key part of Canada's strategy to expedite processing of arrivals into Canada. Submitting your travel information on ArriveCAN ahead of departure takes a few extra minutes, but it helps to ensure that your experience at border control will go smoothly and that you and others can travel to Canada safely.