travel canada

What You Need To Know About Using The ArriveCAN App

Are you thinking of travelling soon? A quick trip down to Seattle or perhaps a further trip located in Asia or Europe? Well, regardless of where you go, you’ll now have to download the ArriveCAN mobile app and fill out your information to come back to Canada. Foreign nationals who are looking to visit Canada, this applies to you too!

What is the ArriveCAN app?

The ArriveCAN mobile app is designed by the Government of Canada and is used by travellers to submit mandatory travel and health information before landing at any Canadian airport. Initially, downloading the app was only mandatory for air travellers when it was first launched in November of 2020. Fliers had to input their travel details and vaccination status before boarding their flight to Canada. But since February 22, 2021, the use of the ArriveCAN app has been mandatory for both air and land travellers. 

Where can I find the ArriveCAN app?

The ArriveCAN app is currently available for iOS and Android users. iOS users can head over to the App Store to download the platform, while Android users can find it on the Google Play store. The app supports English, French, and Spanish – you can download the latest version or select “update” to get the latest features. 

For those who don’t use iOS or Android, ArriveCAN is also available here. Sign in or create an account and then follow instructions on how to complete the application. 

What information will they need from me?

  1. Up-to-date personal information
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Passport number
    • Contact information (email address, home address, phone number, etc.)
  2. Travel itinerary
    • Purpose of travel
    • Which countries you have visited
    • Flight number and airline
  3. Proof of vaccination
    • Physical copy of vaccination records that prove you received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
    • Photo evidence of the record
    • Where and when you received each dose
  4. Quarantine plan
    • A place to stay for 14 days 
    • Access to food, water, medication, and other necessities for quarantining

When do I submit my information, and what happens after I do? 

You’ll need to submit all of your information into the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours before you land in Canada. This means that the latest you can do it is before you board the plane, as you probably won’t have any WiFi while you’re high up in the sky! The Government of Canada recommends that you fill it out at least 24 hours before your flight so that you don’t run into any issues or, even worse, forget! The information you put into the app will then generate a summary of your information, which will be used by Border Service Officers to support health screening protocols. 

According to the Government of Canada website, downloading and filling out the necessary information on ArriveCAN before your arrival has other benefits as well. Most notably, it can reduce wait times at ports of entry. It also limits points of contact, which means that exposure to COVID-19 is also drastically reduced. Think of it like checking in online: when you check in from your computer and print your boarding pass ahead of time, you can skip those long, in-person lines! 

What happens if I don’t submit my information through ArriveCAN? 

According to Canada’s Border Service Agency, if you don’t submit your information through ArriveCAN, you might be denied entry. In particular, if you are a foreign national, you may be denied the following:

  • boarding if arriving by air or by cruise ship
  • entry into Canada if crossing at land, rail or marine border crossing

If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, person registered under the Indian Act, or a foreign national eligible to enter Canada under another entry exemption (foreign work, study, compassionate grounds, etc.), you will not be denied boarding but you:

  • Will not be eligible for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption
  • May be required to quarantine and or complete an arrival and Day-8 test
  • May face further delays at the border for questioning
  • May be subject to fines of up to $5,000 and or enforcement action

But what if I’m just passing through Canada to another country? 

For example, if you are from Mexico and passing through Canada to get to Alaska, you are not required to submit information through the ArriveCAN app. Any traveller who arrives in Canada as a result of a stopover and does not leave the airport does not have to submit anything as long as they are transiting through Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, or Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. 

Source: Everything B.C. Travellers Need To Know About Using ArriveCAN App, CTVNews Coronavirus in Ottawa, Government of Canada: ArriveCAN to Enter Canada

Disclaimer:  The information is obtained directly from the Government of Canada website and websites that appear in the source section. The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing(Aug 2, 2022), but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check their official website and digital channels.

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