The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) sent out a press release Thursday offering Washingtonians advice and tips that will make crossing the border a smoother process this Memorial Day weekend.
The CBSA says the border is going to be managed differently this summer due to evolving COVID-19 requirements, which means delays during peak travel periods are likely. However, the CBSA says whether a traveler is crossing the border on the road, by air or by water, there are things they can do to make the process easier for themselves and others.
ENSURE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO ENTER CANADA
Foreign nationals must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation. The final determination on entry is made by a border services officer at the port of entry.
UNDERSTAND THE RULES AROUND COVID-19
There are still border measures in place for COVID-19. Foreign nationals must be vaccinated with Government of Canada-accepted vaccines.
USE ArriveCAN (Free mobile app or website)
All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN up to 72 hours before entering Canada. ArriveCAN collects contact, health and travel information to protect the health and safety of travelers and expedite processing at the border. It is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for travelers to show they meet public health requirements.
- Travelers must ensure they have the most up-to-date version of the ArriveCAN app.
- Travelers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when they travel.
- Travelers without a smartphone or without mobile data can submit their information by signing in online through a computer or smartphone. If travelers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can have a friend or family member enter the information for them.
HAVE YOUR DOCUMENTS READY
Travelers should have the following ready to present to the border services officer:
- Their ArriveCAN receipt.
- Passport or travel documents.
- Proof of vaccination.
- Identification for all persons in the vehicle.
PLAN AHEAD AND CHECK BORDER WAIT TIMES
Travelers crossing the border by land are encouraged to plan to cross during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Washington State Department of Transportation released its travel charts for the holiday weekend on the best and worst times to be on I-90 and I-5.
To view our live traffic map, click here.
ENTERING CANADA BY WATER
Unless exempt, all travelers entering Canada by water, must report their arrival to the CBSA without delay. All travelers, including those with a right of entry (Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons registered under the Indian Act), must submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN before, or when, entering Canada at a marine port of entry.
KNOW THE CONTENTS OF YOUR VEHICLE
Travelers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
BE PREPARED TO DECLARE
Travelers entering Canada should be ready to declare all goods in their possession:
- Declare any foods, plants, or animals such as raw poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, to the border services officer.
- RESTRICTIONS: There are currently restrictions on imports of live birds, bird products and by-products from states affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the United States. For more information on all import requirements, click here.
- Declare all money or currency of CAN$10,000 or more.
- CANNABIS: Transporting cannabis across the border in any form, including any oils containing THC or CBD remains a serious criminal offense subject to arrest and prosecution, despite the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
- Advance Declaration. Air travelers landing in Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) may use ArriveCAN (Web version) to complete their customs and immigrations declaration in advance of their arrival in Canada. This feature will be expanded to other airports in the future
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN
When traveling with children, it is recommended that the accompanying adult have a consent letter authorizing them to travel with the child. Border services officers are always watching for missing children, and in the absence of the letter, officers may ask additional questions, to help them identify the relationship between the child and the accompanying adult.
The CBSA invests significant effort annually to plan and prepare for peak periods, such as the summer months. The Agency works with bridge and tunnel operators, airport authorities and travel industry groups to plan and review service requirements, enhancement opportunities, and required resources, so that we can deliver together the best service to all travelers.
For more information, visit the CBSA Website here or call them at 1-800-461-9999.