The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) expects a busy summer at border crossings beginning with the Victoria Day weekend.
Summer is always busy at border crossings, but with continuing requirements around COVID-19, CBSA is advising travellers to expect delays.
The best way to reduce wait times is to be aware and prepared with proper documentation, which means completing the mandatory ArriveCAN submission within 72 hours before arriving at the border.
Starting April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests were no longer required for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada by land, air or water. All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, are required to submit their information in ArriveCAN (free as a mobile app or by website), up to 72 hours before entering Canada. ArriveCAN collects contact, health and travel information to protect the health and safety of travellers and expedite processing at the border. It is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for travellers to show they meet public health requirements.
• Travellers must ensure they have the most up-to-date version of the ArriveCAN app.
• Travellers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCAN receipt and bring it with them when they travel.
• Travellers without a smartphone or without mobile data can submit their information by signing in online. If travellers are unable to enter their information themselves, they can have a friend or family member enter the information for them.
You can answer a few quick questions online to determine if you can enter Canada. Right now travellers flying into Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) can use ArriveCAN to complete customs and immigrations declarations. This service will be expanded to other airports in the future.
CBSA also advises that you try to avoid peak hours, such as a Monday on a long weekend. Try early morning.
Have all your receipts for purchases made outside the country, and know your exemption limits. Residents can bring back tax and duty free goods valued at CAN$200 after being away for 24 hours, and goods valued at CAN$800 after 48 hours. There are no personal exemptions for same-day cross-border shopping trips, so be prepared to pay tax on those purchases and possibly duty.