January 11, 2021 − by Henry Chang − in COVID-19, General − Comments Off on ArriveCAN


As part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all travellers are required to provide contact and quarantine information prior to and following their entry into Canada.  To facilitate this process, the Canada Border Services Agency introduced ArriveCAN in April 2020.  ArriveCAN can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; travellers can also access it online at the CBSA website.  

Purpose of ArriveCAN

ArriveCAN is used for the following purposes:

  1. To collect a traveller’s contact information, as well as those of any accompanying family members (i.e., name, date of birth, phone number, and travel document details);
  2. To collect a traveller’s travel details (i.e., date of arrival, port of entry, flight number, airport, and airline);
  3. To collect details regarding a traveller’s purpose for travel (e.g., work, study, family reunification, compassionate reasons, etc.);
  4. To obtain confirmation regarding the symptoms a traveller may be experiencing prior to entry;
  5. To collect details regarding a traveller’s quarantine plan (if not exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine requirement), including:
    1. Confirmation regarding whether the traveller has a place to quarantine or isolate for 14 days;
    2. Address of the traveller’s place of quarantine or isolation; and
    3. Confirmation regarding whether:
      1. People at increased risk from COVID-19 will be present at the traveller’s place of quarantine or isolation;
      2. The traveller’s place of quarantine or isolation is: (A) a group living environment, (B) houses multiple families, or (C) contains roommates that cannot be avoided; and
      3. The traveller will have access to basic necessities without leaving quarantine (i.e., water, food, medication, and heat).
  6. To receive an ArriveCAN confirmation receipt, which may be shown to CBSA officers; and
  7. To report after entry and complete COVID-19 symptom self-assessments (unless exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine requirement).

ArriveCAN does not currently ask travellers for COVID-19 test results.

Pre-Arrival to Canada

As of November 21, 2020, air travellers (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) whose final destination is Canada are required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN.  ArriveCAN submissions must be made before travellers board their flight, and can be completed up to 365 days before a scheduled flight. 

Travellers will not be denied boarding if they fail to submit the required information via ArriveCAN.  However, they may nonetheless:

  1. Encounter additional delays upon arrival for public health questioning; and/or
  2. Be subject to enforcement action, which can range from a verbal warning to a fine of $1,000.00 CAN.

Air travellers are not required to submit their information through ArriveCAN if transiting to another country, and do not leave the secure area at a Canadian airport.

While the use of ArriveCAN for travel by land or sea is not mandatory at the present time, it is encouraged in order to speed up processing at the border, and limit points of contact.

Post-Entry to Canada

Regardless of method of travel (i.e. air, land, or sea), all travellers must report daily following their entry to Canada, unless exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine requirement. ArriveCAN can only be used for post-entry reporting if the traveller used ArriveCAN prior to entry.  If a traveller did not use ArriveCAN prior to entry (or if ArriveCAN is not functioning properly despite the fact that the traveller used it prior to entry), they must instead call 1-833-641-0343 to meet the post-entry reporting requirements.

In order to meet the post-entry reporting requirements, travellers must do the following:

  1. Provide confirmation of arrival at the previously-indicated address for their place of quarantine or isolation within 48 hours of entry into Canada; and
  2. Complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments until the quarantine period has ended, or until the traveller reports symptoms.

The Public Health Agency of Canada or other public health official may contact travellers who fail to complete the above reports.

ArriveCAN Submission for Multiple Travellers

A primary traveller may use ArriveCAN to provide travel information for themselves and the following accompanying travellers:

  1. The traveller’s spouse or common-law partner;
  2. The traveller’s children, or any children for whom he or she has legal guardianship (children must be 18 years of age or younger); and
  3. Any other adult for whom the traveller is a legal guardian.

A primary traveller can include information for up to eight travellers (including the primary traveller) in a single submission. However, a single submission for multiple travellers is only appropriate when:

  1. All travellers will stay together at the same address for the entire quarantine or isolation period; and
  2. The primary traveller has permission from the other travellers to collect and share their information.

If travelling with a child who possesses no documentation other than a birth certificate, the primary traveller does not need to submit their information via ArriveCAN, and will complete an alternative process at the port of entry.

Travellers Exempt from the Self-Quarantine Requirement

Travellers exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine requirement are not required to provide the following via ArriveCAN:

  1. Details of their quarantine plan; and
  2. Symptom self-assessments following their entry into Canada.

However, such travellers are still required to provide their contact information, travel details, and confirmation regarding any symptoms they may be experiencing prior to entry. 

ArriveCAN will not confirm that a traveller is exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine requirement, as this will be determined by a CBSA officer upon their arrival in Canada.

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