The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers that it anticipates higher volume of travellers over the holiday season at its ports of entry. The CBSA shares the following tips to facilitate your border crossing.
Travellers are encouraged to:
- Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, the holidays results in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tend to be busiest, plan around it.
- Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy – Know your personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document. Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. It is recommended you travel with a passport as it is the only universally recognized travel document.
- Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada – refer to I Declare on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth.
- Know the contents of your vehicle – Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods.
- Become a NEXUS member – NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS members receive expedited border clearance in the land, air, and marine modes, and a NEXUS membership is valid for five years. Additionally, you may take advantage of NEXUS expedited benefits when going through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at key airports across Canada.
- Use the Automated Border Clearance (ABC) kiosks at Canadian airports – ABC is a self-service kiosk eligible travelers can use to help expedite their entry into Canada. Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport and Canadian permanent residents (PR) with a valid PR card returning to Canada, and U.S. citizens may use the ABC kiosk.
- Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.
For more information, visit the CBSA website at www.cbsa.gc.ca or contact the Border Information Service at 1‑800‑461-9999.