For information on:
- immigration measures for people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, refer to the following: Immigration measures for people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – Canada.ca
Table of Contents
- Part 1 – Transporter Obligations and Liabilities
- 1. Obligation Not to Carry Improperly Documented or Prescribed Persons to Canada
- 2. Obligation to Hold Documents
- 3. Obligation to Present and Hold Persons for Immigration Examination
- 4. Obligation to Provide Facilities
- 5. Removal Obligations – Carrying Inadmissible Persons from Canada
- 6. Obligation to Provide Information upon Request
- 7. Requirement to Deposit Security
- Immigration Processes at the Port of Entry
- Part 2 – Advance Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR) and the Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) Initiative
- Part 3 – Administration Fees
- Part 4 – Document Requirements
- 1. Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and Registered Indians
- 2. Foreign Nationals Travelling to Become Permanent Residents (Intending Immigrants)
- 3. Foreign Nationals Travelling to Become Temporary Residents (Visit/Study/Work)
- 4. Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions
- 5. Crew Members
- 6. Minors
- Part 5 – Document Examinations
- Part 6 – Transit Without Visa and China Transit Programs
- Part 7 – Trusted Traveller Programs
- Part 8 – Support to Transporters
- Part 9 – CBSA Liaison Officers (LOs)
- Part 10 – Document Images and Exemplars
The Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) Guide for Transporters is designed to ensure that transporters are fully aware of Canada's immigration requirements and the immigration control documents that are required of visitors and immigrants travelling to Canada. It is also designed to ensure that transporters understand their obligations under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the operational, procedural and financial liabilities set out in the accompanying Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
This guide has been updated to reflect recent changes to the IRPR, most notably, the introduction of the electronic travel authorization (eTA) as a prescribed travel document in the air mode. As of March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will require an eTA. Exceptions include U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. A full list of eTA exemptions can be found on the Government of Canada website.
Foreign nationals who require an eTA can apply online and are normally approved within minutes, as long as no immigration concerns exist. Once approved, the eTA is electronically linked to the passport used in the eTA application. An eTA is valid for 5 years or until a person's passport expires, whichever comes first.
To validate this new eTA requirement, the CBSA has implemented the Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) initiative, which will allow the Agency to provide interactive board or no-board messages to commercial air carriers. These board/no-board messages serve to assist the commercial transporter in meeting their transporter obligations by validating whether its passengers have an eTA or visa, if required. These interactive messages are a tool to further assist airlines in their decision to board and do not replace the requirement for commercial transporters to physically examine a passenger's travel documents.
Note: This Guide is now offered only in electronic format, consistent with the Government of Canada Publishing Guidelines. It will be updated as required.
Part 1 – Transporter Obligations and Liabilities
Transporters that carry passengers to Canada must adhere to specific transporter obligations and have certain liabilities as defined in IRPA and IRPR. Transporters are also responsible to pay for all prescribed costs and fees relating to these obligations. The obligations and liabilities are as follows:
1. Obligation Not to Carry Improperly Documented or Prescribed Persons to Canada
Passengers carried by transporters must be properly documented for travel to Canada. Transporters must not carry to Canada any person who does not hold the prescribed documents required for entry. In addition, transporters must not carry to Canada any person who is prescribed or who an officer directs not to be carried. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the assessment of an administration fee, or in exceptional circumstances, the seizure of a transporter's vehicle. Prescribed documents include:
- passports and travel documents;
- visas required by foreign nationals to enter Canada;
- valid permanent resident cards;
- travel documents issued to permanent residents abroad to facilitate their return to Canada;
- single journey travel documents issued to refugees selected abroad for resettlement in Canada;
- travel documents issued by Canada to persons on whom the Government of Canada has conferred protection as refugees or protected persons; and
- electronic travel authorization (eTA).
Prescribed persons include:
- any foreign national who is the subject of a declaration made under subsection 22.1(1) of the Act, unless they hold a temporary resident permit issued under section 24 of the Act;
- any foreign national who is not authorized under subsection 52(1) of the Act to return to Canada; and
- any foreign national who is prohibited from entering Canada by an order or regulation made by the Governor in Council under the Emergencies Act or the Quarantine Act.
A transporter must require persons exempt from the legal requirement for a passport, visa or eTA, to present sufficient credible evidence to support all identity, citizenship and/or residency requirements.
The responsibility to ensure that a passenger is properly documented applies from the time the transporter boards the person at the final embarkation point before arrival in Canada until that person is presented for examination at a Canadian port of entry.
If there is doubt surrounding the authenticity of a travel document or whether the passenger is the rightful holder of a document, boarding should be refused and the person concerned should be referred to local control authorities.
2. Obligation to Hold Documents
To ensure that a person is properly documented when presented to an officer for examination at a port of entry, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act authorizes transporters to hold a passenger's travel documents. Where a commercial transporter has reasonable grounds to believe that the prescribed documents of a person it is carrying to Canada may not be available for examination at a port of entry, despite the apparent authenticity of the documents, the commercial transporter must hold the documents until examination and give the person a receipt for the documents.
Transporters may use form BSF575 (see Part 10 I-19), Receipt for Prescribed Document under R260, which can be ordered via the CBSA website, or one of their choosing; the type of receipt used is at the transporter's discretion. A transporter who holds a passenger's documents must give the documents and a copy of the receipt to a CBSA officer when presenting the person for examination.
3. Obligation to Present and Hold Persons for Immigration Examination
Transporters are required to present all persons they carry to Canada for examination and to hold them until the examination is completed. The transporter has complied with the obligation to hold a person for examination when:
- a CBSA officer informs the transporter that the examination of the person is completed;
- the person is authorized to enter Canada for further examination or an admissibility hearing; or
- the person is detained under any Canadian law.
A CBSA officer may request a representative of the transporter to sign Form BSF453, Confirmation by Transporter Regarding Passenger(s) Carried (see Part 10 I-20).
Transporters must immediately notify a CBSA officer if a passenger eludes or attempts to elude examination.
4. Obligation to Provide Facilities
Transporters must provide facilities for the holding and examination of persons being carried to Canada unless facilities for the examination and holding of persons are available at the port of entry. At international airports, transporters normally hold their passengers inside the terminal building, provided their passengers are not in transit. Persons arriving on cargo ships, however, must always be held aboard until examinations are completed.
Transporters are required to provide, equip and maintain facilities at ports of entry for the holding and examination of persons being carried to Canada. This requirement applies to commercial transporters and transporters who operate an airport, international bridge or tunnel.
5. Removal Obligations – Carrying Inadmissible Persons from Canada
In certain circumstances, commercial transporters must carry from Canada inadmissible foreign nationals that they bring to Canada. This requirement applies to foreign nationals who:
- are directed to leave pursuant to Regulation 40(1);
- are directed back to the United States pursuant to Regulation 41;
- are allowed to withdraw their application to enter Canada pursuant to Regulation 42; or
- are subject to an enforceable removal order.
Transporters must transport foreign nationals—subject to enforceable removal orders—from wherever they are situated in Canada to the vehicle in which they will be carried from Canada.
A transporter is not required to carry a foreign national from Canada, if the foreign national at the time of their examination:
- was authorized to enter and remain in Canada on a temporary basis;
- held a temporary or permanent resident visa; or
- was prescribed under section 258 of IRPR and the commercial transporter was not notified before the person was carried to Canada.
A transporter is always required to carry from Canada a foreign national carried to Canada as a crew member, or to become a crew, a member regardless of whether entry was authorized.
CBSA officers will notify transporters of their obligation to carry an inadmissible foreign national from Canada as soon as a removal order becomes enforceable. Form BSF502, Notice to transporter, will normally be the means by which notification is served. Where applicable, the officer will inform the transporter of its obligation to provide an escort or will arrange for the carriage of an escort assigned by the Minister.
After being notified, the transporter must, without delay, notify an officer of the removal arrangements made and carry the foreign national from Canada within 48 hours thereafter. To be acceptable, the arrangements must meet these requirements:
- The itinerary begins where the foreign national is situated in Canada and ends in the city where the foreign national is to be removed and follows the most direct routing possible;
- The itinerary does not include a country through which transit has not been approved; and
- Any connection times must not exceed 12 hours.
Should the transporter fail to make the necessary removal arrangements, a CBSA officer may do so at the transporter's expense.
Transporters are required to pay the costs of removing from Canada any foreign national who they carry or cause to be carried from Canada, unless the foreign national falls under one of the removal exemptions outlined earlier in this Guide. Transporters are liable for all costs related to the departure from Canada of a crew member, regardless of the circumstances.
A transporter's liability for removals and the associated removal costs continues until a foreign national's immigration case has been resolved, which may take several years in some circumstances.
Removal costs for which a transporter may be liable include:
- expenses incurred in or outside Canada for the foreign national's accommodation and transport;
- accommodation and travel expenses incurred by an escort;
- fees paid in obtaining passports, travel documents and visas for the foreign national and any escorts;
- the cost of meals, incidentals and other related expenses;
- regular and overtime wages paid to escorts and other personnel accompanying the foreign national; and
- costs or expenses for interpreters or medical or other personnel assisting with the removal.
6. Obligation to Provide Information upon Request
On request of a CBSA officer, transporters are required to provide the following documents without delay, provided the request is made within 72 hours after the presentation for examination of the person in Canada:
- a copy of the passenger's ticket;
- information related to the passenger's travel itinerary, including the place of embarkation and dates of travel; and
- information about the passport number and type, or the travel or identity document used by the passenger.
7. Requirement to Deposit Security
In accordance with the Act and the Regulations, transporters are obligated to deposit security if they are directed to do so. Security must be in the form of a cash deposit in Canadian currency. Alternative forms of security will not normally be considered. However, exceptions may occasionally be made if the CBSA has entered into a Regulation 280 Memorandum of Understanding (R280 MoU) with the transporter, provided that the agreement stipulates what type of alternate security would be acceptable (R280 MoU is explained in Part 3).
There are two forms of security:
- General security is required of all commercial transporters with regular passenger service to Canada. Where the deposit is in cash, interest is paid on general security. The amount of security is determined on the basis of estimates of potential liabilities and on the transporter's payment and credit record.
- Case-specific security is required on a case-by-case basis, generally in the marine mode of transportation only. No interest is paid on case-specific security The amount of case-specific security in respect of a crew member, stowaway or any inadmissible person may vary, but will normally be a minimum of Can$25,000 per person. Commercial transporters will be requested in writing to provide a security deposit. When security is received, a departmental official will complete and provide the original official receipt to the transporter (see Part 10 I-21).
When a commercial transporter fails to comply with a direction to post security, the following actions may be taken to enforce the direction:
- detention of a vehicle or other prescribed good(s) until the transporter complies with the direction or until security is received from a third party; and
- seizure and sale of a vehicle or other prescribed good(s) if the amount remains unpaid beyond a reasonable period of time.
Should enforcement action be required, Form BSF775, Notice of Detention or Seizure of Vehicle or Prescribed Good will be issued to the transporter.
Where no security has been deposited, detention or seizure of a vehicle or other prescribed good can also be used to collect unpaid liabilities. The transporter is liable to pay all costs associated with the detention or seizure of one of its vehicles.
Immigration Processes at the Port of Entry
Disembarkation Checks – Commercial Air Transporters
Disembarkation checks are conducted on selected flights to identify persons who may have disposed of their travel documents prior to or during the flight. The disembarkation check takes place upon arrival at the port of entry. Persons aboard may be asked to show their travel documents to a CBSA officer before disembarking, or they may be met at the gate. An officer has authority to board and inspect a vehicle and to examine and record documents carried by a person on board a vehicle.
To minimize delays for commercial air transporters, CBSA officers carry out disembarkation checks as quickly as possible. Aircraft are selected for disembarkation checks according to the extent of undocumented arrivals on particular routes, and the availability of CBSA personnel at the port of entry. Port of entry managers have been asked to give advance notice to airlines so that passengers may be notified that they must produce their documentation at disembarkation. Commercial air carriers are requested to cooperate with CBSA personnel in this regard.
Why Disembarkation Checks are Important
High-quality, forged documents or altered, borrowed or stolen genuine documents are often returned to smugglers immediately prior to boarding or to couriers aboard the same aircraft. In other cases, documents are destroyed or hidden aboard the aircraft by persons wishing to conceal their identity, thereby facilitating fraudulent refugee claims and complicating the removal of these persons.
In addition to confirming that undocumented or improperly documented passengers arrived aboard a given flight, disembarkation checks improve the chances of retrieving hidden documents and could lead to the apprehension of a document courier travelling on the same aircraft.
Part 2 – Advance Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR) and the Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) Initiative
The Customs Act, the Passenger Information (Customs) Regulations, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations require commercial air carriers to provide API and PNR on all passengers destined to Canada and API for all crew members destined to Canada.
The IAPI initiative expands on the current API/PNR Program by requiring that commercial air carriers electronically transmit passenger and crew member information to the CBSA for international flights destined for Canada earlier in the travel continuum. The IAPI functionality gives the CBSA the capacity to provide a board/no-board message to commercial air carriers relating to the passengers onboard the commercial air carrier's flight. This assists commercial air carriers in determining whether or not to proceed with boarding a passenger pursuant to their transporter obligations.
There are three transmission methods available to commercial air carriers for the purpose of submitting API and PNR data:
- MQ/Direct Connect: A direct connection between the client and the CBSA or the client's service provider and the CBSA.
- IAG (Internet API Gateway): An internet portal used to submit API/PNR data online.
- Email: clients may email their API data to the CBSA.
Complete passenger API data must be submitted no later than passenger check-in. Any changes to this data must be re‑submitted prior to the flight's departure. Each successful transmission results in an automated board/no-board message from the CBSA to the commercial air carrier/service provider. Complete crew API data must be submitted no later than one hour prior to the flight's departure; however, a board/no-board message will not be provided for those identified as crew members. PNR data must be submitted at the time of flight departure.
To assist the transportation industry with the API/PNR program, the CBSA has established a client account support team (CAST) who is responsible for responding to inquiries and providing information to air carriers.
Part 3 – Administration Fees
General (and Exemptions)
Commercial transporters are required to pay administration fees to partially defray the cost of processing certain categories of inadmissible foreign nationals which they carry to Canada. The fees apply when a commercial transporter carries a foreign national who:
- is inadmissible under section 41 of the Act for failing to meet the requirements of section 6, subsection 7(1), section 7.1 or subsection 50(1) or 52(1) of the Regulations;
- is prescribed under section 258.1 or whom the transporter has been directed not to carry to Canada under paragraph 148(1)(a) of the Act;
- is exempt, under subsection 52(2) of the Regulations, from the requirement to hold a passport or travel document but who fails to produce sufficient evidence of their identity;
- failed to appear for an examination on entry into Canada;
- entered Canada as a member of a crew or to become a member of a crew and is inadmissible; and
- is subject to a removal order, or is allowed under section 42 to withdraw their application to enter Canada, and who fails to leave Canada immediately.
Administration fees are waived in respect of:
- a person referred to in section 39 of the Regulations;
- a foreign national who is prescribed under section 258.1 and in respect of whom notice under section 270 was not given before the foreign national was carried to Canada, but who holds the necessary documents prescribed under section 259; or
- a foreign national, other than a foreign national referred to in paragraph 190(3)(c), who seeks to enter Canada to obtain permanent residence and is inadmissible under paragraph 41(a) of the Act for failing to obtain a permanent resident visa as required under section 6, but who is exempted under Division 5 of Part 9 from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa.
If a transporter has carried an improperly documented foreign national, the transporter will be notified that it is in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
An electronically generated preliminary notification will be sent to the liable commercial transporter (air mode only), informing them of the violation and providing as much detail as possible.
Each time an administration fee is assessed against a commercial transporter, the company will receive a Notice of Assessment, which is served by electronic transmission.
The transporter may contest the administration fee by filing a written submission within 30 days of receipt of the Notice of Assessment. The exact deadline for filing the submission is indicated on the Notice of Assessment. In its submission, a transporter must clearly indicate the reason for appeal and provide any information or material it is relying upon to dispute the transporter violation indicated on the Notice of Assessment. The CBSA's delegate will review each submission and confirm, cancel or vary the assessment. The final decision is conveyed in writing to the transporter. If a submission is not received by the deadline indicated on the Notice of Assessment, the assessment becomes final and the transporter is liable for the administration fee.
Note: Submissions are considered only in response to a Notice of Assessment. Transporters should not make submissions in response to receipt of the aforementioned electronic preliminary notification.
Regulation 280 Memorandum of Understanding
The R280 MoU Program is a collaborative program whereby the CBSA and a commercial airline enter into an agreement in an effort to prevent and reduce the number of improperly documented foreign nationals who are carried to Canada.
Both parties agree to certain undertakings that are designed to enhance the effectiveness of document screening and fraud detection. For example, commercial transporters are required to use trained personnel to screen documents, while the CBSA undertakes to provide appropriate training to enable them to do so effectively. A commercial airline that agrees to implement effective and ongoing document screening and fraud detection procedures may benefit from reduced administration fees. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations lists the elements that must be included in the MoU.
Commercial airlines are also required to perform a secondary examination of documents, known as a gate check. This ensures that the documents are still in the person's possession upon boarding the vehicle and have not already been returned to a smuggler for "recycling."
Commercial airlines are also required to perform a secondary examination of documents to confirm the identities of the passengers boarding the vehicle.
The administration fees assessed against commercial airlines that remain compliant to the terms of the MoU may be reduced by 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent. The actual reduction will be determined based on the commercial airline's degree of success in adhering to the performance standards set out in the MoU.
Part 4 – Document Requirements
There are three main categories of persons defined by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, in terms of requirements when seeking entry into Canada:
- Persons with a right of entry as per section 19: Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and Registered Indians;
- Persons seeking entry to become permanent residents; and
- Persons seeking entry to become temporary residents.
1. Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and Registered Indians
Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents of Canada and Registered Indians in Canada can enter Canada by right. To be accepted for travel, Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and Registered Indians must be able to produce satisfactory evidence of their identity and status.
A Canadian passport is the only reliable and universally accepted identification document that proves that the holder has a right to return to and enter Canada. The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens and Canadian-born Registered Indians travel with a valid Canadian passport for all visits abroad, including the United States.
Commercial transporters should refer Canadian citizens making international travel bookings to the "Traveller's Checklist" on the Global Affairs Canada website at www.travel.gc.ca.
The following travel documents are proof of Canadian citizenship for the purpose of international travel:
- Canada Regular Passport
- Canada Diplomatic Passport
- Canada Special Passport
- Canada Temporary Passport
- Canada Emergency Travel Document
- Canada Travel Document
Note: Documents such as Canadian Citizenship Certificates (CCC), birth certificates and driver's licenses are not travel documents. Transporters should perform their due diligence when faced with a passenger claiming to be a Canadian citizen but not possessing a Canadian travel document.
The Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) and Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) (non-drivers) are alternative travel documents denoting the holder's identity and citizenship for border-crossing purposes solely at U.S. land and marine POEs.
The Certificate of Indian Status (CIS) or the Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) is not a travel document, nor is it proof of Canadian citizenship. It is an identity document issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to confirm that the cardholder is registered as a Status Indian under the Indian Act.
Permanent Residents of Canada
Permanent Residents (PRs) of Canada must travel with a valid Canadian Permanent Resident card. Transporters should not board passengers claiming to be Canadian PRs who are not in possession of proof of their status, or who are travelling with an expired PR card.
The following documents are considered proof of Canadian permanent resident status:
- Government of Canada Permanent Resident Card. A valid Permanent Resident Card, accompanied by a valid foreign passport is proof of permanent resident status for international travel purposes. The card has an expiry date and is valid for either five years or one year.
- Permanent Resident travel document (visa counterfoil). Permanent residents outside Canada who do not have a Permanent Resident card and who would be unable to otherwise return to Canada may obtain a PR travel document from a Canadian mission abroad. This is a counterfoil in the same format as a visa and is affixed to the PR's passport or travel document.
Permanent residents may also travel to Canada with a Canadian Refugee Travel Document, a Canadian Certificate of Identity or a Single Journey Travel Document. Where a permanent resident travels on one of these documents, the permanent resident must be in possession of a permanent resident card or permanent resident travel document (counterfoil).
2. Foreign Nationals Travelling to Become Permanent Residents (Intending Immigrants)
Foreign nationals from visa-required countries and protected persons selected abroad, regardless of their nationality, require a PR visa when travelling to Canada to become a PR. Foreign nationals from eTA required countries will be issued an eFoil (similar to an eTA) in order to facilitate boarding of their flight to Canada.
In addition to the PR visa counterfoil or eFoil, a foreign national travelling to Canada to become a PR must hold one of the following documents as prescribed by section 259 of the IRPR:
- a passport, other than a diplomatic, official or similar passport, that was issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen or national;
- a travel document that was issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen or national;
- an identity or travel document that was issued by a country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality;
- a refugee travel paper issued by the Minister;
- a travel document that was issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, to enable and facilitate emigration;
- a passport or travel document that was issued by the Palestinian Authority;
- an exit visa that was issued by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to its citizens who were compelled to relinquish their Soviet nationality in order to emigrate from that country;
- a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
- a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China;
- a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British Subject; or
- a temporary travel document.
Regular passports are acceptable for foreign nationals seeking to become PRs so long as the passport is issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen or national. As some countries occasionally issue passports to non-citizens, it is important to check the passport holder's nationality, as indicated on the biographical page of the document.
Note: Diplomatic, official or similar passports are not acceptable documents for foreign nationals seeking to become permanent residents.
Single Journey Document for Resettlement in Canada
This document is a temporary Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) travel document issued by a Canadian mission abroad to foreign nationals who are determined to be members of the Convention Refugees abroad or the humanitarian-protected persons abroad classes who are travelling to Canada for resettlement and who hold a permanent resident visa.
The document is printed on form IMM 5485B. It is signed and dated by the issuing visa officer. A photograph of the holder is attached to the form and covered by a clear immigration protective seal. The form must contain a valid and subsisting permanent resident visa, which is also covered by a separate immigration protective seal.
International Committee of the Red Cross Travel Document
This document is an acceptable travel document for foreign nationals who are seeking to travel to Canada to become permanent residents. The PR visa must be affixed to the document.
It is acceptable for only one trip to Canada, within the validity period of the document.
Note: It is not acceptable for foreign nationals seeking to become temporary residents.
3. Foreign Nationals Travelling to Become Temporary Residents (Visit/Study/Work)
A foreign national travelling to Canada to become a temporary resident must hold one of the following prescribed documents as per section 259 of the IRP Regulations:
- a passport that was issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen or national, that does not prohibit travel to Canada; and that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue;
- a travel document that was issued by the country of which the foreign national is a citizen or national, that does not prohibit travel to Canada and that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue;
- an identity or travel document that was issued by a country that does not prohibit travel to Canada, that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue and that is of the type issued by that country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality;
- refugee travel papers issued by the Government of Canada;
- a laissez-passer that was issued by the United Nations;
- a passport or travel document that was issued by the Palestinian Authority;
- a document that was issued by the Organization of American States and is entitled "Official Travel Document";
- a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British Overseas citizen;
- a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
- a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China; or
- a passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British subject.
In addition to one of the above documents, a foreign national must also hold:
- a visa; or
- an electronic travel authorization (eTA).
Regular passports are acceptable for foreign nationals seeking to become temporary residents so long as the passport:
- is valid for the period authorized for their stay;
- is issued by the country of which they are a citizen or national;
- does not prohibit travel to Canada, and;
- may be used to enter the issuing country.
Diplomatic and official passports
Diplomatic and official passports are acceptable for foreign nationals seeking to become temporary residents only in cases where the passport does not prohibit travel to Canada and guarantees re-entry of the foreign national into the issuing country during the validity period of the document. The issuing authority must be recognized by Canada.
Certificate of Identity
The Certificate of Identity is acceptable for foreign nationals with temporary resident visas seeking to become temporary residents, provided that:
- it does not prohibit travel to Canada; and
- the holder may use it to re-enter the issuing country during the validity period of the document.
Laissez-passer issued by the United Nations
The United Nations (UN) laissez-passer is issued by the United Nations to its officials, under Article VII of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. The laissez-passer is issued exclusively to UN officials travelling on official UN business that is paid for or authorized by the UN or a specialized agency of the UN.
The laissez-passer is usually used in conjunction with the officials' national passports. Temporary resident visas should be affixed to the UN laissez-passer if the visa-required holder is planning to enter Canada by way of that document rather than a national passport.
Note: eTAs are not issued to a UN laissez-passer. Therefore, eTA-required foreign nationals must travel with their foreign passport that is linked to a valid eTA.
Official Travel Document issued by the Organization of American States (OAS)
The OAS Official Travel Document is acceptable for foreign nationals seeking to become temporary residents with a temporary resident visa, if applicable to their nationality. The OAS Official Travel Document is issued to officials of the Organization of American States travelling on OAS business. It is a dark blue booklet containing the name, date of birth and photograph of the holder, and identifies the holder as travelling on official OAS business. Temporary resident visas should be affixed to the OAS travel document if the visa-required foreign national is planning to enter Canada by way of that document rather than a national passport.
Note: eTAs are not issued to an OAS travel document. Therefore, eTA-required foreign nationals must travel with their foreign passport that is linked to a valid eTA.
Refugee Travel Document
Refugee Travel Documents are acceptable for foreign nationals with temporary resident visas (if required) seeking to become temporary residents.
Note: Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. can travel with a valid U.S. Refugee Travel Document and valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent resident status.
Single Journey Travel Document
IRCC may issue a Single Journey Travel Document (SJTD) in limited circumstances to persons who are unable to obtain a prescribed travel document. The document, which is a paper form resembling the Single Journey Document for Resettlement to Canada, will always be endorsed with a Canadian visa counterfoil covered with an immigration protective seal and a photograph of the holder covered with a protective seal.
The SJTD is issued to individuals, not families. Children are not included in their parent's document, but receive their own. Individuals approved by a visa officer for temporary or permanent residence who are inadmissible due to the lack of a prescribed document and are therefore approved for temporary resident permit issuance may be issued a SJTD. Because of the lack of a prescribed document under R259, a temporary resident permit counterfoil coded PA-1 must be affixed to the SJTD.
Travel Document Exemptions for Temporary Residents (Visitors)
As per subsection 52(2) of the Regulations travel documents are not required by:
- U.S. citizens
- French citizens who are residents of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon and who travel directly to Canada from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon; provided they are French citizens, residents of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon do not require passports to travel from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to Canada directly. However, citizens of France that are resident of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon presenting other documents may not be able to satisfy a CBSA officer that they are exempt from the entry document requirements.
- Members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act, seeking entry to carry out official duties (other than persons designated as a civilian component of those armed forces). The foreign national must be a member of the military of a designated country under the Visiting Forces Act, however, they do not need to be a national of that country.
- Persons who are seeking to enter Canada as, or in order to become, members of a crew of a means of air transportation and who hold an airline flight crew license or crew member certificate issued in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization specifications.
Crew licenses and crew member certificates are acceptable in lieu of passports or travel documents and in lieu of a temporary resident visa. It is issued in accordance with ICAO specifications, is a certificate issued by the State in which the aircraft is registered. The certificate is approximately 6 x 4 inches and shows the name, address, date and place of birth, nationality or citizenship, name of the employing airline and description of duties, as well as the photograph and signature of the holder. Although the return of the holder to the territory of the issuing country is guaranteed, the certificate is valid for use only during the term of employment and while the holder is actually serving as a member of the operating crew of an aircraft.
- Persons seeking to enter Canada as a member of a crew who hold a seafarer's identity document issued under International Labour Organization conventions and are members of the crew of the vessel that carries them to Canada.
Although exempt from document entry requirements, U.S. citizens must satisfy a CBSA officer of their status and identity. Documents that can be used for proof of U.S. citizenship are:
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport Card (for land and marine travel only)
- NEXUS card (see Part 6 for more information)
- Enhanced Driver's License (for land and marine travel only
U.S. Permanent Residents
All permanent residents of the United States must travel with proof of their permanent resident status in order to substantiate their eTA and visa exemption.
The following documents are proof of U.S. permanent residence:
- unexpired U.S. Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
- a foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 printed notation ("UPON ENDORSEMENT SERVES AS TEMPORARY I-551 EVIDENCING PERMANENT RESIDENCE FOR 1 YEAR") on a machine-readable immigrant visa upon endorsement with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection admission stamp
- a temporary I-551 ADIT (Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunications System) stamp affixed to a passport or affixed to the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) containing a passport style photo
- I-797 Notice of Action accompanied by the passenger's expired U.S. PR card; the I-797 must indicate that it is a receipt notice associated with one of the following specific application types – Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence), Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status) or Form I-90 (Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- unexpired I-327 Re-entry Permit
Visual samples of some forms of USLPR evidence are available on uscis.gov, as follows:
Some Ukrainian nationals seeking to travel to Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) measures are now eligible for counterfoil-less visas. The counterfoil-less visas are electronically linked to the traveller’s passport, similar to an electronic travel authorization (eTA).
The eligibility requirements are outlined below:
- Physical counterfoils required for
- All non-Ukrainian family members
- Ukrainian nationals who do not reside in one of the countries listed below
- Any client issued a temporary resident permit (TRP)
- Counterfoil-less visas
- Ukrainian nationals with a valid Ukrainian passport, whose primary country of residence is in one of the following countries, may be issued a single-entry counterfoil-less temporary resident visa (TRV) valid for up to 6 months:
Note: Once approved for the counterfoil-less visa, a Ukrainian national will be provided with a visa/TRV issuance letter from the Government of Canada.
Note: Airlines must only accept the counterfoil-less visa letter if the point of departure for travel to Canada by air is one of the first six countries listed above. Ukraine is not included, given that there are currently no flights out of Ukraine. If a passenger’s intended country of departure is not one of the first six countries listed above, they will need to submit their passport to the nearest Visa Application Centre so that IRCC can affix a physical TRV counterfoil to their passport.
- Ukrainian nationals with a valid Ukrainian passport, whose primary country of residence is in one of the following countries, may be issued a single-entry counterfoil-less temporary resident visa (TRV) valid for up to 6 months:
Air carriers are required to ensure that the traveller with a counterfoil-less TRV is a Ukrainian national and travelling on a valid Ukrainian passport, departing from one of the first six countries listed above. All travellers, including children, must be in possession of the issuance letter. As with an eTA, air carriers should submit the document information in the Advance Passenger Information (API) message and passengers in possession of a counterfoil-less visa will receive an automated CBSA immigration ‘board (prescribed document on file)’ response.
Note: Effective , the validity of Ukrainian passports may be extended by Ukrainian embassies and consulates abroad. Validity may be extended up to a maximum of five years past the passport’s original expiry date. To indicate the extended validity, embassies and consulates will add an ink stamp to one of the “Special Notes” pages of the passport (page 2, 3, 4, or 5), and the new expiration date will be handwritten within the fields of the ink stamp. All extensions will be authorized by the embassy’s seal, as well as the consul’s signature. Ukrainian embassies and consulates may also add details regarding dependent children (including their photo, name, and date of birth) to the passport of their parent or guardian. These details will also be noted on one of the “Special Notes” pages of the passport, and will be authorized by the embassy’s seal, as well as the consul’s signature. These measures are expected remain in effect while martial law is in effect in Ukraine, and could remain in effect for up to one year after the end of martial law.
4. Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions
Temporary resident visa exemptions are granted to the following: nationals of designated countries; holders of certain documents; and to certain foreign nationals. Exemptions are based on the purpose of their travel.
Nationals of designated countries
The requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa is waived for citizens of certain countries. The Government of Canada provides a complete and up-to-date listing of persons who do and do not require visas to travel to Canada.
Holders of certain documents
Holders of the following documents are exempted from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa:
- A passport that contains a diplomatic acceptance, a consular acceptance or an official acceptance;
- A passport or travel document issued by the Holy See;
- A national Israeli passport;
- Note: It is important to distinguish between national Israeli passports that are visa-exempt and Israeli Travel Documents that are not visa-exempt, since the two documents are very similar in appearance.
- A passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China;
Note: Holders of the Macau Special Administrative Region (Macau SAR) passport issued by the People's Republic of China require temporary resident visas when coming to Canada for a temporary purpose.
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British National (Overseas), as a person born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
- A passport issued by the United Kingdom to a British subject which contains the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom;
- If the document states that the holder is re-admissible to the United Kingdom, the holder requires a temporary resident visa.
- If the document states that the holder is "subject to control under the Immigration Act, 1971," and there is a further endorsement that reads "Indefinite leave to enter and remain in the United Kingdom," the passport is acceptable for travel to Canada; however, intending temporary residents with this endorsement require a temporary resident visa.
- If the document states that the holder is "subject to control under the Immigration Act, 1971" with no further endorsements, the passport is an acceptable travel document for travel to Canada; however, intending temporary residents with this endorsement require a temporary resident visa.)
- or, an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes the personal identification number of the individual.
Purpose of travel:
Foreign nationals travelling for the following specified purposes are exempted from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa:
- Those travelling to Canada as a member of a crew of a means of transportation other than a vessel or to become a member of a crew of a means of transportation other than a vessel, or to transit through Canada after working, or to work, as a member of a crew of a means of transportation other than a vessel, if they possess a ticket for departure from Canada within 24 hours after their arrival in Canada;
- Those travelling to Canada to transit as a passenger on a flight stopping in Canada for the sole purpose of refueling and is in possession of a visa to enter the United States and his/her flight is bound for that country, or he/she was lawfully admitted to the United States and his/her flight originated in that country;
- Those travelling to Canada to carry out official duties as a member of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act;
- Those travelling to Canada to conduct inspections of the flight operation procedures or cabin safety of a commercial air carrier operating international flights;
- Those travelling to Canada to participate as an accredited representative or as an adviser to an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act;
- Participants to the Transit Without Visa Program and the China Transit Program:
Note: As some countries allow non-nationals to join their military, to qualify for the visa exemption under the Visiting Forces Act the foreign national must be a member of the military of a designated country under the Visiting Forces Act, however, they do not need to be a national of that country.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Exemptions
Most foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries now require an eTA to travel to or transit through Canada.
For a full, up-to-date listing of all foreign nationals that are exempt from the requirement to hold an eTA, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Temporary Resident Permits
All temporary resident permits are printed in Canada; however, under certain circumstances they may be issued at a Canadian mission overseas in advance of a foreign national's arrival in Canada. When issued overseas, a visa-required foreign national will have a visa counterfoil placed inside of their travel document. Foreign nationals that are eTA-required will have an eFoil linked to their travel document. This eFoil is not a physical document, instead, it functions in a similar manner to an eTA and will allow the foreign national to be verified through the CBSA's Interactive Advance Passenger Information System.
Once the foreign national arrives at the port of entry the CBSA officer will process and print the temporary resident permit. The printed permit is not a travel document, even though it may authorize re-entry to Canada. If the temporary resident permit holders leave Canada, they are subject to regular document requirements.
Foreign nationals that are granted entry to Canada as a temporary resident may travel to Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon or the United States without obtaining a new temporary resident visa or eTA, provided that they travel solely to one of the aforementioned territories before seeking re-entry to Canada and are still within the period of their authorized stay, which would normally be within 6 months of their entry into Canada or within the expiry date indicated in their Canadian issued work or study permit.
This re-entry condition does not apply if the foreign national exits the aforementioned territories for any reason, such as cruise ships or other vessels that briefly enter international waters.
In addition, travellers that are granted entry into Canada for a period of less than six months, or travellers who have extended their stay after arrival, may be issued a visitor record (IMM1442). Holders of a valid visitor record may also travel to Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon or the United States without obtaining a new temporary resident visa or eTA, provided that they travel solely to one of the aforementioned territories before seeking re-entry to Canada and are still within the period of authorized stay.
5. Crew Members
Foreign nationals entering Canada as crew members, or to become members of a crew, must join the vessel or other means of transportation within the period imposed or, if no period is imposed, within 48 hours. Crew members must leave Canada within 72 hours after ceasing to be crew members.
A transporter must immediately notify a CBSA officer at the nearest port of entry when a foreign national granted entry as, or to become, a crew member fails to become or ceases to be a crew member. This information must be provided in writing at the request of an officer. Persons cease to be members of a crew if:
- they have deserted or an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that they have deserted;
- they have been hospitalized and have failed to return to the vehicle or to leave Canada within 72 hours after leaving the hospital; or
- they have been discharged or are otherwise unable or unwilling to perform their duties as a member of a crew and failed to leave Canada within 72 hours after the discharge or after they first became unable or unwilling to perform their duties.
Financial Liability for Crew Members
Regardless of the circumstances, commercial transporters are liable for all costs related to the departure and removal of their crew members from Canada. They are also liable for the costs of all medical treatment administered in Canada. If a crew member remains in Canada illegally after ceasing to be, or failing to become a crew member, the commercial transporter is liable to pay an administration fee.
Document Exemptions for Crew Members
Exemptions from passport requirement
The following do not require a passport:
- Foreign nationals travelling to Canada as, or to become crew members of an aircraft and who hold an airline flight crew license or a crew member certificate issued in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization specifications; and
- Foreign nationals arriving in Canada as crew members of a vessel who hold a seafarer's identity document issued under International Labour Organization conventions. These individuals do require a passport, however, if travelling to Canada by air or by other means for the purpose of becoming a member of the crew of a vessel which is already in Canada.
Exemptions from temporary resident visa requirement
The following do not require a temporary resident visa:
- Foreign nationals who seek to enter Canada as, or to become crew members of an aircraft, train or bus; or
- Foreign nationals who seek to transit through Canada after working, or to work, as crew members of an aircraft, train or bus if they possess a ticket to depart Canada within 24 hours of their arrival; or
- Foreign nationals who are carried to Canada by a vessel of which they are crew members and are seeking to enter Canada as a crew member of that vessel and to remain in Canada solely as a crew member of that vessel or any other vessel. These individuals do require a visa, however, if they are seeking to enter Canada to join a vessel as a crew member and are citizens of a country whose citizens require a temporary resident visa.
Employment letters containing ship-joining instructions do not meet the documentary requirements for crew members. Carriers should not board persons presenting such letters unless the holders also carry the passports and visas required for travel to Canada.
Exemption from work permit requirement
Foreign nationals working as crew members of ships in Canada do not require a work permit, provided that the ship on which they are employed, or are to join, is of foreign registry and is engaged in international transportation or other activities. Crew members may not, however, work aboard vessels which require coasting trade licenses or perform dockside functions such as the loading or unloading of cargo, without a work permit. Foreign nationals working as crew members aboard any ship of Canadian registry (e.g. fishing vessel, research vessel or pleasure yacht) require a work permit. For more information see Section 5, Crew Members.
Exemption from eTA requirement
The following are exempt from the requirement to obtain an eTA:
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada as a member of a crew or to become a member of a crew of an aircraft; and
- Foreign nationals seeking to enter and remain in Canada solely to transit through Canada after working, or to work, as a member of a crew of an aircraft, provided that they possess a ticket for departure from Canada within 24 hours of their arrival.
Travel Document and Visa/eTA Requirements
Minor children are subject to the same travel document and visa/eTA requirements as adults.
Minor Children Travelling Alone or With Persons Other Than Both Parents
When travelling with children, a consent letter is strongly recommended and may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or leaving a foreign country or by Canadian officials when re-entering Canada. The letter should contain:
- authorization for the child to travel with another person and to be outside the country;
- the name and telephone number of the parents/guardian; and
- the destination and length of stay in Canada.
Adoptive parents, legal guardians or persons separated or divorced are advised to keep legal and other relevant documents available in order to clarify custody rights.
If you suspect child abduction, you should establish whether or not the traveller possesses a consent letter for travel with the child. If an adult claims to be a parent with legal custody, ask him or her to produce a copy of a separation or divorce agreement, or a custody order.
You can refer to the Canada's Missing website to verify whether or not a child has been listed. Police authorities in the country of embarkation may also be able to provide assistance in this regard.
Refer to the Government of Canada's travel website for more Information on travelling with children.
Part 5 – Document Examinations
When examining documents presented by a person for travel to Canada, check them carefully to determine that they are:
- genuine and unaltered;
- valid (not expired); and
- being used by the rightful holder (the photograph and personal details are those of the person in front of you).
1. Seven Steps for Examining a Passport
Step 1: Examine the cover
- Is the document from an actual country or one that does not exist?
- Are the printing, coat of arms and cover material of high quality?
Step 2: Examine the binding
- Are the cover and passport pages properly aligned both at the cover and the edge of the passport?
- Is the binding consistent and tight?
Step 3: Count the pages
- The passport generally states how many pages it contains. Count them to ensure they are all there and in sequence.
- The colours and page number positions should be consistent from page to page.
- Perforated passport numbers should line up perfectly. Laser perforations will decrease in size with the largest holes at the beginning of the document and the smallest holes at the end.
Step 4: Assess the quality of the paper
- Watermarks should be visible only when examining a single passport page through transmitted light. They should not be visible when the page lies against the other passport pages.
- Look for ultraviolet features such as ink fluorescence and security threads on all pages of the document.
Step 5: Assess the quality of the printing
- Check for malformations, breaks or merging of letters.
Step 6: Biographical data page
- Make sure the physical description matches the individual presenting the document. Pay particular attention to age, height and eye colour.
- Check the expiry date for validity and examine the date for alterations.
- Examine any optically variable devices, such as metal patches displaying movement and optically variable ink, for colour change.
- Spelling should be accurate. Counterfeit documents often have spelling errors.
Step 7: Examine the photograph
- Does the picture match the person in front of you? (See also Section 3.3 Identifying impostors.)
- Check for signs of disturbance around the photo (especially where the photo is closest to the edge of the passport). The photo should be evenly trimmed and should not have scissor cuts around the edges.
- If the photo is a digital image, make sure the image is of high quality and has good definition.
- Do the stamps or dry seals on the picture show any signs of irregularity, such as badly matched lines or lettering, or differences in ink colour on the portion of the stamp that overlaps the photo?
2. Visa Examination
When examining a passport, you should also look for a temporary resident visa if one is required (see www.cic.gc.ca for lists of countries and territories whose citizens require a temporary resident visa).
Here are a few steps that will help establish the authenticity of a temporary resident visa.
- Check the name on the visa and make sure it matches the name on the passport. A different name indicates that the visa has been removed from another passport.
- Ensure the temporary resident visa is still valid and has not expired.
- Verify whether the temporary resident visa is for a single entry or multiple entries. If it is a single entry, ensure it has not already been used for travel. A diagonal line drawn across the visa indicates that the visa has already been used; you can also check the passport for a stamp indicating a date of entry to Canada that is between the date the visa was issued and the date it expires.
- Look for signs of tampering such as tears in the paper or smudges in the ink, specifically around the passport number and the name areas.
- Quick check of security features:
- Kinegram OVD: fine details and colour shifting;
- Die cutting/shatter cuts: A maple leaf out on the left edge;
- Intaglio printing: "feel of steel" over the words Canada and Visa;
- Latent image: Hidden design/text within Intaglio;
- Exploding font/growing numbers on the right edge.
3. Identifying Impostors
An impostor is someone who carries genuine, unaltered documents that belong to someone else. If you suspect a person is an impostor, take the following steps.
- Examine the document in the presence of the holder;
- Divide the face into segments: eyes, ears, mouth, nose, shape of the face (jaw line) and any distinguishing features; and
- Compare each of the person's features with the photo of the document. Check distances between mouth and nose, nose and chin, and the alignment of the eyes to ears and mouth to ears.
Remember that hair and weight can change over time and are not reliable for impostor identification.
Part 6 – Transit Without Visa and China Transit Programs
Transit Without Visa Program
The CBSA and IRCC have established the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) Program. The program allows certain foreign nationals to transit a participating Canadian international airport, on their way to and from the United States, without a Canadian temporary resident visa or eTA if they meet specific requirements.
Foreign Nationals from the following countries qualify for the Transit Without Visa (TWOV) Program:
- Taiwan (Taiwan passport holders who do not qualify for the visa exemption to visit Canada may still benefit from the TWOV program)
All foreign nationals who qualify for the TWOV Program must also meet these conditions:
- They hold a valid passport or travel document issued by the country of which they are a citizen;
- They had a valid U.S. visa to enter the United States;
- They travel to Canada on an approved airline;
- They transit through an approved Canadian airport; and
- They depart Canada within 24 hours of arrival.
Travellers whose flight is cancelled or delayed and whose layover is more than 24 hours are no longer eligible to transit Canada under the TWOV Program and must proceed to a CBSA officer for examination.
In addition to the conditions above, there are specific program requirements depending on whether a TWOV eligible foreign national is travelling to the United States or travelling from the United States.
For additional information, consult Transit Without Visa Program.
China Transit Program
The China Transit Program (CTP) is similar in principle to the TWOV Program. The CTP permits certain Chinese nationals to transit a participating Canadian international airport on their way to or from the U.S. without a Canadian temporary resident visa or eTA if they meet the following requirements:
- They hold a valid passport issued by the People's Republic of China;
- They had a valid U.S. visa to enter the United States;
- They travel to Canada on an approved airline;
- They transit through an approved Canadian airport; and
- They depart Canada within 24 hours of arrival.
Travellers whose flight is cancelled or delayed and whose layover is more than 24 hours are no longer eligible to transit Canada under the CTP and must proceed to a CBSA officer for examination.
In addition to the conditions above, there are specific program requirements depending on whether a CTP-approved Chinese national is travelling to the United States or travelling from the United States.
For additional information consult China Transit Program.
Part 7 – Trusted Traveller Programs
The CBSA trusted traveller programs provide low-risk travellers with an alternative means of examination when crossing the border. Approved members use automated self-serve kiosks at participating airports, dedicated lanes at land border sites and telephone reporting in the marine mode to clear the border with minimal delays. Program participants must comply with the requirements of the IRPA and IRPR, the Customs Act and Regulations and laws/regulations enforced by the CBSA and its U.S. counterpart, Customs and Border Protection, for bilateral programs.
The NEXUS program is jointly administered by the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To benefit from expedited passage, citizens and permanent residents of Canada and the U.S. who are holding a valid NEXUS card must enter Canada or the United States at a NEXUS designated lane. However, the NEXUS card can also be used to prove identification and denote citizenship:
- By air: can be used as a primary travel document by citizens of the U.S. and Canada coming from the United States only—using automated self-serve kiosks available at designated international airports;
- At land and marine ports of entry: can be used as a primary travel document by citizens of the U.S. and Canada in all lanes or marine ports of entry.
If you are not a NEXUS member or are transporting persons into Canada that are not NEXUS members, you must use conventional processing lanes.
Regardless of mode of transportation, Canadian and United States PRs must also present a valid PR card (or other valid proof of permanent resident status) and passport.
Note: Only one citizenship is listed on a NEXUS card. As such, when using non-NEXUS lanes, members with dual citizenship may be required to present proof of their second citizenship. NEXUS members must always comply with all document requirements.
CANPASS offers a suite of domestic programs. CANPASS-Air is a domestic trusted traveller program administered solely by the CBSA and is available only for travellers using commercial air carriers. Members of the program are able to use self-serve kiosks at eight Class 1 airports in Canada to expedite their border clearance procedures. Members are issued a CANPASS Air membership card and have their iris biometric photographed, which facilitates their use of the automated kiosks. Program guidelines indicate that members must carry appropriate documents to confirm their identity and citizenship/permanent resident status, such as a Canadian passport or a Canadian permanent resident card. The program does not offer members expedited passage privileges in other modes of transportation.
CANPASS Private and Corporate Air are programs from the CANPASS suite which are administered solely by the CBSA and are designed to facilitate and expedite the passage of Canadian and United States citizens and permanent residents arriving in Canada using non-commercial carriers at designated airports. Members of these programs must carry appropriate documents to confirm their identity and citizenship/permanent resident status, such as a Canadian passport or a Canadian permanent resident card, and the memberships cannot be used to expedite passage when using commercial carriers.
CANPASS Private Boats is also solely administered by the CBSA and is designed to facilitate and expedite the marine arrival of Canadian and United States citizens and permanent residents arriving in Canada on private watercraft. Members of these programs must carry appropriate documents to confirm their identity and citizenship/permanent resident status, such as a Canadian passport or a Canadian permanent resident card, and the membership cannot be used to expedite the passage in other modes of transportation.
Part 8 – Support to Transporters
This guide is one of several CBSA initiatives to help transporters meet their obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
This section outlines the other types of support offered by the CBSA.
1. Advice and Training Available Overseas
Overseas, a transporter's point of contact is the closest Canadian mission. CBSA Liaison Officers (LOs) are specially trained officers stationed at selected embassies and consulates around the world. They are mandated to gather information on illegal migration trends in their area and to provide support and assistance to transporters.
This support may include training transporter staff who are directly responsible for document screening, responding to transporter inquiries regarding problematic situations, and providing advice to boarding agents at airports. It is important to note that the support offered by the LO network is focused on document screening and fraud detection. Transporters and their staff should refrain from contacting LOs for technical questions (such as visa requirements), or to simply have an LO validate their decision to board or deny boarding to a passenger.
The CBSA offers training and assistance to transporter personnel for the following: Canadian document requirements; document screening; fraud detection; security measures (marine); and the use of technical aids, such as ultraviolet lights. Requests for training should be addressed to the appropriate CBSA LO.
2. Intelligence Information and Trend Analysis
The CBSA aims to keep transporters informed of the latest illegal migration trends. Transporters are encouraged to contribute intelligence data by reporting all confirmed interceptions, either to the CBSA or to another contact person at a Canadian embassy or consulate abroad.
Part 9 – CBSA Liaison Officers (LOs)
|Region||Mission||Telephone||Areas of responsibility|
|Africa||Abuja||+234 906 292 4589||Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe|
|Africa||Accra||0-3022 11544||Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, St. Helena, Togo|
|Middle East||Amman||(+962-6) 590-1527||Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria|
|Middle East||Dubai||(971) 50 220 5147||Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen|
|Middle East||Istanbul||90 212 385-9711||Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan|
|Africa||Nairobi||(254-20) 366-3530||Burundi, Comoros Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Republic of South Sudan, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda|
|Africa||Pretoria||(27) 12 422-3026||Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Réunion, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe|
|Africa||Rabat||212 537 544870||Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Gambia, Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Guinea, Senegal|
|Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania|
|Europe||Brussels||32 (0)2 741 06 65||World Customs Organization, European Union (Commission, Council, Parliament, Frontex, OLAF [European anti-fraud office], Europol)|
|Europe||London||(44) 207 004 6370
(44) 207 004 6072
|Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom|
|Andorra, France, Gibraltar, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland|
|Europe||Rome||(39-06) 85444-3530||Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia|
|Europe||The Hague||(31-70) 311-1685||Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands|
|Europe||Vienna||(43-1) 531 38-3403
(43-1) 531 38-3402
|Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia|
|Europe||Warsaw||(48-1) 734-214-446||Belarus, Poland, Russia, Ukraine|
|Mexico, Central and South America||Mexico City||(52-55) 3993-4884
011 (52 55) 4143-5406
|Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua|
|Mexico, Central and South America||Panama City||(507) 294-2525||Costa Rica, Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao), Panama|
|Mexico, Central and South America||Bogota||(57-1) 657-9823||Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela|
|Mexico, Central and South America||Lima||(511) 319-3370||Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay|
|Mexico, Central and South America||Sao Paulo||011 (55-11) 5509-4334||Brazil|
|US and Caribbean||Los Angeles||1 (213) 346 2783||United States of America (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington State, Wyoming)|
|US and Caribbean||Miami||(305) 579-1617||Bahamas, Dutch Caribbean (Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Maarten), United States of America (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)|
|US and Caribbean||New York||(212) 596-1715||Bermuda, Saint Pierre et Miquelon (France), United States of America (Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin)|
|US and Caribbean||Washington, D.C.||1 (571) 468-1132||United States of America (Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia)|
|US and Caribbean||Kingston||(876) 733-3425||Barbados, Cayman Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|US and Caribbean||Santo Domingo||(809) 262-3123||Anguilla (U.K.), Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Antilles (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barthelme, Saint Martin), Haiti, Montserrat (U.K.), Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands|
|South Asia||Colombo||(94-11) 522-6207||Maldives, Sri Lanka|
|South Asia||Islamabad||(92-51) 208-6417||Afghanistan, Pakistan|
|South Asia||New Delhi||(91-11) 4178-2430
(11) 4178 2639
|Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal|
|South East Asia||Bangkok||(66-2) 646-4349||Cambodia, Laos, Union of Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam|
|South East Asia||Canberra||(02) 6270 4058||Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu|
|South East Asia||Kuala Lumpur||(60-3) 2718-3314||Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor-Leste|
|South East Asia||Singapore||011 (66-2) 646-4348||Brunei, Philippines, Singapore|
|East Asia||Beijing||(86-10) 5139-4286||Mongolia, People's Republic of China (other provinces)|
|East Asia||Hong Kong||(852) 2847-7421||Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan|
|East Asia||Shanghai||011-86-21-32792842||People's Republic of China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shanghai, Zhejiang provinces)|
|East Asia||Tokyo||011 (81-3) 5412-6465||Japan, Guam, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)|
Part 10 – Document Images and Exemplars
1. Canada – Regular Passport
2. Canada – Special Passport
3. Canada – Temporary Passport
4. Canada – Emergency Travel Document
5. Canada – Single Journey Travel Document
6. Canada – Single Journey Travel Document for Resettlement to Canada
7. Canadian Certificate of Identity
8. Canada – Travel Document
9. Canada – Visa
10. Canada – Permanent Resident Card
11. Canada – Secure Certification of Indian Status
12. Canada – Diplomatic Passport
13. Canada – Acceptance Counterfoil (Global Affairs Canada)
14. NEXUS Card
15. U.S. – Passport Card
16. U.S. – Permanent Resident Card
17. U.S. – Passport
18. U.S. – Visa
19. CBSA form BSF 575, entitled "Receipt for Prescribed Document under Section 260 of the IRPR."
20. CBSA form BSF 453, entitled "Confirmation by Transporter Regarding Passenger(s) Carried."
21. CBSA form BSF 577 entitled "Official Receipt – Cash Security Deposited by a Transporter"
22. Visitor Record – IMM1442
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