The Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI) initiative allows the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to obtain passenger information prior to a commercial flight's departure to Canada. The information helps air carriers determine whether or not Canada-bound travellers hold the appropriate documentation to enter Canada.
As part of commitments between Canada and the U.S., both countries are working towards the implementation of a common approach for screening travellers at the perimeter. The IAPI initiative is one way that the Government of Canada is pushing the border out to detect potential threats to Canada's security before those threats arrive at the border.
New entry requirement now in effect: visa-exempt foreign nationals need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA.
The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends soon.
Be prepared: Apply for an eTA before you book your flight to Canada. Most applicants get approved within minutes. However, some applications can take several days to process so don’t wait until the last minute. Get help if you have questions before, during or after you apply.
Travellers who apply for an eTA are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer help in getting an eTA. These companies are NOT operating on behalf of the Government of Canada. Many have established websites that charge a fee to provide information and submit eTA applications.
This Government of Canada website is the official place to apply for an eTA.
As per current practices, all travellers, including Canadians, must provide valid documentation to board an aircraft. The IAPI process begins when commercial air carriers electronically transmit passenger information to the CBSA for international flights destined for Canada. The CBSA validates this information against Canada's immigration data to confirm that the traveller has the prescribed travel document (for example, visa or eTA) if one is required. The IAPI system also sends a "board/no-board" message to air carriers before the individual boards a flight to Canada.
The IAPI initiative will:
- strengthen national security and the integrity of immigration programs;
- enhance the CBSA's ability to target high-risk travellers by providing officers with relevant information earlier in the travel continuum;
- identify improperly documented travellers before they depart on a commercial flight to Canada;
- facilitate the entry of low-risk travellers into Canada;
- reduce costs associated with processing, removing and/or detaining individuals arriving to Canada who do not have the appropriate documents to enter the country;
- provide commercial air carriers with information that will help the carrier in meeting its transportation obligations in relation to the travellers they carry to Canada; and
- align Canada with other international partners who have similar "board/no-board" programs, such as the U.S. APIS Quick Query (AQQ).
This initiative builds upon the existing Advance Passenger Information / Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) Program and will improve pre-departure screening along with the eTA.
It's important to remember that all persons seeking entry to Canada must report to the CBSA and demonstrate that they meet the requirements to enter and/or stay in Canada.
The CBSA is committed to maintaining an open dialogue with stakeholders to ensure that their needs and concerns have been and will continue to be considered throughout the development and implementation of the IAPI initiative.
The Government of Canada has established an Airline Industry Working Group (AIWG) that meets to discuss the IAPI and eTA initiatives. The group consists of international air industry representatives, key Canadian federal government departments and CBSA internal program areas.
Stakeholders are also encouraged to request webinar presentations to learn more about the initiative and its technical requirements.
Questions or comments on the IAPI initiative or its air carrier requirements can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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