Interactive Advance Passenger Information (IAPI)

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.

Electronic Travel Authorization

New entry requirement now in effect: visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid Canadian visa.

Until September 29, 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. Find answers to your questions about the leniency period.

About the initiative

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.

Stakeholder Engagement

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: iapi-iipv@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

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