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 commercial 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 have worked 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.
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 queries 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 commercial air carriers before the individual boards a flight to Canada.
The IAPI initiative:
- strengthens national security and the integrity of immigration programs;
- enhances the CBSA's ability to target high-risk travellers by providing officers with relevant information earlier in the travel continuum;
- identifies improperly documented travellers before they depart on a commercial flight to Canada;
- facilitates the entry of low-risk travellers into Canada;
- reduces costs associated with processing, removing and/or detaining individuals arriving to Canada who do not have the appropriate documents to enter the country;
- provides 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
- aligns 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.
It's important to remember that upon arrival in Canada, all persons must still present themselves to a CBSA officer, and demonstrate that they meet the requirements to enter and/or stay in Canada.
The CBSA has worked with air industry stakeholders to ensure that their needs and concerns were considered throughout the development and implementation of the IAPI initiative.
The Government of Canada 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 the Introduction to IAPI and Air Exit presentation 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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