CANPASS Air members enjoy many benefits, including:
When entering Canada at participating airports, CANPASS Air members use the self-serve kiosk, which is equipped with a digital camera. This camera confirms identity and program membership by photographing the member's iris and comparing the digital photograph with the one on file.
When members arrive at the kiosk, they will see a "Welcome to Canada" screen with a choice of language. After choosing their preferred language, members follow the prompts on the screen to provide their iris biometric to begin the clearance process.
Recorded instructions direct the member to look into the digital camera to provide the iris biometric. Within seconds, a biometric match is determined and the screen prompts the member to complete customs declaration questions. Members can also pay duties and taxes at this self-service kiosk. Members are issued receipts, which they give, to the CBSA officer with the E311, when leaving the customs area.
CANPASS Air members remain subject to checks at any time when entering Canada, and must always complete the Customs Declaration Card (E311) (PDF, 46 KB).
CANPASS Air is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) program. Members can clear the border faster when they arrive in Canada.
NEXUS is a partnership program between the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Members can clear the border faster when travelling to the United States and Canada.
Citizens and permanent residents of Canada or the United States who have resided in either country, or a combination of both countries, for the last three consecutive years can apply.
To qualify for CANPASS Air you must:
For U.S. citizens and permanent residents: alcohol-related driving offences, such as driving while intoxicated, driving while ability-impaired, and driving under the influence of alcohol, are criminal offences in Canada. Contact a Canadian embassy or consulate in the United States to discuss immigration admissibility and legislative requirements.
You will be notified in writing if you do not meet the eligibility criteria.
Yes. There is an annual, non-refundable processing fee of CAN$50. Payments can be made by certified cheque, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express). The fee is waived for those under the age of 18.
Complete the application form (PDF, 46 KB); print, sign and mail it with the payment and photocopies of the necessary documents to the nearest Customs processing centre or visit the CANPASS Air enrolment centre nearest you.
To enrol for CANPASS Air at Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton international airports, send your completed application to:
Customs Processing Centre
28 176th Street
Surrey, BC V3S 9R9
To enrol for CANPASS Air at Halifax, Macdonald-Cartier, Montréal-Trudeau, and Pearson international airports, send your completed application to:
Customs Processing Centre
1st Floor, 400 Place d'Youville
Montréal, QC H2Y 2C2
Applicants must provide acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada or the United States. Please send photocopies of the documents with the completed application form. These photocopies will not be returned.
If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, please provide one of the following:
If you are a permanent resident of Canada or a resident alien of the U.S., please provide one of the following:
Individuals under the age of 18 require written consent from their parent or legal guardian to apply for CANPASS Air. Children under the age of one are not eligible for CANPASS Air.
Currently, there are seven CANPASS Air enrolment centres:
|City||Enrolment Centre||Hours of Services|
|Winnipeg||Winnipeg International Airport
International arrival area,
North end of the terminal
|Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m|
|Calgary||Calgary International Airport
Across from U.S. Departures
2nd Floor Departures level
|Monday to Wednesday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday or any evening, open by appointment only.
Appointments available seven days a week.
|Halifax||Halifax International Airport
International arrival area
|Appointments available seven days a week 8 a.m. to noon
After hours appointments available on request
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Please call or email to schedule an appointment
Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
|Toronto||Pearson International Airport
Terminal 1 at Level 2
|Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
|Montreal||Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
International arrival area
|Open to the public by appointment only|
|Vancouver||Vancouver International Airport
Level 3, U.S. Departures
|Seven days a week 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.|
|Edmonton||Edmonton International Airport
|Open to the public by appointment only
Appointments available seven days a week
If your application is completed correctly, it will be processed in approximately four to six weeks. Applications that are incomplete, or do not include all the necessary documents and the processing fee, will not be processed. The CBSA will send a letter asking you to submit the missing information.
Anyone entering Canada, including CANPASS Air members, must complete a Customs Declaration Card (E311). All travellers, must also report all imports and exports of currency equal to or greater than CAN$10,000.
Members who exceed their personal exemption will be prompted to insert their Traveller Declaration Card in the kiosk or proceed to the customs cashier. The Traveller Declaration Card, available to Canadian citizens and residents only, will automatically charge the applicable amount to the member's pre-authorized credit card.
No. CANPASS Air members who chose not to use the Traveller Declaration Card will be referred to the cashier to pay any duties and taxes owing.
If a member violates the program's requirements, CBSA officers will take appropriate enforcement action, which may include suspending or cancelling membership privileges.
Once an applicant has completed and signed the application form, the CBSA is authorized to collect personal information such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship, proof of citizenship, and residency information.
The information will be used for background security checks and is not shared with a third party.
All information is stored in a secure central database, which, in turn, is protected by various methods, including firewalls. Access to client information by employees is also controlled and monitored.
The information is not disclosed to anyone except CBSA officers who need the information to respond to a request. The information is not used to create individual profiles, or disclosed to any party inside or outside the federal government unless authorized by law. All personal information provided is protected under the federal Privacy Act.
Participation in the program is restricted to pre-approved travellers. Applicants undergo a detailed security clearance check and an interview with a CBSA officer before being enrolled in the CANPASS Air program. Every time CANPASS Air members enter Canada, their membership information is verified against customs and immigration databases to ensure compliance with the program's regulations.
The risk assessment involves a rigorous background check of all applicants. During the risk assessment, applicants are checked against a number of law enforcement, customs and immigration databases to ensure that they are eligible for the program. Each member's eligibility is re-assessed annually.
Iris recognition biometric technology examines the unique patterns of the iris, which do not change. The technology reads 266 different characteristics, as compared to fingerprint technology, which reads approximately 90. This technology is considered to be the safest, fastest, most accurate, highly secure, and non-invasive identification technology in the world.
Iris recognition begins with taking black-and-white digital photographs of each iris. The iris pattern is processed and encoded into a record that is stored in the CBSA secure database. At the airport kiosk, neither glasses nor contact lenses need to be removed. The identification time averages about two seconds. CANPASS Air systems use ordinary digital cameras without bright lights or lasers.
Compared to other biometric technologies available, including fingerprint identification, facial and voice recognition, iris recognition technology is the fastest, secure, accurate, reliable, and most appropriate tool for the CANPASS Air program requirements. Iris recognition provides maximum security with a non-intrusive biometric that is easy to use. Through research and consultation, it was determined that iris recognition technology is the only option that fulfils all the requirements of the CANPASS Air program.
CANPASS Air is currently available at: