Travellers

What to expect at the border

All travellers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to present themselves to a border services officer, respond truthfully to all questions and accurately report their goods. This includes a requirement to report any food, plant and animal products in their possession.

We remind travellers to have all identification and travel documentation ready. Being prepared to make a full and accurate declaration, including the amount in Canadian dollars of goods you are bringing with you, will help us get you on your way as quickly as possible.

Arriving by air

If arriving by air, you will receive a CBSA Declaration Card while you are on board and you must complete it prior to arrival. Whether you're returning to Canada or visiting, you'll follow the same straightforward process to enter Canada when arriving by air. For a step-by-step guide, consult Arriving by Air or check out our video on YouTube.

Arriving by land

If arriving by land, follow the signs to the first check point — referred to as Primary Inspection – where a border services officer will examine your identification and other travel documents, and take your verbal declaration. Select Border Wait Times to access the estimated wait times for crossing the Canada-United States land border at certain locations.

Arriving by private boat

If arriving by private boat, proceed directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the Telephone Reporting Center (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 in order to obtain CBSA clearance. Certain private boaters may now present themselves to the CBSA by calling the TRC from their cellular telephones from the location at which they enter Canadian waters. For more information, consult our fact sheet.

CBSA Declaration Card

The CBSA Declaration Card tells us what we need to know about you, your travels and what you're bringing into the country. CBSA Declaration Cards are distributed to passengers arriving by air, and are also used at some locations for travellers arriving by train, boat or bus. Bringing a pen in your carry-on baggage will help you complete it, as required, prior to arrival.

Instructions on how to complete the card are attached for your assistance. You can list up to four people living at the same residence on one card. Once the card is completed, detach and discard the instructions. Please do not fold the card, as this allows us to serve you more quickly.

Be sure to keep the card handy along with your identification and other travel documents. You will be asked to show this card to our border services officers several times.

If you have any questions about the card or Canadian regulations, please ask the border services officer when you arrive.

For more information to help you make your declaration, consult I Declare.

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