Remote Area Border Crossing Program

COVID-19: Latest update

Visit Current border measures and requirements for information about how COVID-19 is affecting travellers, border services, programs and business.

The Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) program facilitates the border clearance process for individuals wishing to cross the border into Canada in the following remote areas:

On this page

Temporary suspension

The Canadian and U.S. governments have agreed to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, all RABC members, including Canadians, cannot use their RABC permits to enter Canada. If the reason for your travel meets the exemptions of the current travel directives, then you must report to an open port of entry to enter Canada. Travellers leaving the Northwest Angle Area must contact the Telephone Reporting Center (TRC) before entering Canada, which can be done using a personal cellular phone or the public telephone to call 1-888-226-7277 or 905-679-2073. RABC members and prospective members should note that during this suspension, the CBSA:

The CBSA will keep members up to date as this situation evolves.


Citizens and permanent residents of Canada and the United States are eligible to apply for a RABC permit.

U. S. citizens and permanent residents must meet normal Canadian visitor legislative requirements, as described in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In general, visitors must be in good health and law-abiding, and they must have sufficient funds for their stay in Canada. For more information on immigration requirements for visitors to Canada, see the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

You may not qualify for a RABC permit if one of the following applies:



Qualifying family members

A family consists of a principal applicant and a spouse (including a common-law partner or same-sex partner who has lived with the principal applicant for one or more years), and dependent children under 18 years of age. Dependent children must be children of the applicant or the applicant’s spouse, or children of whom the applicant is the legal guardian.

If you are the legal guardian of children or you have adopted children and you want them to be included on the permit, please provide legal proof of adoption or guardianship.

Please list all dependents who may be travelling to Canada in the next year. Dependents cannot be added after the RABC permit has been processed.

Mandatory documents

Submit identification every time you apply for an RABC permit. Each person 18 years and over must provide two pieces of identification: one primary document and one secondary document (see the list below).

Photocopies of identification papers are acceptable. Do not mail in original documents. If you submit a photocopy of the pages bearing your photograph and signature in your passport, no further documentation is required.

Each child (under 18 years of age) need only provide a primary document.

Custodial parents or legal guardians must attach a copy of supporting documents, such as a court order or letter of authorization if the application is for a child under 18 years of age who will be travelling with a non-custodial adult.

Primary documents

  • a passport (If you submit a photocopy of the pages bearing your photograph and signature in your passport, no further documentation is required.)
  • a U.S. Permanent Resident Card
  • a state-issued birth certificate
  • a Canadian Permanent Resident Card /li>
  • a Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • a province-issued birth certificate
  • a citizenship card
  • a citizenship certificate
  • a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization

Secondary documents

  • a driver's licence (preferred)
  • a U.S. Social Security card
  • a Canadian Social Insurance Card

Note: that hospital certificates, army cards, work identification cards, or any other form of identification not issued by the government are not acceptable.

Submitting your application

All applications are thoroughly screened through various databases in Canada and the United States. False statements made on your application regarding criminal convictions or contraventions of the Customs Act or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may result in refusal to issue a RABC permit. In these cases, the CAN$30 processing fee is not refunded.

Application Form

In person

Applications can be made in person at any of the following ports of entry:

Applications can also be made at the Thunder Bay CBSA office, located at 201 North May Street.

By mail

To avoid processing delays at the border, it is recommended to apply by mail three to four weeks before your trip.

Mail your completed application and photocopies of supporting documents to the following address:

Canada Border Services Agency
201 North May Street
Thunder Bay ON P7C 3P4
Telephone: 807-624-2162
Toll Free: 1-877-854-RABC

Application processing

The application processing time is three to four weeks.

Using your permit

Program conditions

Reporting procedures

RABC permit holders entering Canada where there is an open CBSA office are not exempt from the normal reporting process.

Dependents travelling separately must have a copy of the RABC permit in their possession.

Declaring goods

All firearms must be registered and presented to the CBSA at a port of entry before being brought into Canada. Related forms are available from the Canada Firearms Centre and any CBSA office.

RABC permit holders who are importing goods that will remain in Canada, or who are importing goods over their personal exemption limit must contact a CBSA office prior to departing from the United States and provide a full description and the value of all such goods. A border services officer will issue a reference number to RABC permit holders and advise them of the steps they must follow when they arrive in Canada.

The following are phone numbers for port of entry offices to report goods that will remain in Canada or that are over the exemption limit:

Be prepared to communicate the following information:

The CBSA officer will provide you with a reference number, which is your proof that you have reported the goods. Keep the reference number with you when you cross the border. A Casual Goods Accounting Document (B15) will be prepared and mailed to you, along with your credit card receipt. Keep a copy of this document on file as proof that you reported your goods to the CBSA.

For more information:

Permit expiry and renewal

RABC permits are valid for one year from the date of issue.

Submit identification every time you apply for an RABC permit.

The phone numbers for RABC program port of entry offices are as follows:

Date modified: