BSF386: Remote Area Border Crossing Permit

A link to the Portable Document Format (PDF) of this form is provided below. The content of the form is duplicated in HTML following the PDF link.

PDF (2,233 KB) [help with PDF files]

For complete instructions on how to complete this application form, please refer to Get a permit to cross the Canada-U.S. border at remote areas.

The RABC permit is valid for the following remote areas:

  • From Pigeon River through to and including Lake of the Woods
  • The Canadian shore of Lake Superior
  • Cockburn Island
  • Sault Ste. Marie (upper lock system)

The RABC (Remote Area Border Crossing) permit, allows the bearer to cross the Border into Canada at the above remote areas without reporting to a port of entry, as long as imported goods are declared.

Who is eligible to apply for a RABC permit?

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

United States citizens and permanent residents must meet normal visitor legislative requirements, as described under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (IRPA), that is, be in good health, be law abiding and have sufficient funds for their stay in Canada. For more information on immigration requirements for visitors to Canada, please consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Web site.

Applicants may not qualify for a permit if they have been previously charged with a contravention of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or immigration legislation; have criminal convictions for which there has not been a pardon or, if they have provided false or incomplete information on the RABC permit application.

Program conditions:

  • RABC permits are valid only for the remote areas listed above and may not be used to cross the border in any other location.
  • Individuals crossing at any other location in Canada should consult our Web site at to learn about an alternate reporting program for your area.
  • Individuals must have their RABC permit in their possession when they cross the border into Canada at the remote areas identified above. Individuals who are not in possession of a RABC permit, or whose permit has expired must enter at a port of entry. Verifications will be conducted periodically.
  • RABC permit holders entering to work in Canada must be in possession of a valid work permit where applicable under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
  • RABC permit holders entering at a CBSA office open for business will not be exempted from the normal examination process.
  • Dependents travelling separately must have a copy of the RABC permit in their possession.
  • All restricted and prohibited firearms must be registered and presented to the CBSA at a port of entry prior to being brought into Canada. Forms are available at 1-800-731-4000, at or at any CBSA office. If you have any questions about importing a firearm into Canada, please check our Web site or call the CBSA office nearest you.

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

For complete instructions on how to complete this application form, please refer to Get a permit to cross the Canada-U.S. border at remote areas.

Application for Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permit

I consent to have my permit issued electronically (Check box)

  • Have you had a RABC permit in the last three years? (Yes/No)
  • Last name
  • First name(s)
  • Middle name(s)
  • Maiden name (if applicable)
  • Country of citizenship
  • Email
  • Date of birth (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • Place of birth
    • City
    • State/Province
    • Country
  • Mailing address
    • Phone # 1
    • Phone # 2
  • Street Address
    • Apt. No
    • City
    • State/Province
    • Postal/Zip Code

What is the primary location where the permit will be used? Select one.

  • Lake of the Woods (excluding NW Angle)
  • Northwest Angle
  • Other – not listed
  • Rainy River
  • Rainy Lake
  • Namakan Lake
  • Sand Point Lake
  • Loon Lake
  • Lac la Croix
  • Border Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)/Quetico Provincial Park
  • Saganaga Lake
  • Maraboeuf Lake
  • Gneiss Lake
  • Granite Bay/Granite River
  • Pine River
  • Magnetic Lake
  • Gunflint Lake
  • Little Gunflint Lake
  • Little North Lake
  • North Lake
  • South Lake
  • Rose Lake
  • Rove Lake
  • Watap Lake
  • Mountain Lake
  • Vaseaux Lake
  • Lily Lake
  • Moose Lake
  • North Fowl Lake
  • South Fowl Lake
  • Pigeon River
  • Lake Superior
  • Soo Locks
  • Cockburn Island

Please note that false statements regarding the following questions may result in the refusal of the RABC permit and that the CAN $30 processing fee will not be refunded.

Have you, or any dependents you included on the RABC permit, ever been convicted of one of the following offences for which you/they have not been pardoned:

  • A crime or offence in any country, including a misdemeanor? (Yes/No)
  • A contravention of the Canada Customs Act? (Yes/No)
  • A contravention of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act? (Yes/No)
  • Have you, or any of your dependents to be included on the RABC permit, ever committed a criminal offence? (Yes/No)

What is the purpose of your trip? (for non-residents of Canada only)

  • Tourism
  • Work
  • Other

If you are coming to "work" or "other," please explain:

Please list all dependents that may come to Canada in the next year.

I wish to have the following family members (spouse, children under the age of 18) included on my RABC permit (attach a separate sheet if necessary).

  • Last name (Include maiden name if applicable)
  • First name(s)
  • Date of birth (year-month-day)
  • Country of citizenship
  • Relationship to applicant (spouse, Minor Child)

I certify that all information given on this application, and in support of this application, was provided voluntarily and is true and complete.

I understand that any information on this application (except for credit card information), any supporting documents, and any background information may be shared among CBSA authorities and among law enforcement and other government agencies in accordance with applicable laws.  I certify that I have read, understood, and that I agree to abide by all conditions required for the use of the program, including all instructions and notices accompanying this application.

  • Signature of applicant or parent/legal guardian if applicant is under 18 years of age
  • Date field

Note: The information provided on this form will be stored in PIB CBSA PPU-013 and will be used to determine your eligibility to participate in this program. It is protected by the Privacy Act and you may request access to it any time.

Credit Card Authorization (mandatory if applying by mail/Email)

I agree to pay the Receiver General for Canada on my credit card the RABC processing fee of $30 CAN.

  • Visa/Mastercard/American Express
  • Card number
  • CVV Number
  • Expiry date of card
  • Name of card holder (please print)
  • Signature of card holder

Where to apply for a Remote Area Border Crossing permit

By Email (preferred method)

Clients wishing to use the RABC in the Northwest Angle area of Lake of the Woods, please submit your application to the following address:

Clients wishing to use the RABC permit in any other area, please submit your application to the following address:

Note: By submitting the RABC form electronically, the applicant consents to have the permit issued electronically as well.

By mail

At least 6 weeks in advance of your trip, mail the completed application and photocopies of the supporting documentation to:
Canada Border Services Agency
RABC Processing Centre
201 North May St, 1st floor
Thunder Bay, ON  P7C 3P4

You will receive a response by mail, unless an interview is deemed necessary. You must have a copy of your RABC permit on your person when travelling.

In person

The completed application and supporting documentation can be presented to a border services officer at one of the following Canada Border Services Agency offices:

Pigeon River Port of Entry
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, between 08:00 - 20:00 hrs.
  • Note Walk-ins are available, clients are not required to make an appointment.
Sault Ste. Marie Port of Entry
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, between 08:00 - 20:00 hrs
  • Clients are to call 705-941-3044 to make an appointment.
Fort Frances Port of Entry
  • Monday through Sunday, 24 hours.
  • Note Walk-ins are available, clients are not required to make an appointment.

Wait times at ports of entry may vary. During peak travel times and holidays, line-ups can result in significant delays.


Please take a minute to review your application and complete this checklist

Have you remembered to:

  • Fully complete the application;
  • Sign the application;
  • Attach copies of the supporting documentation:
    • Identification documentation for myself and accompanying spouse and dependent children;
    • Complete and sign the credit card authorization.
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