BSF386 – Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) Permit

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

Form content

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 at

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 at 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.

How to apply for a Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permit

Supporting Documentation

  • Passport: submit a PHOTOCOPY of the pages bearing your photograph and signature. No further documentation is required if you submit your passport.
  • If you do not have a passport, each person 18 years and over MUST provide two pieces of identification: one primary AND one secondary document. Photocopies of identification documents are acceptable. DO NOT mail original documents.
  • 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 court order or letter of authorization if this application is for a child under 18 years of age who will be travelling with a non-custodial adult.
  • Submit identification every time you apply for an RABC Permit. DO NOT mail original documents.

Primary documentation:

  • Passport (no secondary ID required)
  • United States Permanent Resident Card
  • State Issued Birth Certificate - Note: Hospital certificates are not acceptable.
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Province Issued Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship Card or Citizenship Certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization 

Secondary documentation:

  • Driver's License (preferred)
  • United States Social Security Card
  • Canadian Social Insurance Card

Processing fee

By mail:
  • The CAN $30 per application processing fee includes the principal applicant plus qualifying family members (see below).
  • The processing fee is waived for Principal Applicants UNDER 18 years of age.
  • The processing fee is NOT refundable.
  • CAN $30 payable by Visa, MasterCard or American Express ONLY.
In person at a CBSA office:
  • The processing fee may be paid in cash, credit card, debit card, or a cheque drawn from a Canadian Financial Institution.
  • Please note that cheques drawn from United States bank accounts are not acceptable

Qualifying family members

  • The family consist of a principal applicant plus spouse (includes a common law partner or same sex partner who have lived with principal applicant for one or more years) and children UNDER 18 years of age.  Children under 18 must be children of the applicant, applicant's spouse or of legal guardianship to applicant.
  • Please list all children under 18 years of age that may be travelling to Canada in the next year. Dependents CANNOT be added after the RABC permit has been processed.

Expiry date information

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

Credit Card Authorization (mandatory if applying by mail)

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

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

Application for Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permit

Protected B when completed

  • Have you had a RABC permit in the last three years? (Yes/No)
  • Date permit required (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • Last name
  • First name(s)
  • Middle name(s)
  • Maiden name (if applicable)
  • Country of citizenship
  • Marital status
    • Married
    • Separated
    • Same sex partner
    • Never Married
    • Widowed
    • Common law
    • Divorced
  • Sex (Male/Female)
  • Date of birth (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • Place of birth
    • City
    • State/Province
    • Country
  • Mailing address
    • Street Address
    • Apt. No
    • City
    • State/Province
    • Postal/Zip Code
    • Home Phone
    • Business Phone

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 of your dependents to be 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 misdemeanour? (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)

If the answer is "Yes" to any of the questions, please provide details (type of conviction, date of conviction):

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 (YYYY-MM-DD)
  • Country of Citizenship
  • Relationship to applicant (Spouse Son Daughter)

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#EIC/P-PU-115 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.

Where to apply for a Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) permit

By mail (preferred method)

At least 4-6 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 Street, 1st Floor
Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada P7C 3P4
Telephone: 807-624-2162
Toll-Free 1-877-854-7222

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:

  • Fort Frances Port of Entry
  • Rainy River Port of Entry
  • Pigeon River Port of Entry
  • Sault Ste. Marie Port of Entry
  • Emerson West Lynne Port of Entry

Canada Border Services Agency
RABC Processing Centre
201 North May Street, 1st Floor
Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada P7C 3P4

When applying in person, a decision will be provided while you wait, or mailed to you within 48 hours. Waiting times at ports of entry may vary. During peak travel times, 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, including documentation for accompanying spouse and dependent children; and
  • Complete and sign the credit card authorization.
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