As of 7 September 2021, the eTA Canada allows you to go on holiday or visit family or friends in Canada again. A business visit has also been possible again since then. However, travellers still need to use the ArriveCAN platform. Vaccinated travellers fill in their vaccination details here, and the small number of unvaccinated travellers must fill in their quarantine plans for upon arrival in Canada here.
Use ArriveCAN via the app or online
From 1 April 2022, travellers who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved in Europe (or one dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine) will no longer need a negative test result for departure to Canada. However, they must register through ArriveCAN. This is a programme for international travellers to Canada, developed in during the height of the pandemic. It is not a replacement for an eTA, visa or COVID-19 certificate, but an additional requirement. Through ArriveCAN, you will be asked to enter your contact and COVID-19 vaccination details, as well as travel details such as your passport details and travel plans. Usually, ArriveCAN refers to the app of the same name, but there is also an online version. Although all these details are put into ArriveCAN, donʼt forget to bring your vaccination certificate as well.
App or online version
Are you using the ArriveCAN app on your mobile phone or tablet? Then always use the latest version. Download or update it before entering your details. The mobile version is not currently suitable for all travellers. Travellers with special needs in terms of accessing online information can therefore continue to use tools such as screen readers and magnifying glasses to complete the digital form via a Canadian government website. Even if you do not need this, you can choose to use the web version. Do make a choice in this. This is because it is not possible to use the app and website interchangeably for registration of the same passenger, or for travellers in the same travel group for whom data have already been filled in previously. Not using a smartphone? Then use the online version, print out the receipt, and take it with you on your trip.
Only on rare occasions no ArriveCAN obligation
All travellers arriving in Canada are required to upload their information via the ArriveCAN app or website. There are only a very limited number of exceptions to this. This applies, for example, to travellers who, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition, have a cognitive or physical disability that also prevents them from using the more accessible web version of ArriveCAN. It also applies in case of (large-scale) failures and as a one-off exception for travellers arriving in Canada by land. For a subsequent trip, the latter group is expected to use ArriveCAN though. Only travellers in the excepted categories can submit their information via a paper form, or verbally, at the border.
ArriveCAN exception for transfer with eTA in international terminal
Are you transferring at a Canadian airport without leaving the airport? Then you do need the eTA Canada, but do not need to use ArriveCAN if your transfer is less than 24 hours. You will not pass through Canadian customs in this case and therefore cannot manually recheck your baggage. These travellers will not be designated for any random coronavirus testing after arrival.
ArriveCAN exceptions are separate from vaccination requirement in Canada
However, the aforementioned exceptions should not be confused with the exceptions to the vaccination requirement for travelling to Canada. To travel to Canada with the eTA, you must either be fully vaccinated or fall under one of the exceptions. Currently, you can only use your eTA for exceptions issued from 15 January 2022. Since then, the Canadian government assesses travellersʼ vaccination status much more strictly. Moreover, travellers who fall under this exception still need to be quarantined after arriving in Canada. ArriveCAN is also used for this purpose. Note that for children under 18, there are different rules around any vaccination exemption, but information for all travellers in the same travel party must be entered through ArriveCAN. So this also applies to children regardless of their vaccination status.
Apply for your eTA for a future trip to Canada
However, unvaccinated travellers without permission to quarantine in Canada can already apply for an eTA for future travel, as the eTA Canada is valid for 5 years. Until further notice, the Canadian vaccination requirement continues to apply, with only the new, much more limited permissions for an exception. ArriveCAN is mandatory for almost all travel.
Take note: this news article about the eTA for Canada is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the eTA for Canada.