Now that tourism is on the rise again all over the world, there are complaints from various countries about long waiting times at airports. A while ago, Toronto airport in Canada was even named the world’s worst airport in terms of delays. The Canadian government is working hard on concrete plans to overcome this bad reputation and to smooth out the arrival process in Canada.
Airports crowded worldwide
It is not surprising that problems have arisen at airports since global tourist traffic has resumed. One of the biggest causes of this is the large staff shortage at airports, combined with the rapidly growing tourist traffic. Statistics show that about 52% of all flights to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport were delayed. About 6% of the flights were cancelled. Therefore, the Canadian government is prioritising the improvement of conditions at its airports. More staff is being deployed at several locations, but also more and more gateways are being automated in order to offset the staff shortage
As more and more countries now offer electronic visas for tourists, travelling to countries with visa requirements has become considerably easier. In many places, the online e-visa replaces the paper visa or the Visa on Arrival variant. With these e-visas, tourists do not have to queue up for a visa on arrival. For Canada, tourists can apply online for the eTA Canada well in advance of their trip. This electronic visa variant is valid for 5 years and can be used several times. An eTA or visa before departure is mandatory for Canada. It cannot be applied for on arrival.
Delays upon arrival in Canada
Many travellers also encountered delays upon arrival in Canada. Until recently, travellers lost a lot of time filling out the CBSA (Canada Border Service Agency) declaration upon arrival. This declaration could only be completed after arrival at the airport. Meanwhile, it has been made possible to fill out the Advance CBSA Declaration in the ArriveCAN app, or via the website. At the moment, this option is only available for flights to Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. The Canadian government wants to facilitate this everywhere in the near future.
With few exceptions, all tourists arriving in Canada by air with an eTA Canada are required to use the ArriveCAN app. In this app, travellers have to submit their travel details, vaccination details and a travel history within 72 hours prior to arrival. If travel details change after they have been submitted, they can no longer be modified. All travel details must then be submitted anew. Since tourists have to use this app anyway, it is just as easy to have them fill in the CBSA statement here as well. This is optional, so it can also be filled in upon arrival. However, the ArriveCAn app must be completed prior to arrival in order to be allowed into Canada.
Solutions are effective
The delays at Canadian airports are slowly being resolved. More staff has been deployed to check ArriveCAN forms and other declarations on arrival. Also, all random corona tests have been temporarily cancelled and flights are generally better distributed throughout the day.
ArriveCAN and eTA Canada
The digitalisation of travel authorisations and declarations should already solve many delays. The combination of the new addition to the ArriveCAn app and the eTA Canada will make travelling to Canada easier for tourists. The eTA Canada is required if you arrive in Canada by air, but not if you arrive by sea or land as a tourist. The eTA is digitally linked to the passport, which means that the eTA remains valid for 5 years as long as your passport is valid.