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Don't want to miss your flight connection to Vancouver? This tool saves time at Canadian airports

This tool shaves an average of 50 per cent off wait times.
Travellers who have Canadian connections on international flights to Vancouver can save time by using the ArriveCAN app to submit an advance customs declaration.

Travellers flying into Canada from international destinations can save a great deal of time at customs by filling out their declaration in advance. 

Canada launched ArriveCAN in April 2020 to collect health information, including vaccine records, as well as pandemic-related travel details. While travellers are no longer required to use the app, they can save time at the border by continuing to use it.

Travellers to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and major airports across the country can submit an Advance Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Declaration through the app to breeze through customs following an international trip. 

There are separate lines and separate kiosks for passengers that have filled out their CBSA advanced declaration via ArriveCan. According to YVR, using ArriveCAN speeds up the customs and border process up to 50 per cent faster per traveller. 

For travellers who have a connection in their itinerary, having an alternative express line to move through might mean the difference between whether they make their flight or not.

For example, travellers to YVR arriving from outside of the country who must make a stop at Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on their route home will need to go through customs in Toronto. Depending on the length of the stopover, or if they experience a flight delay, they may have minimal time to make the connection on flights to Vancouver. 

Have a look at how empty the line was at YYZ airport for travellers who had already submitted their CBSA declaration. 

How to create an ArriveCAN account for YVR arrivals

Travellers can use the ArriveCAN app in airplane mode but require an internet connection to submit their declaration. They must also have either an Apple device running iOS 13 or above, or an Android device running OS 6 or above.

Alternatively, a web version of ArriveCAN is available on tablets, laptops, smartphones, and desktop computers. 

  • Follow the prompts to create the account 
  • Create a secure password 
  • Complete your traveller profile with a travel document (passport or Canadian permanent resident card), which you can scan or enter manually. When you travel you must use the same document that you entered into the app. 
  • If you plan to submit a declaration for a group, you will need to enter information for all travellers.
  • By using the "saved traveller profile" feature on the app, your travel document information is kept on a secure server linked to your sign-in account. Using this feature is voluntary. 

How to use the ArriveCAN app to submit your advance customs declaration

The Advance CBSA Declaration optional feature is available through ArriveCAN. 

To submit an Advance CBSA Declaration for yourself or your group before your trip, you must:

  • Confirm travel document information
  • Answer the customs and immigration questions truthfully
  • Send the declaration within 72 hours of arriving in Canada

You will receive confirmation of your Advance CBSA Declaration, including your reference number, by email.

When your flight lands, you must: 

  • Scan your travel document(s) at the airport kiosk or eGate where available (a maximum of five travellers can use one kiosk at a time, and one traveller can use one eGate at a time – travellers using eGates must be 16 years of age or more)
    • The kiosk/eGate will retrieve your declaration information
  • Review and edit your declaration (if required) then submit your final declaration to the CBSA
  • Take the kiosk or eGate receipt to a border services officer for further processing

Travellers flying in or out of YVR also have a new option to check on the conditions at the airport in one quick "snapshot." Have a look at the airport's new operational snapshot and get some tips on how to move quickly through the airport for your next flight.

Find out more information on how to use the Advance CBSA Declaration

Have a look at an instructional video that shows how to save time with the ArriveCAN app.