CANPASS Air provides secure and more efficient entry into Canada for low-risk, pre-screened travellers.
As a CANPASS Air member you can:
- Avoid line-ups at the regular primary inspection line at the following international airports: Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto (Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport), Vancouver and Winnipeg;
- Clear the border more quickly by using a special services counter;
- Use a Traveller Declaration Card (TDC) if you are a Canadian resident to report any goods that exceed your personal exemptions; and
- Enrol your children under the age of 18 for free.
You must meet these criteria:
- You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States (U.S.);
- You are a Canadian or American citizen living outside of Canada or the U.S., or who has recently returned to either country;
- You are allowed to enter Canada under applicable immigration laws;
- You have provided true, accurate and complete information on the application;
- You have not been convicted of a serious criminal offence for which a pardon or record suspension has not been granted;
- You have not had a customs seizure within the past six years;
- You are not in contravention of any program legislation, in particular customs or immigration laws; and
- You agree to be photographed during enrolment. This photograph will appear on your CANPASS Air membership card.
Three-year residency requirement for the CANPASS Air program only
Canadian and American citizens living outside of Canada or the U.S., or who have recently returned to either country are eligible to apply to CANPASS Air. In addition, children adopted abroad by a citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the U.S., or born abroad from a citizen of Canada or the U.S. and who hold permanent resident status in Canada or the U.S., are also exempt from the three-year residency requirement when applying to the CANPASS Air program.
Certain permanent residents are also exempted from the three-year residency requirement as outlined in the Customs Notice 12-030. Permanent residents who do not fall within an exempted group are reminded that a three-year residency requirement applies.
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents with a criminal record wishing to apply for CANPASS can look into obtaining a pardon/record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada.
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are inadmissible to Canada because of a criminal record can look into Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Rehabilitation Program. This may allow you to be eligible for CANPASS.
- It is important for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents to be aware that alcohol-related driving offences such as driving while intoxicated, driving while ability-impaired and driving under the influence of alcohol are criminal offences in Canada.
Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status and residency
Applicants must provide acceptable proof of citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada or the U.S. Send photocopies of the documents with the completed application form. These photocopies will not be returned.
Canadian and U.S. citizens
If you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen, provide one of the following:
- Birth certificate and photo identification;
- Valid passport;
- Citizenship certificate or card;
- Certificate of naturalization;
- Certificate of retention of Canadian citizenship;
- Certificate of Indian status in Canada; or
- Certificate of registration of birth abroad.
Permanent residents of Canada and the U.S.
If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S., provide one of the following:
- Valid Canadian permanent resident card; or
- Record of landing (an IMM 1000, also known as a Confirmation of Permanent Residence – IMM 5292 or IMM 5688).
- Valid U.S. permanent resident card.
Current place of residence
For permanent residents only: To demonstrate proof of your current place of residence, you must provide a photocopy of one of the following documents:
- A valid driver's license;
- Another provincial identification card;
- Another federal identification card; or
- Any document with a current address (e.g., a current bill, invoice or bank statement).
If you are exempted, provide applicable proof.
If you are working or studying in Canada or the United States, you must provide a photocopy of one of the following documents:
- A work permit; or
- A study permit.
Join CANPASS Air
The information you provide in your application, including supporting documentation (and for CANPASS Air, biometric data), is collected by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and is protected under the Customs Act and the Privacy Act. In accordance with Canadian laws and regulations, this information will be shared with other government departments or agencies in Canada for the purpose of the operation of the CANPASS Air, CANPASS Corporate Air, CANPASS Private Air or CANPASS Private Boat programs, and to conduct applicable checks and verifications to determine your eligibility and continued eligibility to any of these programs. If the required information is not provided, your application may not be processed and the authorization may not be granted.
Individuals to whom the information relates have rights of access to, correction of and protection of, their personal information under the Privacy Act. The information collected is described in Personal Information Bank # CBSA PPU 002. Instructions for obtaining information are provided in Info Source, which is available online, at public libraries and government public reading rooms.
CANPASS Air is restricted to pre-approved travellers. Members undergo a detailed security check and an interview with a CBSA officer when they enrol.
The non-refundable processing fee is Can$50 for each applicant 18 years of age and older.
You can pay by using Visa, MasterCard or American Express, or by sending a certified cheque or money order in Canadian funds payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Do not send cash.
A CANPASS Air membership is valid for one year, as long as you continue to meet the program's terms and conditions, and comply with Canadian immigration and customs regulations.
How to apply
- Complete and sign the CANPASS application form.
- Send the following to a Canadian processing centre:
- The completed application form;
- The Can$50 fee for each applicant 18 years old or older (applicants under the age of 18 require written consent from a parent or legal guardian);
- A photocopy of your proof of citizenship or permanent resident status; and
- A photocopy of your proof of residency or exemption to the residency if you are a permanent resident.
If you are accepted, your application is processed in approximately four to six weeks. Next, you attend an interview with a CBSA officer.
Applications that are incomplete, missing necessary documents or the Can$50 fee will not be processed. The CBSA will send a letter to request the missing material.
Renewing your membership
A CANPASS Air membership is valid for one year. To renew, follow the process to apply for CANPASS membership.
The CBSA will notify you in writing when it is time to schedule a renewal interview. To ensure uninterrupted service, submit your renewal about three months before expiry.
Change of information
Notify an enrolment centre of any changes to your personal information, such as your citizenship and address.
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., notify an enrolment centre if your reason for travelling to Canada changes or your personal circumstances change (for example, you are a student who wants to work in Canada or you have had a criminal conviction).
Using CANPASS Air
When entering Canada at designated airports, members report to the special services counter (crew counter) for quicker processing.
If you are entering Canada by commercial aircraft, you must complete the CBSA Declaration Card (Form E311) to declare goods. You will receive the form on board the plane and we recommend you complete it before arrival. Travellers must also report if they are carrying more than Can$10,000 when entering Canada.
Canadian residents who are members of a trusted traveller program can use the TDC to declare goods that exceed their personal exemptions. Any duty and taxes you owe will be charged to your credit card provided on the TDC. You can also pay any duty and taxes owing at a cashier located nearby.
U.S. residents must pay any duty and taxes owing to the cashier.
You must carry your CANPASS Air membership card, as well as official travel documents, each time you enter Canada. These documents include a valid passport, citizenship certificate or card, birth certificate, photo identification, or employment or student authorizations.
Your CANPASS Air card is not an official travel document and does not replace these documents.
Your CANPASS Air card proves that you are enrolled in the CANPASS Air program and it is not transferable.
If you lose your CANPASS Air card, contact an enrolment centre immediately.
Every time you enter Canada, you may be subject to a customs inspection or an immigration examination.
If you do not declare the goods you have with you or if you falsely declare them, the goods may be seized. This means that you may lose the goods permanently or you will have to pay to get them back. Under the law, failure to properly declare goods, currency and/or monetary instruments brought into Canada may result in seizure action, monetary penalties and/or criminal prosecution. It could also result in the suspension or cancellation of your CANPASS Air membership.
Note: If your membership has been suspended or cancelled, you may write to the address indicated on the suspension letter to request a review of the decision.
Important: If the suspension or cancellation of your CANPASS Air membership was a result of a seizure, you will be required to appeal this action first and have the decision reversed before the review of the suspension or cancellation of your membership can begin. Information on appealing the seizure action is provided to you at the time of the violation.
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