Using ArriveCan, Your Entry Into Canada
Using ArriveCan, the Canadian phone app that “facilitates’ (if that’s the right word) entry into the Great North is mandatory. At least for now. Entry requirements for border crossings are in a constant state of flux and have been for a while.
If you find using ArriveCan confusing and cumbersome, console yourself with the thought that you no longer have to pay for an expensive “molecular” Covid test. That requirement was dropped in favor of a less expensive (and quick) antigen test.
I suppose we can hope that things will get back to “normal,” when you could breeze up to the Canadian border (for the sake of this post I’m assuming you’ll be driving to Canada), flash your passport, and be on your merry way. Until then, using ArriveCan is, like I say, mandatory.
You get ArriveCan on your phone the same way you would get any other app. That’s the easiest part of using ArriveCan.
Since things may change by the time you read this, I hesitate to attempt a definitive guide to using ArriveCan. Perhaps the best I can do is point you to the official Canadian government site and let them walk you through it. Presumably, if there are any changes, the site will be updated promptly. There are also video tutorials on YouTube. Just be aware that videos can become out of date as things change.
I will however pass on some tips that would have been helpful had I known them before I embarked on the tedious process of providing the required information.
Using ArriveCan Tip #1: You will be asked your arrival date, but if you’re in a hurry (as I always seem to be) you may overlook the fact that you can only provide this information within three days of your arrival. I wound of telling ArriveCan I would get there the same day! If you make this error, no problem. Just start over.
Using ArriveCan Tip #2: Take photos of your Vax card with your phone before you start working with ArriveCan. You can put images of the cards of everyone in your family on a single phone. I neglected to do this and wound up having to re-enter information about my passport, date of birth, vaccination record, and so forth. Most annoying.
Using AriveCan Tip #3: When entering the dates for your vaccinations (both shots) you must use the app’s calendar, as opposed to just typing in the dates. It’s a lot faster to swipe your way back in time than to keep tapping the “back” arrow to move from month to month.
When you’ve done everything to set up ArriveCan, don’t forget to go back within three days of your arrival and enter your date of arrival and the time of your arrival, too. How can you predict the pride time you will arrive at the border? Good question. I guess you’ll find out. Just one more part of the fun of using ArriveCan.
Oh, and you’ll still need to bring along the physical copy of your vaccination card as well as your passport.