THE Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers to prepare for a busy Good Friday and Easter Monday long weekend at the border.
Last year, approximately 77,058 vehicles entered Canada through the five Lower Mainland border crossings during the Good Friday and Easter Monday long weekend (March 25 to 28, 2016). The busiest crossings were the Douglas and Pacific Highway ports of entry (POE), which processed approximately 31,247 and 20,241 vehicles respectively.
The CBSA anticipates higher than normal traffic volumes; therefore, here are a few things you can do to make your cross-border trip a little easier:
- Plan ahead:Cross the border in the morning, especially if you plan to cross on a Sunday or Monday. The Douglas POE is the busiest land border crossing in British Columbia, and longer wait times begin building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening. Alternatively, travellers can return to Canada through nearby POEs like the ports of Aldergrove, Abbotsford-Huntingdon, Boundary Bay or Pacific Highway. For border wait times, download the mobile CanBorder app or visit the CBSA website.
- Be prepared:Have your travel documents, proper identification for all persons in the vehicle, and receipts from purchases outside of Canada ready to present to the border services officer. Be ready to declare all goods purchased and/or received while outside the country.
- Know your exemption limits:If you plan to make purchases or pick up online purchases across the border, be aware of your exemption limits. Be sure to check the CBSA duty and taxes estimator to calculate taxes on goods purchased in the United States and to help you make informed decisions when shopping abroad.
- Ask the CBSA officer:To enter into Canada as quickly as possible, the single best thing you can do is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.
- Check if you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): eTA is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals, other than U.S. citizens, travelling to Canada by air. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, cannot apply for an eTA and need to travel with a valid Canadian passport. Canadian permanent residents (PRs) are also not eligible for an eTA and, as always, need to travel with a PR card or a PR travel document. Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to board a flight to Canada.
To expedite the border clearance process, apply to become a NEXUS member. For information on the NEXUS enrollment process and hours of operation, visit the CBSA website.
For more travel tips from the CBSA, visit the travel tips section on the CBSA website.
NEXUS Hours of Operation: Friday, April 14 to Monday, April 17, 2017
|Location (Canada)||Location (U.S.)||NEXUS
Hours of service into Canada
|Abbotsford-Huntingdon||Sumas||8 a.m. to 10 p.m.|
|Aldergrove||Lynden||10 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Boundary Bay||Point Roberts||7 a.m. to 7 p.m.|
|Pacific Highway (Surrey)||Blaine||7 a.m. to midnight|
|Douglas (Surrey)||Peace Arch (Blaine)||7 a.m. to midnight|