Assignees and expatriates (hereafter assignees) relocating to Canada will soon be required to use the ArriveCAN app in order to be allowed entry into Canada. This is as part of efforts to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
This free app was introduced in April, 2020, but it has not been mandatory, and TBSA officials have been responding very well to well written Self-Isolation Plans. It is available as a mobile app, or by signing in online.
Before boarding the plane
Starting November 21, air travellers whose final destination is Canada must submit their information through ArriveCAN before boarding. The information required on the app includes travel and contact information as well as the self-isolation plan (unless the assignee is exempt) and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.
ArriveCan will provide a receipt. The assignee must print this out. Assignees will need to show their ArriveCan receipt when seeking entry to Canada. Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officers will verify that travellers have submitted their information digitally.
If an assignee does not comply, CBSA officers can impose enforcement action, which can range from a verbal warning to a $1,000 fine. The outcome we concern ourselves here, is not being permitted entry.
As of the writing of this alert, air travellers should be reminded by their air carrier about the ArriveCan completion requirements, but we are recommending that DSP’s, RMC’s, immigration providers and inhouse mobility teams/HR remind them about the ArriveCan app, as assignees have so much going on at any one time. At this time we do not know how much notice the airlines are giving to assignees, so email notifications may be missed if an assignee is busy with the packing and loading of their homes and the entire variety of tasks that they are burdened with before leaving.
Even though this is only mandatory on November 21, All Points is recommending that ArriveCAN be completed before boarding immediately, to avoid delays and to limit points of contact when they reach the border.
After arriving to Canada
Within 48 hours of arriving to Canada, travellers must confirm they have arrived at their place of self-isolation they must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during the quarantine period.
If, for any reason, the assignee did not use ArriveCAN to submit their information prior to arriving in Canada, they will be required to call the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number on a daily basis during the quarantine period to provide their information. They will not be able to use ArriveCAN after arrival.
Assignees will be considered a high priority for follow up by Canadian law enforcement if they do not submit their mandatory information.
The Canadian government has stressed that ArriveCAN respects traveller’s privacy and does not contain a GPS to track the movements of travellers.
The purpose of these measures is to reduce the spread of COVID-19, delays at the border, and physical contact between travellers, CBSA officers, and other government officials.
Travellers are offered dedicated lanes for ArriveCAN users at airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto (Pearson), and Montreal to expedite processing upon arrival.
All Points still recommends a Self-Isolation Plan on Company Letterhead
Since March of this past year, All Points has watched (and tried to keep track of) an ever-changing set of government regulations and their enforcement. Due to the fact that throughout this pandemic, enforcement of government regulations have been patchy, sometimes poorly understood and evolving, we are recommending that, in addition to completing the ArriveCan app, that those responsible for employees or recruits that relocate to Canada should still provide Self-Isolation plans from the All Points’ template, which also include a back-to-work protocol (which the ArriveCan app does not include). The written Self-Isolation Plan Template has worked so well with CBSA officials, we would not recommend abandoning it, until we have greater verification that assignees not using the template, and only using the ArriveCan app have equal success as those previously with the template.
All Points will also be interviewing our assignees to see if templates are deemed completely unnecessary by CBSA officials, after seeing an ArriveCan app receipt. If a consistent (consistency is important) answer among assignees is that CBSA officers are not interested in the Self-Isolation Plan any longer, because of the completion of the ArriveCan app, we will update our clients with a change in recommendation to using the ArriveCan app solely.