Buenos dias everyone!
I got an email from NEXUS this week about some changes coming to Canadian immigration procedures which will seem very familiar to US travelers. Starting this weekend, Canada is starting to phase out its paper declaration cards in favor of automated “Primary Inspection Kiosks”, similar to the Automated Passport Control (APC) or Global Entry (GE) kiosks used in most US airports.
Like the APC or GE kiosks in the US, the machines will scan your passport, take a photo, and ask you to answer the questions previously presented on the paper customs declaration form. The machines will also use facial recognition software to compare your photo to the photo in your passport. A companion app called CanBorder eDeclaration is also available for download, which allows travelers to answer the declaration forms on their phone. The app generates a QR code which you can scan at the Primary Inspection Kiosk to expedite the process.
NEXUS members can continue using their dedicated kiosks, which will be updated to include the customs questionnaire (previously NEXUS members still had to fill out a paper customs declaration). The mobile app is not compatible with NEXUS kiosks. The new machines will go into service starting Monday, March 20th at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. A timeline has not been provided for rollout to other Canadian airports, but they say that the system will be coming to “select airports” through 2017.
Will this new system make your next trip to Canada easier? I’d love to hear your thoughts.