How to use the ArriveCAN app if you don't have a smartphone

Published June 22, 2021 1:22 p.m. ET

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TORONTO -- All international travellers arriving to Canada via land or air are currently required to enter their information and upload documents to the federal government's ArriveCAN app within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

But the federal government says using the ArriveCAN app is mandatory and suggests that people use a public computer or ask a friend if they don't have a compatible device.

Travellers must use ArriveCAN to describe their quarantine plans, unless they're quarantine-exempt, and also to upload their COVID-19 test results. After July 5, when the quarantine requirements lift for fully vaccinated travellers, the ArriveCAN app will also be where travellers upload their proof of vaccination.

The app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The ArriveCAN iPhone app is compatible with any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad running iOS 12.0 or later. On Android, the app requires Android version 6.0 or newer.

If you don't have a compatible smartphone, you can submit your information through the browser version of ArriveCAN on any computer. This can include a public computer at a library, an internet café or a hotel.

These places will also often have a printer, allowing you to print out your ArriveCAN receipt. Upon arrival, a Canadian Border Services officer will ask to see your ArriveCAN receipt. If you're not carrying a smartphone or other device, be sure to have a printout of our ArriveCAN receipt ready.

Alternatively, the government also suggests asking a friend or a family member who does have a compatible device to fill out the information for you and email you the receipt. You'll still have to find a printer to print the receipt if you choose this option.

The ArriveCAN app also facilitates daily check-ins for travellers during their quarantine period. If you don't have access to the app during your quarantine, you need to call 1-833-641-0343 each day to check in with federal officials.

The federal government calls ArriveCAN a mandatory requirement for all travellers entering by land or air, but it's unclear what sort of penalties would apply for travellers who don’t.

The federal government's website says that travellers who refuse to use ArriveCAN won't be denied entry, but may face delays due to additional questioning and potentially "be subject to enforcement action."

However, officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaking on background, said that travellers dealing with "exceptional circumstances" outside of their control that prevents them from using the app or asking a friend or family member, won't be penalized for presenting paper copies of their documents.

Marine travellers are still allowed to produce their documents in paper format, given that internet access at sea may be limited, but they are still "strongly encouraged" to use the app, according to the federal government's website. Travellers immediately catching a connecting flight out of Canada are also exempt from using the app.​

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