I returned from our fabulous Toronto visit and want to share a few notes from the visit that might be useful for our SIGCSE TS 2023 in-person attendees!
The main concerns I had was entering (vaccination is currently required and passport), credit card usage, and phone/device.
- Passport - My passport expires in mid-2023, so it was fine. I will be renewing my passport after our October visit. Canada’s Visa is for 6 months, so they may deny entry if your passport expires within 6 months of your entry. The decision to accept or deny rests with the border agent. I will need to renew my passport before our March symposium.
- Vaccination - Update, 3/2023 - Vaccination is no longer required end update Canada currently requires vaccination for non-citizens to enter the country.
- ArriveCan is the app Canada uses to manage visits. You must create an account and upload all travel documents prior to entering Canada. Update 3/2023: ArriveCan is no longer required. If you use it, things may go faster at the border. end update
- You can create your account today. You upload your passport and vaccination card.
- 72 hours before entry, login and provide travel details. I did this and spent less than 1 minute with the border agent. Cars before me were spending about 5 minutes at the booth and getting sheets of paper from the border agent prior to be admitted.
- Phone - Please check your phone plan. I have GoogleFi and all of their plans cover US, Canada and Mexico for phone/data/text as of Aug 10, 2022. I had excellent service.
- Credit/Cash - Canada requires a PIN for purchases, so if you have a PIN then bring it, but I wouldn’t worry about it. I had no problem using either a debit card or a credit card. I also did cash exchanges at the hotel because I didn’t prepare well.