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First Toronto Visit - ArriveCan, cash/credit and phone usage.Wed 10 Aug 2022

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
    1. You can create your account today. You upload your passport and vaccination card.
    2. 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.