The Niagara Falls border crossing is where you can use the Rainbow International Bridge (a.k.a Rainbow Bridge) and drive or walk across it to gain entrance from the American side to the Canadian side but only if you have the right set of paper credentials with you, but now there is 1 big reason you may not go and if you guessed that the ridiculously annoying ArriveCAN app has something to do with this article read on I will help you with the 1 big reason you may not go so you can go.
It is no longer as easy as simply taking a day trip with your passport or visa in hand, and passing through border patrol on the Canadian side of the bridge, you simply can’t decide on the same day to saunter across from Niagara Falls USA to the Canada Rainbow Bridge border for a day trip either on foot or by car and then return back to the USA on the same day unless you know this!
The ArriveCAN App Issue Begins When You Decide To Take A Day Trip
On a whim, on Saturday night I decided I wanted to bust out of Pittsburgh (hard to believe right?) and travel to Niagara Falls Canada, but oh how things have changed and with our new normal, it has become a bit of a challenge!
For those planning that spur-of-the-moment day trip and normally just grab your passports and tuck them into your backpack, stop right there as the Government of Canada platform makes it unnecessarily complicated.
Why? Because in order to do what I’ll refer to as, secure your chance to passage and whoever else is in your travel circle (kids, partner, spouse, etc) into the Canadian border to see the Niagara Falls on the Canadian side and then head back over to the USA, it’s no longer that easy! (and not I used the word CHANCE as there are no guarantees!)
I had to jump through multiple hoops on the ArriveCAN app which can serve to seriously be a deterrent but don’t let it, instead fill it out, read this if you get stuck with the 1 big reason you might not get over that Rainbow Bridge border crossing then once you cross the border Go Get A Canadian Beer, you deserve it!
What You Need To Know About Crossing the Rainbow Bridge From The USA TO Canada (Post Covid) (ArriveCAN App)
The 1 big reason you may not travel to Canada via the borders no matter where you are is the ArriveCAN App which on some level will absolutely frustrate the ever-living daylights out of you when you try to declare that you are simply just trying to take a simple day trip from the American side of Niagara Falls to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls,
Because unless you know what I am about to share with you (the workaround for destination) about the app process and figuring out the ArriveCAN app you may spend literal HOURS trying to fill it out and get nowhere.
All I Wanted To Do Was Use The Niagara Falls Border Crossing To Show My Kids Canada And the Canadian Side Of Niagara Falls
I Instantly Disliked The ArriveCAN App for this 1 big reason and honestly, it almost deterred me from even going, but I dug deep, channeled my inner travel writer gumption, and decided that the App was not going to defeat me even after at least 6+ hours of trying to figure out this simple, unmentioned step on the Canada website for the ArriveCAN APP!
And while I say this next little sentence, lightly, and joking, I really do think that you need a drink to begin figuring out the ArriveCAN App in one area in particular which drove me insane, until finally, I called a number I found on the ArriveCANwebsite to get help, spent about 10 minutes on hold and then another 10 plus for the person (who was super sweet) on the other end to find the answer as that person (and Yes the person works there and had no idea either how to bypass the issue but does now!).
I think my favorite part of the call was at the beginning when I was asked, “how did you get this phone number?”
Well, hello, the number is on their website for anyone to use, lol and while the website also offers an email form, I needed to be helped immediately since I decided I was heading over on Wednesday and it was a few days away, and I already made hotel reservations because everything was pretty darn booked!
What Is The ArriveCAN App For Those That Don’t Know That Has to Be Used Before Heading To The Niagara Falls Border Crossing (and ALL Canadian Borders?)
The ArriveCAN APP is the App you will wish never existed and since it does you will wish it would take the Rainbow bridge and disappear over Niagara Falls Canada forevermore as it makes a simple crossing of the Rainbow International Bridge from country to country a total PIA and I mean that in the kindest way possible (NOT!)
The ArriveCAN App requires you to provide mandatory travel information because your passports and visas and vaccine cards, plus your want to bolster their economy with all of your purchases are no longer enough due to our new normal.
- The ArriveCANApp is a free app that you’ll need to place on your phone (iPhone or Android)
- ArriveCAN can also be filled out on your desktop, laptop, iPad, etc if you prefer.
- The App needs to be filled out 72 hours before you are attempting to gain passage into Canada (over the Rainbow bridge from the USA to Canada)
- You’ll declare your vaccine status, as well as provide a form of ID – even though you need just a copy of your vaccine card in most places you travel along with a form of ID Canada apparently is better than everywhere else and really wants you to grovel to get in and work for it!
- You’ll be given a receipt after you are done if you can get through the app that you can print or store on your phone don’t worry the border patrol agent won’t even use it, so it is a waste of time from top to bottom!
It is hard to imagine the hoops we need (USA Citizens and citizens of other countries traveling to Canada and attempting border crossing) to jump through to walk through a bridge, there’s travel insurance and vaccine cards for a reason but I guess there is a need to shell out more effort just to visit Canada than the basics that everyone else is asking for?
Before Heading To the Niagara Falls Border Crossing the Rainbow Bridge From The USA To Canada (Figuring Out The ArriveCAN App)
Gather up the following items to fill out the APP so you can get done quickly and increase your chances of heading onto the Niagara Falls Border Crossing.
- you’ll need a laptop, or a computer of some sort, or a phone to create an account that requires an email then a password
- then you’ll send your fingers running to your email to grab this invaluable 6-digit verification code that expires in 24 hours and makes you start over if you have not confirmed your account (keep the end game in the back of your mind, passage into Canada to see the biggest North American Falls available to you and if that doesn’t work, keep the thoughts of beer and wine on the Canadian side in your head lol)
- the saving grace here is that once you have your username and password created it will work (like any other app) on both your computer and the phone app (woot!)
- you need either a passport, Nexus, Fast Card, or Enhanced driver’s license to add to the required information, and the website says it will scan these items, it would NOT for me so I entered my information manually
- your proof of Covid Vaccinations with the dates on it – you will need to photo (or scan) and upload it onto the APP and you’ll need to be able to read your card to fill in the dates of the vaccines as well as select the type of vaccines you had (Pfizer, etc) and how many dosages. To be honest, this annoyed me because if my uploaded image already contains all the information, why do I have to waste more time filling it in, does anyone else feel the same way?
- Once that is all saved you’ll be moving on and will have to share more information which is where the issue begins for daytrippers using the Niagara Falls Border Crossing (the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to Canada in other words via car or foot) JUMP TO THE NEXT SECTION I’LL SHOW YOU WHAT TO DO!!!
- If you can get beyond what I am going to share below you will then be the lucky recipient of a receipt, but again don’t get excited because that receipt does NOT guarantee you passage through the border! The receipt will appear on the APP if you downloaded it, and if by computer, you’ll find an email to print and bring with you (remember if your phone does not allow roaming you may not access this needed document so again print it)
What Is the 1 Big Reason You May Not Be Headed To The Niagara Falls Border Crossing?
Here is a look at the form, which seems relatively straightforward and the end game here is to gain passage over the Rainbow bridge from the USA to Canada (at least the focus of this article anyway).
The overall big reason you may not get over the Canadian border has to do with their glitch, issue, whatever you want to refer to this as for being a daytripper, please look below, are you traveling by foot? Where is that? I don’t see it either but this same issue affects those in a car for the day, we are not alone!
Fill in the appropriate reason for your trip and basically explain why you are crossing the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to Canada at the Niagara Falls border crossing.
Do note, that you are to mark off ENTRY BY LAND in case that didn’t just ding you as Captain Totally Obvious since that includes FOOT Traffic which is completely overlooked on the form and yet a very popular method!
Next, it’s time to tell the ArriveCANreading this article you are quite obviously coming over the Niagara Falls border and using the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to Canada.
Remember you can not fill this out until 72 hours BEFORE your trip and you are NOT guaranteeing yourself and anyone you are traveling with that you will actually be able to visit Canada you are just making sure at this point you have followed stringent rules to enter its country!
The 1 Big Reason You May Not Go To The Niagara Falls Border Crossing Is The Address Question That The AGENT Could Not Even Help With Until She Got Help!
This is the question that burned me, in fact, it is the question that burned the agent in Canada that answered the phone, as that person did NOT have the answer either, so how in the world should I have been able to figure this one out?
Now Here Is What I am Sharing to HELP You AVOID 1 Big Reason You May Not Go
Let’s Solve The DayTrip Rainbow Bridge From the USA to Canada Issue on the Form!
Remember I have stated several times that my trip on the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to CANADA was to be a day trip only and I could have used this form by land and a vehicle or as a pedestrian which they call a TRAVELLER?
All we are doing is a simple Niagara Falls border crossing that appears to be less than easy, but don’t worry, I have filled out the form for you below so you don’t have to search on what to do as I had to for hours and then a phone call too!
Well, Apparently that is not how this works, because this form from ArriveCAN App is insisting on an address that I won’t have because I chose to stay in the United States and visit Canada for the day not overnight.
So How Do We Fill Out The App For the Niagara Falls Border Crossing?
You use the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to Canada as the address that you are staying at. Yes, it is that simple but that information is NOT on the Canadian Website that forces you to use this form, and their own employee did NOT know the answer.
Riddle me this Canada, if your own staff does not know the answer to the form, how does one answer it who doesn’t work for you and wants to visit?
My dear readers, don’t spend hours sifting the internet for information to fill out the Niagara Falls border crossing.
Simply use this information if you are crossing the Rainbow Bridge from the USA to CANADA and then rejoice when you head back over to the USA that there is no BS like this!
Make sure to keep the postal code together and NOT spaced, that is another issue.
The ArriveCAN App truly puts a damper on the trip on the Rainbow Bridge From the USA to Canada and Is A Time-Consuming Beast when You Really Start Figuring Out The ArriveCAN App.
We Were Almost Done With the Officer At The Canada Border Services Agency But…
The people in front of us took forever because they did not have their documents in order and we just stood in line outside the door, endlessly waiting to go in and see if we would be allowed to cross the border.
First, I had to bite my tongue and swallow hard because the site specifically states that you must bring the following and I dare not get rambunctious with the border officer:
- the SAME documents YOU used to complete the ArriveCAN app
- the receipt via a screenshot or the printed paper.
When asked for our paperwork and documents I provided everything we had used for the ArriveCAN. HUGE mistake.
First, I provided the items we used to register along with the receipt, and we were told that they were NOT what she wanted, yet, were TOLD to bring exactly that!
I am sorry did she not read the website?
The receipt I handed her was not even opened, nor did I provide a screenshot, so WHY DID WE have to fill out this stupid form, and yet none of it was used?
The Reality of the 1 Big Reason That Your Niagara Falls Border Crossing Has Become A KillJoy!
The reality of all of this is that you Canada are as confused as WE are and your own employees on the phone couldn’t answer a question without getting help.
Why can’t I just bring my vaccine card and passport and why can’t I just go on a spur-of-the-moment type trip without this 72-hour planning oh you are a killjoy Canada and you literally suck the fun out of going long before we can get there. Sporadic fun does exist just not on your borders but redundancy does!
While I investigated the issue for hours and had to make phone calls to figure it out, we still came to Canada and visited which is what my kids wanted to do, but that does not change my POV and while you don’t care I am sure, I hope that my readers and others use what I learned to make their trip easier.
Your App is redundant as we can easily provide our vaccines cards (those who have them), and there is travel insurance available for those who contract Covid and need to quarantine, so why is Canada making this so stinking hard?
I don’t know that answer but I do know this, while I loved my time there, I won’t fill out a form to return, as as a seasoned travel pro (travel blogger) take it for what it is worth, but no country is worth that effort IMO! ~ Dana XO