Rainbow Bridge Border Crossing“On June 16, 2017, the Canada Border Services Agency’s Southern Ontario Region started the Flagpoling pilot project. The Pilot involves new procedures for temporary residents of Canada who flagpole from Friday to Monday at the Rainbow, Queenston-Lewiston and Peace Bridges.”

(Note: Flagpoling means to exit a country momentarily and reenter. Usually this is done to satisfy immigration requirements. )

“Due to high volumes and/or excessive immigration wait times experienced from Friday to Monday, temporary residents who flagpole at the specified border crossings to receive immediate processing of Confirmation of Permanent Resident, Work Permit and Study Permit applications will be allowed to proceed into Canada  under their current immigration status and given one of the following options:

  • Apply online, by mail or make an appointment at an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office within Canada; or
  • Return to a CBSA port of entry from Tuesday to Thursday when operational volumes permit the processing of these applications.”

In short, if individuals want to activate their permanent resident visa, or activate a new work or study permit, at the designated Niagara Falls border point, they must plan their trip to be on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday only. We highly recommend people to check before they go to the Niagara Falls borders!

In addition, some borders are starting to adopt this policy without announcement.  As a result, we caution anyone expecting these PR and Permit services at airports or other borders to be mindful of this policy and check before they enter Canada.

Click here for the full fact sheet from the Canada Border Services Agency.