BWCA Your experience with RABC application Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* BWCA is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Quetico Forum
      Your experience with RABC application     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

Jackfish
Moderator
distinguished member(7897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
02/26/2023 10:48PM  
How has your experience gone when you've applied for an RABC permit? Has it gone smoothly? Was it easy? Is it strictly completed online now or is there still the option of mailing the application?
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
02/27/2023 09:05AM  
I did mine online back in December, and it was really smooth. Permit was emailed to me about 2 weeks after my submission. I believe there is still a mail in option, but I could be wrong about that.
02/27/2023 09:15AM  
A buddy just did his earlier this month (online) and they turned it around in about a week.
moosedoggie
distinguished member (197)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/27/2023 04:44PM  
I did mine back in the fall. Had the permit emailed to me right at 3 weeks later.

No problems.
02/27/2023 05:03PM  
I applied the day they opened applications last summer, Received mine the next day.
Jackfish
Moderator
distinguished member(7897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
02/27/2023 09:32PM  
Wow, certainly some fast turn-around times! Banks... you got yours in one day??? Sure beats snail mail.
Graybeard
member (45)member
  
03/01/2023 04:00PM  
I submitted on a Friday afternoon and the approval was emailed back to me on a Sunday afternoon; less than 36 hours. Wasn’t expecting that!! (This was about mid-January as I recall).
MarshallPrime
distinguished member (434)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/06/2023 02:24PM  
Mine was emailed on a Monday and got it back on Sunday so just under 1 week.
Jackfish
Moderator
distinguished member(7897)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
03/06/2023 03:08PM  
These are all great reports of a much faster and streamlined RABC permitting process. Glad to hear it. And to think it used to take weeks, even longer than a month!
03/06/2023 03:08PM  
found this on the website: it appears they prefer the EMAIL method.

IN PERSON:
The completed application and supporting documentation can be presented to a border services officer at one of the following Canada Border Services Agency offices BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. A limited number of appointments are available.

Pigeon River Port of Entry
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, between 08:00 - 20:00 hrs
Clients are to call 807-964-300 to make an appointment.

Sault Ste. Marie Port of Entry
Tuesday and Wednesday, between 08:00 - 20:00 hrs
Clients are to call 705-941-3044 to make an appointment.

Fort Frances Port of Entry
Monday through Sunday, 24 hours.
Walk-ins are available, client a not required to make an appointment.

I Guess i probably have to open one of the links for the email application option to see what supporting documents they require.

Wait times at ports of entry may vary. During peak travel times and holidays, line-ups can result in significant delays.
03/07/2023 10:16PM  
One more data point: another of our team got his turned around in 8 days.
mustangman86
member (5)member
  
03/08/2023 12:03PM  
I submitted my application via email Sunday and received my permit this morning. Less than 3 days turnaround.
03/20/2023 10:08AM  
We’re going for my first trip into Quetico and checking in at Prairie Portage. I don’t see that on application the list but I do see Moose Lake. Is that the right Moose Lake or do I check Other?
Thanks
03/20/2023 10:37AM  
BonzSF: "We’re going for my first trip into Quetico and checking in at Prairie Portage. I don’t see that on application the list but I do see Moose Lake. Is that the right Moose Lake or do I check Other?
Thanks "

If you're referring to the RABC the correct response to the query "What is the primary location where the permit will be used? " is: Border Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)/Quetico Provincial Park.

If you're worried about a BWCA permit you're in the wrong thread, but the answer is to pick up a day-use permit (if you're paddling to PP) and another day use permit (entry point "from Canada") for your return paddle.
03/20/2023 12:22PM  
Ahh I see now. it has it as "Lac la CroixBorder Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)/Quetico Provincial Park" Somebody forgot to put a space between Croix and Border.
B1lee
member (26)member
  
05/05/2023 04:25PM  
I know there have been many posts in the last few months of people receiving their RABC back in a week or less. I read those posts and was worried I did something wrong in the new email version. I sent my application on April 16, (Sunday) and just got it today (May 5th). So for those of you who were expecting it back in a week or less, I guess don't get too worried. I had two of my minor boys on it as well.
gopher2307
distinguished member (192)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/05/2023 07:16PM  
thanks for this post. I submitted mine around the same time as you. Been pondering where it may be.
05/05/2023 09:07PM  
I submitted one last year after they put the new process in place. I didn’t care for the idea of sending my passport via unsecured email, so I mailed it. Still got it quickly.
05/05/2023 11:15PM  
Key thing is to submit it and they will get it back to you! As long as you don’t have a big glaring reason for them to deny you guess what you’ll get approved and most likely pretty quickly!

Mine is good from Right after they opened it through this year. Won’t use it since we’re crossing the border at a land point from a canoeing standpoint. I will use it onLake of the Woods this summer though!

Ryan
05/05/2023 11:44PM  
BonzSF: "Ahh I see now. it has it as "Lac la CroixBorder Waters Canoe Area (BWCA)/Quetico Provincial Park" Somebody forgot to put a space between Croix and Border.
"

And why do they call “border waters ” when we say “boundary waters “?
I guess they’re talking the waters on their side of the boundary….ur…. Border.
I did mine online in mid March and got it back in about 10 days . I imagine things ate picking up.
05/08/2023 09:34AM  
This message has had HTML content edited out of it.


Just sent mine via e-mail this morning. I copied myself but never got it in my in-box. So I sent it again with cc to myself... nothing received.

Hope they got it??? I'll probably get 2 permits?

Edit: Figured out that when you click on the RABC form link you get a faulty e-mail address.

}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\cf18\insrsid6561484\charrsid10175574 CBSA.RABCApplications-ApplicationsPRFE.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\cf18\insrsid6561484 ;

The actual address is:
CBSA.RABCApplications-ApplicationsPRFE.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2023 04:08PM  
This message has had HTML content edited out of it.
bobbernumber3: "

Just sent mine via e-mail this morning. I copied myself but never got it in my in-box. So I sent it again with cc to myself... nothing received.


Hope they got it??? I'll probably get 2 permits?

Edit: Figured out that when you click on the RABC form link you get a faulty e-mail address.

}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\cf18\insrsid6561484\charrsid10175574 CBSA.RABCApplications-ApplicationsPRFE.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca}{\rtlch\fcs1 \af0 \ltrch\fcs0 \f4\cf18\insrsid6561484 ;

The actual address is:
CBSA.RABCApplications-ApplicationsPRFE.ASFC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca"



I’m scratching my head at the inefficiency of this whole process. Sending sensitive info to a foreign government via email with no confirmation or receipt is wild. Kinda surprised they don’t have a secure online portal to handle all this. I know RABC is not the most important thing under their purview, but if you’re going to offer a program you should do it with some semblance of security and efficiency.
SummerSkin
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2023 05:03PM  
I emailed mine as a password-protected PDF which they recommend on their site, although it’s kinda lame to offload the security burden onto the customer.

My friend received an automated confirmation reply when he sent his in early April, however I did not when I applied a few weeks later. I called them about a week after, and they sounded puzzled by the fact I hadn’t received a confirmation email but told me to keep waiting.

A couple weeks later I checked my credit card statement and saw they’d charged my card, but I had nothing in my inbox. So I called AGAIN, and they said it had been approved but didn’t look like it was issued (?). He promised I’d receive it shortly after our call, and I did.

I’m not sure what the deal is, but among 4 of us, each of us had different experiences and timelines with the process. It’s almost like Canada Border Services Agency is 20 years behind on email technology. But whatever, at the end of the day we all received it.
nashkato
member (12)member
  
05/18/2023 05:48PM  
I submitted by email on April 12 and as of May 18 have not received anything back. My trip is end of July. No auto confirmation and no CC charge either. I tried it again a week ago from my work email just in case - no response yet. Guess I will call them tomorrow to ask. I share the feelings on this thread. It's a bit concerning/frustrating when you're trying to plan a trip.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/18/2023 06:30PM  
nashkato: "I submitted by email on April 12 and as of May 18 have not received anything back. My trip is end of July. No auto confirmation and no CC charge either. I tried it again a week ago from my work email just in case - no response yet. Guess I will call them tomorrow to ask. I share the feelings on this thread. It's a bit concerning/frustrating when you're trying to plan a trip."


I’d call. In another thread a bit further down, user goblu79 reported receiving his on may 10 after 2 weeks and a couple days. Sounds like you submitted yours before that. I’m getting nervous myself. Coming up on 2 weeks this Monday without a word and our trip is less than a month out.
B1lee
member (26)member
  
05/18/2023 06:47PM  
Yeah I would call. I was nervous myself. Mine took just short of 3 weeks and after seeing posts of people only taking a few days I was about to call. I then got a call from them and I put a wrong number from my credit card in the application and had to verify that. I got the permit about 4 days later. They were friendly to talk to if that is a concern of yours.
05/18/2023 09:17PM  
SummerSkin: "I emailed mine as a password-protected PDF which they recommend on their site, although it’s kinda lame to offload the security burden onto the customer.


My friend received an automated confirmation reply when he sent his in early April, however I did not when I applied a few weeks later. I called them about a week after, and they sounded puzzled by the fact I hadn’t received a confirmation email but told me to keep waiting.


A couple weeks later I checked my credit card statement and saw they’d charged my card, but I had nothing in my inbox. So I called AGAIN, and they said it had been approved but didn’t look like it was issued (?). He promised I’d receive it shortly after our call, and I did.


I’m not sure what the deal is, but among 4 of us, each of us had different experiences and timelines with the process. It’s almost like Canada Border Services Agency is 20 years behind on email technology. But whatever, at the end of the day we all received it."


You are not a customer. You are an applicant seeking approval to enter a foreign nation. Don't look at these people any differently than the border official in the kiosk at Fort Frances who's looking at you suspiciously and holding your fate in his hands. They have no incentive to please you. That is not their function; border security is.

There should be no expectation that applications will be adjudicated at the same pace. Each applicant would be separately assessed and either approved or denied based on individual circumstances gleaned from information the US criminal justice system shares with Canada.



jwmiller39
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 07:09AM  
I submitted my RABC permit application online on March 15th at 8:30 AM and got my permit emailed back to me by 1:30 that same afternoon.

Make sure you include with your permit all the required documentation which I believe is your passport or two other forms of ID and your COVID vaccination documentation. Without that supporting documentation, or if you filled out the form incorrectly, they won't process it. Make sure you thoroughly read thru the requirements on the application.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 07:17AM  
jwmiller39: "I submitted my RABC permit application online on March 15th at 8:30 AM and got my permit emailed back to me by 1:30 that same afternoon.


Make sure you include with your permit all the required documentation which I believe is your passport or two other forms of ID and your COVID vaccination documentation. Without that supporting documentation, or if you filled out the form incorrectly, they won't process it. Make sure you thoroughly read thru the requirements on the application."


There are no COVID requirements anymore.

Argo, I get that but no one in our party has ever been arrested and we’ve had RABCs before. It’s not like they don’t have a file on us. And handling applications in the order in which they are received seems to make a good deal of sense eh?
jwmiller39
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 07:31AM  


There are no COVID requirements anymore.


Argo, I get that but no one in our party has ever been arrested and we’ve had RABCs before. It’s not like they don’t have a file on us. And handling applications in the order in which they are received seems to make a good deal of sense eh?"


good to know they dropped the COVID requirement.

Even tho none of you have been arrested, hopefully you answered the "have you ever committed a crime in any country, including a misdemeanor" correctly. Some traffic offenses are considered a petty misdemeanor and by how I read the law, needs to be declared on the RABC application. If you check "no" and they run your background check and see something, even if its a petty misdemeanor from a traffic offense, they can refuse your application since it is technically wrong.
SummerSkin
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 08:16AM  
Argo: "
SummerSkin: "I emailed mine as a password-protected PDF which they recommend on their site, although it’s kinda lame to offload the security burden onto the customer.



My friend received an automated confirmation reply when he sent his in early April, however I did not when I applied a few weeks later. I called them about a week after, and they sounded puzzled by the fact I hadn’t received a confirmation email but told me to keep waiting.



A couple weeks later I checked my credit card statement and saw they’d charged my card, but I had nothing in my inbox. So I called AGAIN, and they said it had been approved but didn’t look like it was issued (?). He promised I’d receive it shortly after our call, and I did.



I’m not sure what the deal is, but among 4 of us, each of us had different experiences and timelines with the process. It’s almost like Canada Border Services Agency is 20 years behind on email technology. But whatever, at the end of the day we all received it."



You are not a customer. You are an applicant seeking approval to enter a foreign nation. Don't look at these people any differently than the border official in the kiosk at Fort Frances who's looking at you suspiciously and holding your fate in his hands. They have no incentive to please you. That is not their function; border security is.

There should be no expectation that applications will be adjudicated at the same pace. Each applicant would be separately assessed and either approved or denied based on individual circumstances gleaned from information the US criminal justice system shares with Canada. "


You make a good point, although I disagree that I'm not a "customer" of theirs, but this might just be mincing words.

I was more remarking how puzzling it is that the system they've implemented for RABC seems to be so rudimentary and unreliable. Perhaps this is such a low volume program that they feel it doesn't warrant any extra resourcing or development.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/19/2023 09:57AM  
jwmiller39: "



There are no COVID requirements anymore.



Argo, I get that but no one in our party has ever been arrested and we’ve had RABCs before. It’s not like they don’t have a file on us. And handling applications in the order in which they are received seems to make a good deal of sense eh?"



good to know they dropped the COVID requirement.


Even tho none of you have been arrested, hopefully you answered the "have you ever committed a crime in any country, including a misdemeanor" correctly. Some traffic offenses are considered a petty misdemeanor and by how I read the law, needs to be declared on the RABC application. If you check "no" and they run your background check and see something, even if its a petty misdemeanor from a traffic offense, they can refuse your application since it is technically wrong. "


Clean as a whistle baby. Speeding tickets years ago is all any of us have had. These are called "infractions" or at worst "petty misdemeanors" and are not considered criminal offenses (or "offences" as the Canadians might say). I have answered that question "no" every time and have never had an issue.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/24/2023 11:00AM  
Question: When you apply in person, if all goes well do they issue the RABC right there? If so, as a backup plan I will try to make an appointment at Pigeon River. That would add 2-3 hours (maybe more if the border is crazy) to our trip, but at least we could be fairly confident the whole trip wouldn't be scuttled.

We are two weeks and two days since emailing the application right now. Not freaked out, but concerned enough to call.

Called the CBSA general line, waited on hold for about 30 minutes, and was told they can't answer questions about RABC apps, and that they don't have a number for the office that's processing the apps. She confirmed that I had the correct email address and that's about it.

Called the Pigeon River port of entry. They were much more helpful and gave me the direct number for the office processing the applications.

Called that office. That wasn't pleasant. They refused to look up my application or even confirm receipt. Said the "published wait time is 4-6 weeks," even though their website absolutely does not list an estimated wait time. ("At this time, the CBSA cannot estimate the processing time.) No, I didn't argue about that. I was extremely deferential and polite. I did explain that I submitted on May 8th and that 6 weeks would be too late for our trip (enter June 15). All he would say is that I need to wait 4-6 weeks before calling back and asking for information. So I guess I will call back at 4 weeks.
05/25/2023 06:17AM  
" • You have sent us a blank RABC Application form. "

Thanks for letting me know after 10 days. Crunch-time now!
05/25/2023 03:27PM  
Well... my first application was rejected due to being blank.

I opened the returned pdf and it looked fine. The instructions said to fill out the form, save it under a new name, reattach and re-apply.

Now my second application has been returned stating that the pdf was again blank, with instructions to print out the pdf, scan and save it, reattach and re-apply. Again, the returned pdf looked fine.

On my third attempt, I have the forms inserted as a picture. I can see the form... aww fucx... forgot to reattach the passport!

I'm hosed for a Tuesday departure.
05/26/2023 09:42AM  
SUCCESS!

Called the "super-secret" phone number in Thunder Bay.

Permit was e-mailed in about an hour.
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1982)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/26/2023 11:05AM  
Can you send me the super secret number asap?
GraniteCliffs
distinguished member(1982)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/26/2023 11:53AM  
I know I had the number in the past. I can’t find it now and am in a panic about my Q trip Tuesday. Does anyone have it?
05/26/2023 12:09PM  
GraniteCliffs: "Can you send me the super secret number asap?"


Your email is not linked to your profile.

Edit: Got your email and sent you the number.
clambdin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
  
05/28/2023 01:21PM  
I emailed mine in two weeks ago and haven’t heard a thing. I’ve been checking to see if my credit card has been charged.
Canoe42
distinguished member(1051)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/30/2023 04:14PM  
Sent RABC application on May 3. Credit card was charged May 17. Leaving on June 2. Called numerous times. Finally got through to someone today who was able to determine they sent it to the wrong email on May 20. They resent it today and I got it. Nothing like cutting it close.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/31/2023 09:05AM  
Applied 5/8, accounts charged 5/30. No other communication but feeling much better now that they have my money.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/05/2023 10:32AM  
thegildedgopher: "Applied 5/8, accounts charged 5/30. No other communication but feeling much better now that they have my money."


Called back today, 4 weeks from application. Credit cards charged 10 days ago. Trip is in 10 days. Spoke to just about the rudest woman I’ve ever been on the phone with, who angrily told me “it’s in processing” and refused to give me any additional information. Then we got the RABC in my email a few hours later. Which surprised me, because I figured i was being moved to the bottom of the stack or accidentally misplaced after this morning’s convo.

And oh yeah— they got the address on my dad’s form wrong, off by one digit. It was correct on the app. I’ll give them a call to fix it just to be safe.

All in all, this was a bit nerve-wracking, not at all transparent, and frustrating from a customer service perspective. I’ll definitely be applying months in advance next year to be safe.
clambdin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
  
06/08/2023 09:45AM  
Over three weeks now and haven’t heard a thing.
nashkato
member (12)member
  
06/08/2023 09:54AM  
nashkato: "I submitted by email on April 12 and as of May 18 have not received anything back. My trip is end of July. No auto confirmation and no CC charge either. I tried it again a week ago from my work email just in case - no response yet. Guess I will call them tomorrow to ask. I share the feelings on this thread. It's a bit concerning/frustrating when you're trying to plan a trip."


Charge came through on June 6. No RABC yet. I will give them a week and call on June 13, and post my experiences back here.
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/08/2023 11:25AM  
I got mine 10 days after the credit card charge so I wouldn’t panic unless your trip is next week.

From talking with them on the phone and talking with a few others here, my take is that this office is overwhelmed. They’re not at all happy to be on the phone, probably because it just slows them down with the actual professing. If you are short of their 4-6 week window (which is not published anywhere that I can see) they will tell you to be patient and it may come off as rude. But if you are up against your trip departure date I’ve seen evidence that they’re willing to help you out.

So my best advice is to be patient and assume all is well if you’re within that 6 weeks from application and have time before you depart. Unless there is a problem with your application, there is no communication whatsoever until you actually receive the email with the RABC, so don’t interpret their silence as a problem. Be super polite if you do have to call them, and steel yourself for impatience from their side.
kenpark23
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
  
06/11/2023 11:06AM  
Applied 5/14/2023
CC charged 6/7/2023
Received 6/9/2023
clambdin
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
  
06/12/2023 12:31PM  
My trip is end of next week it’s been a month since I applied via email. Anyone got a number to call and check?
nashkato
member (12)member
  
06/12/2023 12:54PM  
nashkato: "
nashkato: "I submitted by email on April 12 and as of May 18 have not received anything back. My trip is end of July. No auto confirmation and no CC charge either. I tried it again a week ago from my work email just in case - no response yet. Guess I will call them tomorrow to ask. I share the feelings on this thread. It's a bit concerning/frustrating when you're trying to plan a trip."


Charge came through on June 6. No RABC yet. I will give them a week and call on June 13, and post my experiences back here."


RABC received today! June 12.

Notes:
1) I submitted application 1 from my Gmail on April 12. Included the full family of 4 on that.
2) I resubmitted (application 2) from my work email on May 12. I included only 2 of us, as our trip plans had evovled.
3) Credit card charge on June 6
4) Received RABC back on my Gmail today. It appears to be application #2 but back to email #1. Weird but works for me!
5) No other email updates were ever received.

I was itching to call them but since our trip isn't until end of the month I tried to be patient. Thanks everyone for your helpful posts & encouragement.
Canoe42
distinguished member(1051)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/12/2023 08:06PM  
clambdin: "My trip is end of next week it’s been a month since I applied via email. Anyone got a number to call and check?"


I called 807-626-1609. First time no help. Second time the woman workeked with me. They sent it to wrong email. She corrected it and I had it in minutes.
06/13/2023 11:42AM  
For those who can do it, don't forget that you can walk into a CBP office and get an RABC on the spot. My wife and I walked into the Fort Frances CBP office after crossing the border last summer and had our RABC within 10-15 minutes. Because of the COVID backlog, they set the expiration date for the end of 2023 instead of the typical 365 days. We'll be putting it to use next week when we enter at Cache Bay.

At only $30 CAD, it's pretty much worth it to pick one up if you happen to be crossing the border.

-Peter
MichiganMan
distinguished member (233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/13/2023 09:49PM  
One of our guys literally did just that. Drove three hours each way to Sault Ste Marie since the RABC office would not work with him. Submitted his app over five weeks ago. What a royal pain is the butt.
07/30/2023 11:43AM  
Another recent data point on the RABC...

We added one to our Q trip pretty late in the game. He emailed them his RABC application on Sunday July 16.

His credit card was charged on Wednesday 7/26.

Got his permit today - Sunday July 30. Exactly two weeks.

Which saves us a trip to International Falls tomorrow!
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Quetico Sponsor:
Canoe Country