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Important Information You Need to Know when Crossing the Border


How do you Cross the Border

Any foreign national will experience some anxiety or fear when crossing the Canadian bordercrossing the Canadian border, especially when the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer asks questions. Foreign nationals who have criminal inadmissibility or, in other words, a criminal record will have more questions and more examination from the Immigration officer when attempting to cross the border. Therefore, as a foreign national, you should be well-prepared and anticipate all questions that the Immigration officer may have for you. In this blog, you will learn about relevant information with regards to crossing the border as a foreign national.

Interview Process

As a foreign national, it is very likely that you will undergo two interview processes when you are crossing the border. The interview process shall be finished quickly, if you can address all questions asked by the officer properly, and you have sufficient documentation.

First interview: official documents

When you arrive in Canada, you will greet an officer from the CBSA. After the greeting, the officer will ask to see your visa and travel documents, and make sure that you and any family members travelling with you have the proper travel documents. You will also be asked questions similar to those on the immigrant application form, including:

  •  if you are travelling with your family
  •  your criminal record
  •  your intended stay in Canada
  •  the amount of money you have with you
  •  your medical conditions
  • your exit and entry history to Canada
  •  if you were required to leave Canada

After your first interview, you’ll meet with another CBSA officer. This officer will check your personal belongings. At some ports of entry, you’ll work with the same officer twice.

Second interview: personal belongings

During the second interview, you will declare what you are bringing with you into Canada. The officer will ask to see your declaration card. You must your purpose of coming to Canada is to immigrate. You must tell the officer the complete list of your belongings and the list of goods that will be arriving in Canada later. The officer will examine both lists with you and may ask questions about some of the goods. On the other hand, the officer may inspect your luggage as well.

The officer will most likely ask you to answer the following questions which similar to the ones on the declaration card:

  •  What are you bringing with you to Canada?
  •  Do you have any live animals or plants with you?
  •  Do you have any firearms, ammunition or fireworks with you?
  •  Do you have any meat or dairy products with you?
  •  Do you have any fresh fruits or vegetables with you?
  •  Do you have any items from endangered species?

Be Honest and Do Not provide False Answers

When an officer interviews you, you need to be completely honest about your answers. If an officer finds out your answers are false, you will be charged with misrepresentationmisrepresentation, which is considered as a criminal offense in Canada. If you misrepresent information, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada can:

  •  ban you from entering Canada for at least five years
  •  give you a permanent record of fraud with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
  • take away your status as a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  •  have you charged with a crime
  •  remove you from Canada

If you are well prepared and you have no items that are prohibited, the interview process will go quickly and smoothly. Once you have completed your interview, the officer will sign your Confirmation of Permanent Residence Confirmation of Permanent Residence and allow you to enter Canada as a permanent residentpermanent resident.

Information You Need to Know about the Goods You are Bringing

When you are about to settle in Canada from your home country, you may bring your personal and household goods with you without paying duty, which is a fee that the government charges on some goods. However, you will have to pay duty on any item that has not been used.

As previously mentioned, you do not have to pay duty on items that have been used. For example:

  •  books
  •  linens
  •  clothes
  •  jewellery
  •  antiques
  •  furniture
  •  musical instruments
  •  gifts worth CDN $60 or less each
  • private collections of coins, stamps or art
  •  appliances, such as a stove or refrigerator

The following are items that you will have to pay duty on:

  • farm equipment
  •  manufacturing, contracting, and construction equipment
  •  vehicles you plan to use for business
  •  items you have bought on your way to Canada
  •  items you have leased or rented (this is because the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada consider leased or rented items things that you own)

It may be confusing for you to fully understand which items are duty-free and which ones are not. If you are not sure if you have to pay duty on some items, you may bring sales receipts and registration documents with you to the border.

Contact Akrami & Associates

As previously mentioned, Canadian government is very strict when it comes to assessing foreign travelers’ entry. In order to be fully prepared to answer any questions that a border officer may ask, you will need to have adequate knowledge and documents with regards to border crossing. However, having to prepare all the required documents can very confusing and exhausting. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Akrami & Associates Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients overcome their inadmissibility. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for more information, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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