The immigration process to Canada involves attending 2 different types of interviews with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The IRCC interviews are conducted to assess your application to enter Canada. The CBSA interviews are conducted at the port of entry.
A port of entry is a place designated by the Canadian government as an entry point into Canada like an airport or a land crossing stop.
These interviews are conducted in 2 parts to review your official documents and check the items you are bringing with you.
What Do You Need to Know About Interviews Conducted by the IRCC?
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for facilitating all immigration and refugee matters.
The IRCC interviews are conducted to review your visa application. You will be required to visit an IRCC office and take part in an interview with a visa officer.
The IRCC interviews are generally conducted for spousal sponsorship, however, they may request one for any Canadian Visa application.
The visa officer asks very generic questions about your application such as why you want to move to Canada and questions about your employment, education and hobbies, etc.
If you are unable to attend the interview on the set date, you must inform the IRCC office beforehand. You will be required to provide a valid reason for your absence to reschedule the appointment.
It is important that you answer all the questions candidly as the interviewer will be taking notes during the process. Anything you say can impact the final decision of your application.
If what you are saying does not match with the information you provided in the application, then you will be found misrepresenting. This could result in a 5-year ban from Canada.
What Do You Need to Know About Interviews Conducted by the CBSA?
Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) is a government agency responsible for border and immigration enforcement and customs services. The CBSA conducts interviews at the port of entry.
These interviews are conducted in 2 parts to review your official documents and check the items you’ve brought with you.
CBSA officials may ask to see your passport, visa and travel documents to make sure you are authorized to enter Canada. They may also ask you generic questions about your health and criminal history, the duration of your stay and the conditions of your departure.
Next, your luggage will be checked to ensure that none of the items are prohibited or illegal such as firearms, ammunition, items from endangered species, fireworks, etc.
These interviews are conducted for several reasons. This includes providing a Pre-removal Risk Assessment Application, or a decision on that application. They may also require your presence to fill out an inadmissibility report.
What Happens If You Can’t Clear a CBSA Interview?
If any issues are found, an investigation may be launched by CBSA officials and you may be denied entry or get detained.
If you are found inadmissible, a report will be made by the CBSA officers detailing the reasons for your inadmissibility to the Immigration Division.
If you are detained, you can either be held in provincial correctional facilities or in designated minimum security facilities for immigration detainees.
The Immigration Division conducts inadmissibility hearings and detention reviews for those detained for immigration purposes.
What Other Situations Require a CBSA Interview?
If you lose your legal status in Canada as a temporary resident or a permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), you may be asked to attend an interview with CBSA officials.
You will be requested to bring any official documents issued by the government of Canada like a valid and/or an expired passport, a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card, proof of any matters before the Immigration and Refugee Board or the Federal Court, a birth certificate identity card or any documents regarding criminal matters.
If a removal order has already been issued by the IRCC or the CBSA, you may be asked to present at an interview to expedite the process.