The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) holds the key to your entry into the country. One misstep during the questioning process, and you might find yourself on the next flight back home.
I’m here to help. In this guide, I will walk you through common questions you might encounter at the airport when arriving in Canada for work and provide you with the best ways to answer them accurately, ensuring a smooth entry.
Understanding the Role of CBSA at Canadian Airports
The CBSA officers are trained to assess and question immigrants entering Canada. They possess the ability to observe body language and detect any signs that may raise suspicions about the information you provide.
Regardless of your background, the CBSA has the authority to grant or deny your entry into Canada. Even if you have all the necessary documents and a valid job offer, your decision is not solely based on those factors.
Factors That Can Positively or Negatively Affect You at CBSA
Keep. these tips in mind before the CBSA:
Provide Direct and Concise Answers
Stick to answering the question at hand without adding unnecessary details. Over-explaining might raise suspicions.
Ensure Matching Answers
Make sure your answers align with the information you provided in your application or any other previous submissions. The CBSA officers have access to shared information, so consistency is key.
Stay calm and avoid engaging in arguments or confrontations with the officers. It’s not the place for activism or trying to twist their words. Refrain from showing any information on your electronic devices unless explicitly requested.
Mind Your Body Language
Maintain a calm and steady posture, maintaining eye contact while communicating with the CBSA. Avoid tapping your legs, biting your fingers, or displaying nervous behaviours.
Understand Before Answering
Effective communication is crucial. If you have difficulty understanding English or French, request a translator. However, ensure that your language proficiency level is below a certain threshold before requesting one. Avoid exaggerating your language abilities to appear more qualified.
Know Your Documents
Familiarize yourself with the details in your application form and supporting documents.
Be prepared to provide accurate information about your purpose of entering Canada, your employer’s details (if applicable), or your educational institution (for students).
Review your documents to avoid any fumbling during the questioning process.
Questions You May Be Asked at the Airport When Entering Canada
While there may be additional questions, you are likely to encounter these six at the airport.
#1: Which school will you be studying at in Canada?
Answer: State the name of the school you will be attending. For example, if you applied to the University of Toronto, respond with “University of Toronto.”
#2: Which program are you enrolled in at this school?
Answer: Provide the name of the program or scholarship package you are enrolled in. For instance, if you received the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship, say “the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship.”
#3: What is the duration of your study in Canada?
Answer: Mention the number of years you will be staying. For example, if it’s a one-year program, respond with “One year.”
#4: If your program is a two-year program, how will you pay for your tuition in the second year?
Answer: Avoid indicating that you plan to work in Canada to cover your second-year tuition. Instead, emphasize that you have sufficient funds or support to finance your studies. Provide one of the following responses:
“I have sufficient funds in my account to sponsor my second-year tuition in Canada, as proven by my statement of account.”
“I receive regular financial support from my family in my home country, which I will use to pay for my second-year tuition in Canada.”
Remember to have appropriate documentation to support your claims.
#5: Where will you be staying or what is your address in Canada?
Answer: Provide the address of your lodging. If you have booked an Airbnb, a shared apartment, or a hotel, share the address and any relevant documents you have, such as booking confirmations or signed agreements.
Ensure you have all the necessary documents, such as your study permit approval letter, acceptance letter from the school, proof of deposit for tuition fees, language proficiency exam scores, proof of funds, proof of accommodation, and evidence of ties to your home country. Keep these documents organized and readily accessible during the CBSA questioning.
What is the role of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the airport?
The CBSA is responsible for screening and processing individuals entering Canada at the airport, and determining their eligibility for entry.
Can having a Canadian visa and the necessary documents guarantee entry into Canada?
No, entry into Canada is ultimately decided by CBSA officers based on various factors beyond just possessing a visa and documents.
During your interaction with the CBSA, avoid behaviours that may raise suspicion, such as nail-biting or repetitive tapping.
Remain calm and maintain a natural posture. The information provided above covers the six questions you may encounter at the airport when entering Canada and how to answer them correctly.
Keep in mind that there may be additional questions, so conduct thorough research and be well-informed while preparing for your journey. Good luck!