Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) | CATSA (2023)



  • Be prepared for screening. Please ensure that all liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry-on baggage are in containers of 100ml or less and placed in a clear, 1L resealable bag. Click here for more information about carry-on baggage requirements.

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  • CATSA encourages all passengers to arrive at their departing airport well in advance of their flight. Many airlines advise passengers to arrive two hours in advance for domestic flights and three hours in advance for US and international flights.

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You should contact the Canadian Border Services agency if you have questions, comments or complaints about:

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  • Bringing goods (including food) into Canada
  • Medication allowed to cross the border
  • Customs and declaration process
  • Application for or renewal of NEXUS cards

Contact information for CBSA

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Do I have to answer CBSA questions? ›

Canadian Customs Searches

Signs and notices are posted in these areas. Travellers and/or employees in or leaving these areas must identify themselves, answer questions and present their goods for examination if asked to do so by a CBSA officer.

What are 3 items that are restricted by the CBSA? ›

Services and information
  • Firearms and weapons. What is non-restricted, restricted and prohibited and how to import and declare weapons.
  • Food, plants and animals. Declare all food, plants, animals and related products. ...
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition. ...
  • Cannabis. ...
  • Consumer products.
Aug 4, 2022

How long does it take to hear back from CBSA? ›

Applications may be processed in: 20 business days for reliability status. 60 business days for secret security clearance. 75 business days for top secret security clearance.

How do I declare myself for CBSA? ›

To submit an Advance CBSA Declaration for yourself or your group before your trip, you must:
  1. confirm your travel document information (passport or Canadian permanent resident card)
  2. answer the customs and immigration questions truthfully.
  3. send the declaration within 72 hours of arriving in Canada.
6 days ago

Can CBSA deny entry? ›

The CBSA official can deny you entry to Canada for various reasons of inadmissibility, ranging from: Medical inadmissibility issues that could be a threat to public health. Criminal convictions of varying degrees of severity (Serious Criminality and Criminality)

Can the CBSA search my phone? ›

Canada Border Services Agency ( CBSA ) officers are allowed to examine all goods you have with you when you cross the border. This means that just like your luggage, our officers can examine your cell phones, tablets, laptops and any other digital device you are carrying.

How long is the CBSA application process? ›

Once your application is pulled from their inventory, the selection process can take up to one year. The training phase is made up of four weeks of online training followed by 4.5 months of in-residence training at our college in Rigaud, Quebec. The on-the-job development phase is 1 to 1.5 years long.

How long is CBSA review? ›

CBSA Review = 1 Hour‍

Always allow up to one hour for CBSA to accept a shipment's release request.

Is the CBSA interview hard? ›

To be hired as a CBSA officer, you will have to complete a situational and role-play interview. These types of interviews are intimidating at best but also can be hard to prepare for. Prospective border services officers must be tested by these types of interviews because of the seriousness of the position.

Does CBSA do background check? ›

CBSA performs background checks on anyone 18 years of age or over who: Applies for immigration or. Claims refugee status after coming to Canada.

Is CBSA declaration mandatory? ›

The Advance CBSA Declaration is optional and currently available to travellers arriving at certain Canadian international airports.

What are the requirements for CBSA? ›

Before being invited to begin training at the CBSA College, you must complete and pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course ( CFSC ) and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course ( CRFSC ) tests. You do not need a possession and acquisition license.

What does CBSA see when they scan your passport? ›

date of birth. nationality. gender. travel document type, number and name of the country that issued the travel document.

What can I not bring into Canada from the US? ›

Restricted and prohibited goods
  • cannabis.
  • food, plants, animals and related products that pose a risk to Canada.
  • endangered species and anything made from the parts or endangered species (these can be found in some souvenirs)
6 days ago

Does CBSA check every package? ›

The CBSA visually inspects each parcel or piece of mail. Package contents that are not on the prohibited items list and not subject to duties or taxes are released for delivery. Packages that require further inspection or duty and tax assessment are held for further action.

Can a US citizen be denied entry to Canada? ›

Any person that attempts to cross the Canadian border from the United States while inadmissible to the country for any reason may be denied entrance. There are many reasons why an American can be denied entry into Canada, and we have listed all the major ones below.

Can you go to Canada if deported from USA? ›

In case, you have been deported from the US or another foreign country then you will be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. To overcome your deportation status you will need a permanent clearance from the Canadian consulate. For this, you have to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

What disqualifies you from entering Canada? ›

Other misdemeanor convictions that can get you barred from crossing the border include assault, disorderly conduct, mischief, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, possession of a controlled substance, petty theft, larceny, possession of stolen property, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

What do CBSA officers see on their screen? ›

Canada has border service officers. What do they see on their screens? If the person is carrying an electronic passport they see all the information about the passenger including any issues such as border-related infractions (i.e. smuggling charges, previous infractions such as failure to declare, e...

How strict is the Canadian border? ›

Crossing the border to Canada is Easy!

undergo pre- or on-arrival testing; carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation; monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada. undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or.

What do US border guards see on their computer? ›

Any criminal history you have. Your citizenship status. Employment information. Your phone numbers.

What is CBSA exam hold? ›

The CBSA requests containers for examination (holds) well before the ship arrives; targeted by the National Targeting Centre (NTC) and dockside teams. The terminal operators and the Container Examination Facilities (CEFs) are notified before the ship has arrived (usually 3-4 days in advance).

How do I get in touch with CBSA? ›

We are currently receiving higher than normal volumes of inquiries online. If your inquiry is time-sensitive, please contact us by phone at 1-800-461-9999 (toll-free in Canada and the USA ).

Is CBSA same as immigration? ›

The CBSA plays a key role in immigration to Canada, as it has assumed the port-of-entry and enforcement mandates formerly held by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. CBSA officers work on the front lines, screening persons entering the country and removing those who are unlawfully in Canada.

Do you have to answer customs questions? ›

You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country.

Do you have to tell border Patrol questions? ›

You always have the right to remain silent. However, if you don't answer questions to establish your citizenship, officials may detain you longer in order to verify your immigration status.

What is the mandate of CBSA? ›

The Canada Border Services Agency works to ensure Canada's security and prosperity by managing the access of people and goods to and from Canada. We will act with integrity and treat you in a respectful, professional and considerate manner and be sensitive and responsive to cultural differences.


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