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Canada Immigration

Customs and border control in Canada



Customs and border control in Canada

Every traveler arriving at a Canadian airport must comply with the requirements of Canadian customs and make their declaration of entry at the border.

It is important that visitors answer all questions honestly and report food, vegetable, and animal products that they can bring with them.

To make the process as fast and smooth as possible, travelers are asked to prepare all documentation for inspection, including the passport and visa or the Canadian eTA.

In turn, the requirements differ depending on whether the arrival is by air, land, or sea. Therefore, if you are not sure what entry requirements apply at Canada’s border crossings or what you should and should not take to the Canadian border, the following article will solve all your doubts.

SEE ALSO: Where to stay in Toronto, Canada

Canadian border requirements when arriving by air

Passengers who land at one of Canada’s airports must make an entry declaration either at the main inspection post or by completing a Declaration Card.

The purpose of the declaration is to allow Canadian border authorities to certify the identity of each individual crossing the border and verify their declared items.

Primary inspection posts at Canadian airports

At the busiest airports in the country, there are primary inspection posts that allow travelers to confirm their identity and make their declaration of entry electronically.

Primary inspection posts can be found at the following airports in Canada:

  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Montreal Trudeau International Airport
  • Ottawa International Airport
  • Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City
  • Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Winnipeg Richardson International Airport

SEE ALSO: How to Immigrate to Canada: 4 Migration programs

The on-screen instructions guide users through the process. The declaration is completed by following these 5 steps:

  1. Scan the travel document, for example, passport.
  2. Take a picture.
  3. Verify fingerprints.
  4. Answer questions from the entry declaration.
  5. Collect the receipt and present it to a border officer.

Please note: up to 5 people who share the same postal address can use the same position.

Then a second inspection can be carried out during which an officer can verify the documentation, ask additional questions about the visit, and examine the luggage and/or electronic devices.

SEE ALSO: Day 1 CPT Colleges: Full List of Universities offering CPT from Day 1

Complete a Canadian Declaration Card

Upon arrival at an airport that is not equipped with primary inspection posts, passengers must complete a Declaration Card while onboard the aircraft.

The Declaration Card (E311) is delivered to passengers while they are on the plane, so it is useful to carry a pen to speed up the process. Up to 4 people can be included in the same form as long as they live at the same postal address.

Customs requirements when arriving by land or sea

When crossing the U.S.-Canada land border, travelers are referred to the primary inspection where they verify their documents and make an oral statement.

Anyone arriving on a private boat must call to obtain authorization from the Border Services Agency of Canada (CBSA).

SEE ALSO: The most visited cities in Canada

Other requirements to cross the Canadian border

In addition to making an oral declaration, foreign citizens must present a Canadian visa or eTA to cross the border, along with the passport.

Like the declaration, the eTA for Canada is a means for Canadian authorities to control who crosses the border, and, in addition, it is a mandatory requirement for citizens of 60 visa-free countries.

While a new Declaration Card is issued each time a traveler arrives in Canada, the eTA is multiple entries, which means that the same document can be used for as many trips as desired within the 5-year validity period (or until the passport is associated with the eTA expires).

It is also important to note that, while a Declaration Card can be completed for all travelers staying at the same postal address, each person, including children, must apply for the eTA for Canada separately.

SEE ALSO: Super Visa Canada: what it is and who can apply for it

What questions are asked at the Canadian border?

Whether you make the declaration at a primary inspection post or complete the E311 Declaration Card, some personal data and additional information must be provided, including the reason for the visit.

Part A of the declaration requires each traveler registered at the same postal address to indicate:

  • Name and surname plus initials
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality

The postal address shared by these people must also be specified in this section. In addition, other information requested in Part A includes:

  • Means of arrival (airplane, rail, sea, road) plus the number of the airline / flight or the name of the boat, where applicable.
  • Purpose of the trip: studies, tourism or business.
  • Origin: indicate the last country in which you were before entering Canada.

This is the first entry filter to Canada to verify that your country of origin does not have travel restrictions.

The final section of Part A is the declaration of assets:

  • Firearms or other weapons such as knives or pepper spray.
  • Commercial goods, for sale or not.
  • Meat/meat products, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, plants and animals / animal products, cut flowers, earth, wood / wood products, birds, insects.
  • Currency and/or monetary instruments totaling 10,000 Canadian dollars or more.

Part B is only for visitors to Canada who must indicate the duration of their stay in days and whether or not any of the people included in the declaration exceed the tax-free allowance.

Finally, each traveler must confirm that the data they have provided is true, and then sign and date the declaration.

SEE ALSO: Travel from New York to Canada

What items must be declared at the Canadian border?

Like most countries, you will not need to declare personal items in your luggage to use during your vacation in Canada. Items considered personal luggage and, therefore, free of restrictions include:

  • Clothing
  • Cameras
  • Personal computers
  • Camping and sports equipment
  • Any vehicle you use to enter and leave the country

However, there are numerous personal items that must be declared to the Officials of the Canadian Border Service (BSO) when passing through national customs. Items to be declared upon arrival in the country include:

  • Items to buy and sell in Canada
  • All food
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks and other explosives
  • Plants, animals or other organic articles.
  • Alcohol and tobacco above personal allocation volumes

SEE ALSO: Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): express visa exemption for Canada

How much alcohol can you enter Canada?

People who visit Canada when they are of legal age have the right to carry a personal amount of alcohol duty-free maximum quantity:

  • Wine1.5 l (approximately 2 bottles of 750 ml)
  • Spirit drinks1.4l (approximately 1 bottle of standard liquor)
  • Beer8.5l (about 24 cans or 355ml bottles)

How much tobacco can you take to Canada?

Like alcohol, a personal amount of tobacco is allowed duty-free for travelers over the age of 18 of Maximum Quantity:

  • Cigarettes 200 cigarettes
  • Cigars 50 cigars
  • Rolling tobacco 200g

SEE ALSO: The most important airports in Canada

Can food be entered in Canada?

Foods that can be brought to Canada from abroad include:

  • Baked products (must not contain meat)
  • Sweets (up to 20 kg per person)
  • Cheese (up to 20 kg per person)
  • Fish and seafood (established limits apply)
  • Dried fruits and vegetables, canned or fresh (up to 20 kg per person)
  • Herbs, spices and condiments.
  • Coffee
  • Meat (up to 20 kg and must be cooked and sealed commercially)

SEE ALSO: Express entry Canada: How to apply

Food and beverages prohibited at the Canadian border

Canadian customs food regulations prohibit certain foods from entering the nation. These articles include:

  • Balloon fish
  • Raw meat
  • Chinese Crab
  • Milk and dairy products.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables in or covered in their original growing medium


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Canada Immigration

What languages ​​are spoken in Canada



What languages ​​are spoken in Canada

Have you thought about living or traveling to Canada? If so, most likely one of your first questions is what languages ​​are spoken in Canada and how to prepare yourself to face the linguistic challenges that this great destination presents. 

In recent years, the Canadian immigration system has been recognized as one of the friendliest with students, professionals, and expatriates from different parts of the world, who come to Canada to meet their goals, start a new life and even learn a new language. 

However, one of the commonly requested requirements to enter the country successfully, for reasons beyond tourism, is to know at least one of the languages ​​spoken in Canada, so that you can guarantee a smooth social and cultural integration. 

What languages ​​are officially spoken in Canada? Are there minority languages? How do they differ from other languages ​​we already know? Are there other countries where they are useful? All these doubts will be answered below. 

SEE ALSO: Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

Official languages ​​spoken in Canada

Canada is known around the world for being an officially bilingual country, made up of two official languages: 


The Anglo-Saxon language is one of the two main languages ​​of the Canadian territory, being the mother tongue of more than 77% of the population and the language that around 86% of the inhabitants speak fluently. 

A very common question is whether the English spoken in Canada is different from English of British or American origin; However, its spelling is sometimes described as a mixture of both, the vocabulary is more similar to that of United States English, and the variations of the single-use lexicon in Canada are very specific depending on the context.


The next official language of Canada is, of course, French, established by statutory decree in July 1969. 

Today, French is the mother tongue of approximately 9 million Canadians, that is, 23% of the population of this country. Most of the Francophones live in the province of Quebec. 

Minority languages ​​of Canada

In addition to the official languages ​​that coexist in the country, there are a series of minority languages ​​that are spoken in the country thanks to the constant migratory movement that the nation has experienced for years. 

The minority languages ​​that are not officially recognized in Canada, but are still spoken daily by thousands of inhabitants of the Canadian territory are Spanish, Italian, German, Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, Dutch, and Tagalog. 

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

In what other countries are the official languages ​​of Canada spoken?

Due to the colonizing past of countries such as France and the United Kingdom, those who master the two official languages ​​of Canada can communicate fluently in the official language of many countries on different continents. 

On the one hand, English, in addition to being a language spoken by more than 1.13 billion people in the world, has been called the official language in more than 70 countries around the world. Among these countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, the Philippines, among many others, always stand out (the list is very long!). 

On the French side, things are not far behind. The “language of love”, in addition to being the main language of France and Canada, maintains its official status in more than twenty nations and overseas territories.

Some territories where we can find French as an official language are: Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, Republic of the Congo, Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Gabon, Chad, Haiti, Rwanda, Comoros, Burundi, Republic of Djibouti, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, and French Guyana. 

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Canada Immigration

Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record



Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

The requirements to travel to Canada with Mexican nationality changed in December 2016. All Mexican citizens wishing to visit Canada for a short stay must obtain the eTA before traveling.

The eTA is an electronic travel authorization. This automated system determines the eligibility of people who want to visit Canada. As a Mexican citizen, you can apply for the eTA online by completing a form and answering a series of security questions.

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

Necessary requirements to apply for the eTA with Mexican nationality:

Applying for the Canadian eTA is quick and easy. Among the requirements to obtain the eTA, travelers need:

  • A valid passport
  • A debit or credit card
  • An email address

Once the application has been completed with all the data, the applicant can proceed to answer a series of questions about his criminal record. To finish the process, you have to pay the eTA fee.

Do I need a Criminal Record Certificate to travel to Canada?

The Criminal Record certificate is not required to travel to Canada as a tourist. However, if you want to work in Canada, you may need to obtain a Criminal Record Certificate. In Mexico, you can complete the procedure online by completing a Request for a Certificate or Report of No Criminal History.

On the other hand, if you have a criminal record it is very important that you do not deny it when you apply for the eTA. In the Canadian travel authorization questionnaire, you must answer honestly all questions, including those about your criminal record. No matter how minor the crime, you are required to declare it on the eTA permit form.

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

Alternatives if eTA Canada is denied due to brush with the law

It is likely that having a criminal record the eTA will be denied as inadmissible in Canada. In this case, you can still apply for a visa through the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.

Before the travel authorization system was implemented, travelers from visa-exempt countries did not have to go through any electronic checks. You also didn’t have to answer questions about a criminal record. Migration controls were made upon arrival in Canada. As a result, there are many people who were able to enter Canada with a criminal record and went unnoticed.

It is worth mentioning that not all criminal records are equally serious. Still, the eTA serves as a screening mechanism to weed out people who might be criminally inadmissible in Canada.

If you have had interactions with the criminal justice system, you could benefit from a legal opinion letter to be able to apply for a visa to Canada and travel without problems. The legal opinion letter is a document that explains that the person with a criminal record is a respectable person and that they are an admissible person.

In some cases it may happen that the eTA is denied, this will depend on the severity of the history of each person. In case the eTA is denied due to the applicant’s criminal record, a temporary residence permit can be applied for, which would allow legal entry into the country.

Lying when completing the eTA is not recommended as this could have very serious consequences. Not only would the eTA not be granted but it could damage future possibilities of traveling to the North American country.

SEE ALSO: How to travel by bicycle around the world staying for free

To process a Canadian visa with a criminal record it is important that:

  • Learn all the details of your conviction and the charge.
  • Gather as much information as possible about your conviction, including dates.
  • Complete the application correctly and with all the necessary documents.

Remember that the decision to grant you entry to Canada rests with the Canadian immigration agent who assists you upon arrival in the country. A serious criminal record can be a reason for denial of the Canadian eTA or entry into the country.

If you have a criminal record for crimes committed before the age of 18 you may still have the opportunity to be granted entry into Canada.

To be considered your application, despite having a criminal record, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide supporting documents that you comply with the legal terms to be considered rehabilitated :
    • More than 5 years have elapsed since the crime and also since his final sentence
    • Fully served his sentence
    • Not likely to incur new crimes
    • Had he committed the crime in Canada, he would have had a prison term of less than 10 years
  • Your request for rehabilitation was approved
  • You were granted a record suspension
  • You have a temporary residence permit

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

If you have a Mexican passport and a criminal record, it is recommended that you apply for criminal rehabilitation before submitting your eTA Canada petition. Once your confirmation of rehabilitation has been approved, you will be able to apply for a Canada eTA.

Contact an embassy or consulate for updated information and requirements. Please note that these requests can take more than a year to process.

The eTA is not a visa, it is a travel authorization to visit Canada for a certain time. The eTA is not designed for people who want to live, study or work in Canada.

Once the eTA is requested, it will be electronically linked to the passport, which is why it is essential to travel with the document with which the application was made.

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Canada Immigration

Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada



Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

Before I enlighten you about things immigration lawyers won’t tell you, I’d like to give you a hint of the duties of an immigration lawyer. They basically work with corporations and employers to assist with helping clients understand the steps taken before they can be employed in Canada.

Immigration Lawyers are not gods

One thing immigration lawyers won’t tell you is that they are capable of failing when it comes to moving clients to Canada. Some tend to be transparent about it but most immigration lawyers won’t come clean on this.

They appear to their clients as gods and create a great picture of them in their hearts. They actually make mistakes too and sometimes lose cases. Most clients are aware of this fact, but when meeting an immigration lawyer they tend to put all hope on them.

SEE ALSO: Canadian professionals and skilled workers program

Immigration Lawyers Have no Supreme Power Over Immigration Process

I’ve met people who think when meeting an immigration lawyer their problems are totally solved. If you have this mindset, I’ll advise you to unlearn it because immigration lawyers are no supreme body in the affairs of immigration.

They only stand-in for their clients in the process stage and convince corporations about employing their clients. Immigration lawyers won’t tell you they aren’t certain about the outcome but would assure you of total success in immigrating to Canada.

You can Process it Yourself Without the Assistance of an Immigration Lawyer

Most people know that they can actually do their immigration processing themselves. It is a known fact, but they hire immigration lawyers because of their professionalism in their field. They believe they can do more better than they are.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you that there are some cases with a slim chance of achieving victory. They make their clients feel like they are capable of performing miracles and so encourage them to hit on the process.

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of Their Past Records

Some immigration lawyers have been disciplined for immoral conduct in the past but they would never tell you because you might want to look elsewhere. A major issue is that act misconduct taken by an immigration lawyer may ruin your case. Most people have gone through this experience because of a bad step taken by their lawyer.

Although some learn from their past mistakes, it is not 100% certain that he would not act in that light again. So, when going for a background check you should determine if you should work with or without the immigration lawyer.

SEE ALSO: Rural and northern communities program, and other ways to achieve permanent residency in Canada

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of the Case Load They Have on Deck

Some immigration lawyers can be extremely busy with a huge caseload on their hands. And oftentimes they do not reject cases but add more to their piles of work.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you about this and it can cause a low commitment to your immigration process as they do not pay the necessary attention that ought to be paid to your immigration process. Every case ought to be given much attention in other to produce the best result.

While searching for an immigration lawyer ensure you take note of what to expect and also ask questions on the process in order to avoid getting an unexpected result.

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