Canada Customs And Immigration

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Canada Customs and Immigration is the responsibility of the federal government, and handles the cases of all those who enter Canada on a temporary or permanent basis. As of December, 2003, the government reorganized both the customs and the immigration parts of this entity. What had been the purview of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is now subsumed under the umbrella organization, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

This agency is now responsible for the customs program, intelligence and enforcement functions (formerly of Citizenship and Immigration Canada), and the passenger and import inspections at ports of entry. The purpose of Canada Customs and Immigration remains the same, however, and that is to enforce compliance with Canadian immigration laws. This monitoring of people and goods crossing the border includes watching for missing children and runaways.

The Canada Customs and Immigration Process

Assuming all advance paperwork has been taken care of, once travelers arrive at the border of Canada, they will be asked a few short questions. Passports will be stamped, and the customs officer will advise travelers as to how long they may stay in the country. Should anyone want to change the conditions of the stay, they must take care of this before the valid residence period expires.

The CBSA operates at about 1,370 places across Canada, and has primary responsibility for enforcing the Smart Border Declaration signed with the United States in December, 2001. The goal of this program is the increased efficiency of the flow of people and goods across the borders, while increasing the security of those borders. CANPASS Air is a program for frequent fliers between the two countries that designates these passengers as low-risk so their passage is facilitated. NEXUS is another program of Canada Customs and Immigration that helps simplify border crossings for frequent travelers between the two countries.

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