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Interviews with IRCC and CBSA

It is important to note that every interview experience is different and depends largely on the circumstances of the interview, the individual attending and the CBSA/IRCC officer. Nonetheless, what follows is a general summary of what you can expect.

Interviews at Port of Entries

A CBSA officer (or two officers) will conduct an interview at borders and airports in two parts. The first is to review your official documents. They will ask to see your passport, visas and travel documents as well as those of any family members travelling with you to ensure that you are authorized to enter Canada. They will also ask questions about your health as well as other generic questions regarding criminal history, the duration of your stay, if you have come to Canada before and the circumstances of your departure. The second portion of the interview is a review of any items you are bringing into Canada. The CBSA officer will ask if you are bringing anything with you into Canada. If you are, then they will ensure that none of them are prohibited such as live animals or plants, firearms, ammunitions, fireworks, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables or items from endangered species. If you are truthful, authorized to enter Canada and do not carry any prohibited items, these interviews are over relatively quickly. However, if an issue arises, a secondary investigation may be launched by the officer and you may be denied entry into the country. 

Interviews Conducted by CBSA in-land

There are several reasons why CBSA may request your presence for an interview. The below is not an exhaustive list of all possible circumstances in which CBSA may ask you to attend an interview

Some reasons include to provide you with a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment application or a decision on that application. They may also request your presence to fill out a section 44 report (also known as a inadmissibility report). If you lose status in Canada (or if you never had status), you may be asked to report to an interview with CBSA. They may also ask you to bring documents with you such as valid and/or expired passports for you and all of your dependants, birth certificate identity card, OHIP card, Social Insurance Card, proof of any matters before the Immigration and Refugee Board or Federal Court, any other documents issued by the Government of Canada, any documents regarding criminal matters. At the interview, you will be asked various questions, confirming your identity, immigration history, current activities, status in Canada and the status of any appeal you have. They will ask you about any family you have in the country.

If you have already been issued a removal order (by the Immigration Refugee Board, for example), an interview will be requested, generally, to facilitate your removal. At the interview, they may ask you to come for another interview and purchase tickets and bring them to the next interview. The tickets must be on or before a date on the removal order. Click here for more information on removal orders.

If the CBSA officer believes that you will not show up to the interview, they may detain you and facilitate your removal. Alternatively, if a removal order has not been issued, CBSA may call you for an interview and issue you a removal order at the interview. For these interviews, you are allowed to bring counsel to the interview, but it is up to the CBSA officer to allow the counsel to remain in the interview room.

The content and experience at an interview with the CBSA officer depend largely on your circumstances. They are not all positive or negative. However, a consistent theme in all interviews is to provide truthful answers and bring any documentation that is requested of you if possible.

Interviews Conducted by IRCC

When you make an application to enter Canada, you may be required to appear at an IRCC office before a visa officer who will ask you questions and asses your application. Although interviews are most commonly convoked for spousal sponsorship applications, IRCC may request an interview for any application. Interviews can take place in Canada or overseas. When you receive a letter requesting your presence for an interview, you are required to attend. If you are unable to attend, you must inform IRCC and provide an explanation before the date of the interview at which point, they will reschedule your interview for a different day. You can do this by sending a letter to the IRCC office that scheduled your appointment or by filling out a Web form online. If you miss the interview, you must contact IRCC with an explanation within a certain amount of time.

The time that you have to contact IRCC is indicated in the letter IRCC sent you with the interview information. You can inform IRCC why you missed the appointment by letter or by using the online Web form. If you fail to inform IRCC why you missed the interview in the prescribed time limit, your application may be closed and you must apply again. IRCC may also request that you bring certain documents with you to the interview such as passports, identity documents and any other evidence they believe is relevant to your application.

At the interview, the officer may ask generic questions such as why you want to move to Canada, religious views, hobbies, employment and education. The visa officer will also ask questions tailored to your application. For example, if you have applied for spousal sponsorship, they will ask questions to ensure that your marriage is genuine. These questions can cover when you and your spouse met, details about each other lives and families as well as if you have consummated the relationship. It is important to note that the officer will most likely make notes during the interview and anything you say can be used to make a decision in your application. It is therefore important that you answer truthfully. If the officer believes you are not being truthful, your application may be refused and you may have been found to misrepresented which carries a ban from Canada for 5 years.   Preparation makes a big difference. 

What to do next?

If you are scheduled for an interview with IRCC or CBSA and would like assistance, we encourage you to contact Bellissimo Law Group PC.

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Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
Dare Sokoya
Dare Sokoya
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
michele medalla
michele medalla
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
Patricia Forsythe
Patricia Forsythe
23:33 22 Mar 19
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Atabak Amirabrahimi
Atabak Amirabrahimi
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
Carlos Berber
Carlos Berber
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
Jose Rendon
Jose Rendon
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
Liliana Pelech
Liliana Pelech
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
Irshad Khan
Irshad Khan
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.
Shah Alam
Shah Alam
21:15 09 Jul 19
Great service! I had a lot of questions prepared and Viola answered each and every one of them articulately and concisely. I definitely recommend Bellissimo!
RYAN COWLEY
RYAN COWLEY
17:39 30 Jul 19
Hands down i would never done it by myself if it wasn't for Mr. Mario and Ms. Anderson hard work, I was facing deportation and they helped me step by step to get through it to be honest I am very forgetful person and Ms. Anderson always keep me on track and follow up with me making sure i get things done and send to her and they always keep me updated on everything, I am no longer facing such difficulties and i can stay in Canada. i would recommend Bellissiomo Law Group to all friends and Family. thank you again.
Omid Rezaee
Omid Rezaee
16:00 12 Aug 19
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Bellissimo Law Group did a wonderful job. They helped me and my family obtain work permits in Canada. They were responsive, professional, and got the job done in a timely manner with no issues. I would absolutely work with them in the future.
Eric Blomster
Eric Blomster
11:58 30 Aug 19
Bellissimo Law Firm has great lawyers who have handled our immigration case. The staff was very professional. We are very happy with their service.We had to go through a tough ordeal because of misrepresentation earlier and our file was rejected. That is when we assigned this case to Mario Bellissimo. I would happily refer his law firm to any one whose in the same situation as ours or any immigration related matter.I would like to mention a special thanks to Tamara who was in touch with us and kept as posted. Mario had 100% confidence in our case that we will win which was very assuring for me and my family. And we finally got our permanent residency.God bless him and his firm.
mubina fatima
mubina fatima
18:35 15 Sep 19
Our family could not thank you Bellissimo Law Group enough for all their help on my brother's case. We are very thankful for their professionalism, effort and hard work. We truly appreciate for everything that the team has done for us. Especially Keely, I cannot thank her more for her patience, advice and explanation throughout the whole process. I know that this has been a tough and long battle for all of us and finally it is a dream come true. Words cannot describe how thankful and happy we are. To us, thank you is not enough to express our appreciation, I would call them the lifesaver for our family. Once again, thank you and we wish everyone all a continue success.
April Cheng
April Cheng
07:05 24 Sep 19
Great communication and appointment setup. Mr. Bellissimo was quite frank and candid and spoke openly and candidly. Gave me the right advice to wait till a certain stage to file my case.
Imran Butt
Imran Butt
01:53 01 Oct 19
I really appreciate Bellissimo Law group for helping me out especially in obtaining my postgraduate work permit. I was in an unfortunate situation where there was a chance of my application being rejected but I was able to obtain it in the end. I especially thank Michelle for helping me out throughout this whole process. It was not easy but she was able to respond to my questions and answer them in a very informative and prompt manner. I definitely recommend Bellissimo Law group.
JH C
JH C
20:23 17 Oct 19
I am indebted to Ms. Viola Gniadek, Mr. Mario Bellissimo and the entire team at Bellissimo Law Group for having assisted me with my Spouse’s Open Work Permit & Children’s Study Permits that were denied unfairly and arbitrarily -Twice consecutively - earlier this year. Viola assisted me in putting together my family’s file from scratch, over a period of 2 months. This would be my third attempt, and my first time with the law firm. There were times I had bouts of anxiety given the air of uncertainty and hopelessness but Viola was always there to calm my nerves and was very quick in her email responses. The firm knows what they’re doing and they do it very, very well!Absolutely recommended and I will not hesitate in using their services again in future, should there be a need 🙂
Nabil Valiulla
Nabil Valiulla
21:58 17 Oct 19
Life changing experience. Simply brilliant! Kelly Anderson is very professional and friendly. Our son is special needs kid and with all Bellissimo Law Group support we got our PR only in 8 moths.
Madina N
Madina N
21:56 22 Oct 19