Security screening process for Canadian immigration

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All immigration applicants must go through a security screening, canadian which is a rigorous background check to ensure that they do not constitute a threat to Canadian society. Before you arrive, Canadian immigration officials will undertake a background check to make a final decision on your admission to Canada application.

Three federal agencies collaborate to conduct immigration and citizenship security screenings:

  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
  • IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada)
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)

The role of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is to investigate your background for any acts that could endanger Canada’s security and report them to the Government of Canada.

Section 14 of the CSIS Act empowers CSIS to collect information on security or criminal behaviour that is relevant to any obligation or function under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Section 15 of the CSIS Act empowers CSIS to conduct such investigations in order to provide security assessments. These parts, when combined, enable CSIS to perform security screenings on all applicants seeking entry to Canada through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Section 34 of the CSIS Act addresses security-based inadmissibility. According to the section, a permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible to Canada for the following reasons:

  • engaging in espionage against Canada or against Canada’s interests;
  • acting in or encouraging the subversion of any government by force;
  • engaging in an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution, or process as they are understood in Canada; terrorism; being a danger to Canada’s security;
  • engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada;
  • being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged in, or will engage in the aforementioned acts.

Essentially, security screenings are conducted to discover applicants who are or have been involved in espionage, subversion, terrorism or who would pose serious danger to Canadian society.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

The CBSA is in charge of providing integrated border services in support of national security and public safety priorities. Their duties include holding individuals who may constitute a threat to Canada, removing individuals who are inadmissible to Canada, and investigating individuals who breach the IRPA or are suspected criminals.

The CBSA also assesses visitors, immigrants, and refugees attempting to enter Canada. Anyone over the age of 18 who applies for immigration or claims refugee status is subject to a background check by the CBSA.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

To carry out their screening procedure, IRCC collaborates closely with these other government agencies. IRCC collaborates with CSIS and CBSA, which have access to international databases, to enforce IRPA regulations and evaluate immigration admissibility.

CSIS and CBSA do not make immigration decisions. Instead, their security evaluation is sent to IRCC, which analyses CSIS’s findings independently and makes the ultimate judgement on an application.


What do you need to provide for the screening process?

The candidate will be required to provide information and documents for the security and background clearance checks, which will include:

  • biometrics, i.e. your fingerprints and a recent photo;
  • results of a medical exam and health history;
  • a valid passport; and
  • a police clearance certificate.

As an applicant, you will most likely be required to submit a Police Clearance certificate. The certificate must be obtained from the country of your current residence and from each country in which you have resided for more than six months since your 18th birthday.

It is vital to highlight that there is a clear contrast between the Police Certificate, which you must receive, and the security clearance, which you are not needed to obtain.


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