Immigration security screening in Canada: The government of Canada mandates that everyone who wants to immigrate to the country must first pass a security screening, as it effectively amounts to a thorough look into their past to make sure they don’t pose a threat to Canadian society. In order to reach a conclusion regarding your application for entry into Canada, Canadian immigration officials will perform a background check on you before you even set foot in the country.
In order to carry out immigration and citizenship security checks, there are three federal agencies that operate together:
- Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
- Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
The responsibility of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which is to review your background for any activity that could be considered a danger to the security of Canada and to report any findings to the government of Canada, is to carry out this check.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) permits the Central Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to collect information that is pertinent to any duty or function that is outlined in the act. Section 14 of the CSIS Act grants this authorization. The CSIS is given the authority to carry out investigations of this nature in order to provide security evaluations by virtue of Section 15 of the CSIS Act. Together, these components make it possible for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to carry out security checks on all applicants who are making their way through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) system.
Inadmissibility for reasons related to security is addressed under Section 34 of the CSIS Act. The provision states that a permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of national security if they have committed any of the following acts:
- committing an act of espionage that is directed against Canada or that is in opposition to the interests of Canada;
- engaging in or encouraging the overthrow of any government by the use of force;
- perpetrating an act of subversion against what would be considered a democratic government, institution, or process in Canada;
- engaging in terrorism;
- being a danger to the security of Canada;
- committing acts of violence that jeopardize the lives or safety of people in Canada, or that have the potential to do so;
- or participating as a member of a group that does, has done, or plans to do anything mentioned in the first phrase.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
The mission of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is to provide integrated border services that contribute to the achievement of national security and public safety priorities. Their duties include detaining individuals who are believed to be a risk to Canada, removing those who are unable to enter Canada, and investigating individuals who are believed to have violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or who are criminal suspects.
Screening of visitors, immigrants, and refugees seeking entrance to Canada is also performed by the CBSA. Anyone over the age of 18 who applies for immigration or claims refugee status is subject to a background check conducted by the CBSA.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
In order to carry out the screening procedure, IRCC works closely with these other federal authorities. In order to implement the provisions of the IRPA and assess whether or not an immigrant is admissible, IRCC collaborates with CSIS and CBSA, both of which have access to worldwide databases.
An immigration application is not a matter for CSIS or CBSA. Instead, their security evaluation is sent to IRCC, which then conducts its analysis of CSIS’s findings before coming to a conclusion regarding whether or not to approve an application.
What information is needed to finish the screening process?
The applicant will be required to provide certain information and papers for the background and security clearance checks, such as:
- Their biometrics, which include their fingerprints and a current photo,
- The results of a medical exam,
- Their medical history,
- A valid passport, and
- A police clearance certificate.
As an application, it is highly possible that you will be needed to provide a certificate proving that you have a clean criminal record. You are required to receive the certificate from the nation in which you are currently residing as well as from every country in which you have spent more than six months of continuous residency after turning 18 years old.
It is essential to recognize that there is a distinct difference between the security clearance, in which the majority of the time you do not play an active role, and the Police Certificate, which you are obligated to receive. Obtaining the Police Certificate is a requirement.
- Mandatory security screening for immigrants.
- CSIS, IRCC, CBSA conduct checks.
- CSIS assesses security threats.
- Biometrics, exams, police clearance required.
- Police certificate essential.