Frequently Asked Questions
What type of information is the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) interested in?
We are interested in information pertaining to suspicious cross-border activities relating to persons or goods that have or will enter Canada.
Please do not get involved or try to gather evidence. For your own protection, never try to take the law into your own hands or get involved in any illegal activities.
Note: For immediate national security threats or a crime in progress, please call 911.
Below are examples of these activities
National security - related violations
- National Security / Terrorism – Activities related to national security and/or terrorism, including the routing and use of money to finance a terrorist organization.
- War Crimes – Individuals who have been involved in war crimes in Canada or abroad.
- Organized Crime – Individuals and activities associated with organized crime groups. This would include the movement of money (to conceal its origins) that has been obtained through illegal means .
Customs - related violations
- Drugs / Contraband Smuggling– The transportation of narcotics or other illegal items into Canada.
- Weapons / Firearms – The transportation of weapons or firearms into Canada.
- Child Pornography / Hate Propaganda – The transportation of child pornography and/or hate propaganda into Canada. Hate propaganda is any communication, poster and/or graffiti used by a person or group which promotes hatred based on race, religion, nationality or ethnic origin.
- Currency – The transportation of illegally obtained or undeclared money into Canada.
- Alcohol Smuggling– The transportation of undeclared amounts of alcohol into Canada.
- Tobacco Smuggling– The transportation of undeclared amounts of tobacco into Canada.
- Commercial / Trade Fraud– Providing fraudulent documents or falsified information regarding commercial shipments entering Canada.
- Goods - Misrepresentation– Providing fraudulent declarations or falsified information about items entering Canada.
- Goods - Smuggling– The transportation of undeclared items into or from Canada.
- Goods - Undervaluation– Falsely declaring items at a lesser value.
IMMIGRATION - related violations
- Human/International Rights Violations– individuals who have been involved in activities that violate human rights (i.e. war crimes, torture, genocide etc.)
- Human Smuggling– Individuals who facilitate the illegal entry of a person into Canada
- Human Trafficking– Individuals who move individuals against their will into and within Canada.
- Criminality– Foreign nationals, visitors or permanent residents of Canada who have been involved in Criminal Code offences in Canada or abroad. (Note: The police should be contacted first.)
- Workers – Those working in Canada without authorization (without being granted a work permit or working somewhere other than the location designated on their work permit).
- Students– Studying without authorization – Studying in Canada without being granted a study permit or students not following their study permit conditions.
- Visitors– Overstay – Subjects remaining in Canada after their designated period of stay has expired.
- Warrant / Previously Deported Persons / Wanted by the CBSA– Individuals who are wanted on an immigration warrant, have been previously deported or are on the CBSA Wanted List.
Other violations we are interested in:
- Marriages of Convenience – Activities related to national security and/or terrorism, including the routing and use of money to finance a terrorist organization.
- Consultant Fraud– Activities related to national security and/or terrorism, including the routing and use of money to finance a terrorist organization.
- Misrepresentation– Activities related to national security and/or terrorism, including the routing and use of money to finance a terrorist organization.
For more information, visit:
- Immigration and citizenship enforcement and violations
- Human trafficking at the border
- Wanted by the CBSA
- Arrests, detentions and removals
What kind of information are we looking for?
You are asked to provide as much as you can about the following:
- Who is/was involved
- Name of individual or business
- Date of birth or approximate age
- Physical description of individual
- Details of the company or organization
- What is the suspicious activty
- Customs-related violations
- Immigration-related violations
- When will it/did it happen
- Where will it/did it take place
- Approximate location
- Any related phone numbers
- How will it happen
Even if the suspicious activity has already occurred, reporting your suspicions can be an effective way of stopping future attempts.
Can I expect an update?
The Border Watch Line is required to comply with Canadian privacy legislation which prohibits the disclosure of personal information regarding a third party.
Therefore, the CBSA will not provide updates or follow-ups regarding any information submitted through the Border Watch Line.
If the information provided is false, could this lead to unnecessary searches or detentions of individuals?
No. All information received is thoroughly researched. If the information proves to be false, no action will be taken.
Will my submission be confidential?
The information provided is confidential. The information contained in the form you have completed will be as well. You are not required to give your name or phone number unless you choose to do so.
Can I call during certain hours?
Yes, the toll-free Border Watch Line 1-888-502-9060 is available from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET),
Monday to Friday, in both official languages within the United States and Canada.
If you are calling outside of these hours, please use the online reporting form.
Will the information I give be shared with anyone else, like the police?
The CBSA works in close partnership with law enforcement bodies, such as provincial and local police, as well as with other customs organizations around the world. If the information received is relevant to any of our partners, we may share it.
Will I get a reward for giving information?
The CBSA does not offer cash rewards for providing information.
How is this service different from the Crime Stoppers tip line or the RCMP National Security Information Network?
- Border Watch Line: deals specifically with suspicious cross border or immigration activities enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency.
- Crime Stoppers tip line: deals specifically with known or suspected criminal activities.
- RCMP National Security Information Network: deals specifically with information regarding national security.
How is this service different from the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) call centre?
The Border Watch Line does not provide information on immigration application status nor does it collect information on citizenship fraud or marriages of convenience for active applications, as they are enforced by IRCC.
If you need help with your application status or want to report citizenship fraud or a marriage of convenience for active applications, please contact the IRCC Call Centre directly at 1-888-242-2100.
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