Moving to Canada can be exciting, the fruit of a long tedious journey. However, there are a few formalities that you are required to complete as you’re moving to Canada for the first time as a Permanent Resident (PR). In this article we will be addressing the forms BSF186 & BSF186A; these forms are popularly known as B4 &B4A respectively.
When you first arrive in Canada there are certain documents that are crucial to your entry. They are your passport, PR Visa & Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR). The forms B4 & B4A are equally essential to your entry into Canada. However, it is not mandatory to fill these forms before you arrive but it surely will save you time after you land in Canada.
What are forms B4 & B4A?
Forms B4 & B4A are meant to be an account of all personal belongings; also known as a settler’s effect list. Any individual who is moving or returning to Canada with the intention of permanently living in Canada as a Permanent resident is required to fill out these forms and present them at the first port of entry to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer.
Form BSF186 (B4): This form is used to keep track of items that you are bringing with you at the time of entry. Any items you owned in your house prior to moving and you intend to carry them should be listed on this form. The purpose of this list is to assist the border officer in determining if you are required to pay duty tax on any of the items you are carrying. You are required to fill out this form even if you do not have any items with you.
CBSA has a list of items that are permitted and restricted, and you can find that list to be pretty exhaustive as it covers everything.
Form BSF186A (B4A): This form is basically a good-to-follow list. This list helps in tracking all your items/goods that will be arriving in Canada with you or after you. This form is important as any of the items that you are getting shipped will not have any duty tax on them. However, if you don’t submit this form but have your items/goods arrive with you or at a later date, you will be required to pay the duty tax on them.
*Remember to keep two copies of both forms as one will be given to the CBSA officer. Both the copies will be stamped and signed by the officer, you will also be assigned a file number. You will be returned one completed copy of the form along with a receipt that you should keep safely.