The FAST interview varies between enrolment centers and the personality of the border guard conducting the interview. FAST interviews last 30 minutes; they take place at the FAST Enrolment Center of your choice. Applicants are interviewed by a Canada Border Services Agency officer and again by a Customs and Border Protection officer from the United States. When attending your FAST interview, make sure you have clear directions to the Enrolment Center and leave enough time to find the building where the interview will take place; some FAST offices are not very well marked.
You must take along all relevant supporting documents to your interview. The documents you actually need to present at the FAST interview really do vary between interview locations and the FAST officer conducting the interview. Some FAST applicants had to show all documents whilst others were only asked for a Drivers license and passport; some have reported that the officer in the FAST interview kiosk next to them asked for different documents to his colleague.
You should take the following supporting documents to your FAST interview:
- Passport, Birth Certificate, Permanent Resident Card, US or Canadian Visas – any document listed on your application, which were used to verify that you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Utility bills, etc proving your current address
- Drivers license
- FAST conditional approval letter. IVT will send this with confirmation of your interview date and time.
FAST Interview Questions
At your FAST interview you will be asked many of the questions that you have answered on your FAST application form. Whilst this is frustrating you should answer the FAST interview questions politely and truthfully. The questions asked at the FAST interview are straightforward. Frequently asked questions at the FAST interview are:
“Why do you want the FAST card?”
“How often do you plan to use the FAST pass?”
“Where do you think you will travel to in the United States?”
“Do you still live at this address?”
“Were you always known as [your name]?”
“Do you realize there are restrictions to holding the FAST card?” You can answer “No” because the FAST card program will be explained to you.
“Have there been any changes since your application?” This means things like a new address or recent criminal charges; there is no point in lying because both countries’ customs officials have access to your criminal record.
More obscure questions which have been asked revolve around criminal records and behaviour:
“Have you ever taken drugs?” This means that you may not have a criminal record for drug taking but by answering “Yes”’ you will be denied.
Rules of the FAST Program
After the questions, the interviewing officer will explain the rules of the FAST program and give you a booklet that explains you what you can and can’t bring into each country under the Canada FAST program. Traveling with ineligible goods will lead to immediate confiscation of your FAST card if you are caught. You will be unable to re-apply for FAST because your status as a trusted driver will have been jeopardized.
FAST interviewing officers will inform you that you do not have to be driving a truck to use your FAST pass; if you are traveling in a car with NEXUS card members you can use the NEXUS lane. The officer will specifically warn you that everyone traveling in the car must have a FAST or NEXUS card. You will also be warned that if you have non-FAST or non-NEXUS passengers in the car and you drop them off at the border to walk across, you will have your Canada FAST card revoked on the spot; border service officials on both sides do not want pedestrians walking through the traffic approaching the border.
FAST Biometric Data
Your biometric data will be taken for storage on your Canada FAST pass; you will be fingerprinted and photographed using a low quality web cam.
FAST Card Final Approval
Final approval for your Canada FAST card will be given at the interview. Most people who make it to the conditional approval stage qualify for their FAST card, but this is not guaranteed. You will receive your FAST card in the mail 7 to 10 days later; they are sent out from the FAST HQ in Vermont. Some FAST cards get lost in the mail whilst others are simply not sent out because the FAST card officer forgot to forward your application to FAST HQ. Your FAST card will arrive with a set of instructions explaining how to activate it online. The card is then valid for 5 years.
More questions about FAST Card? Read our FAQs
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