The federal government of Canada recently released more details on what information border officers collect from travelers, who can access such information, and more on data protection and rules for disclosure.
Canada’s Entry/Exit Program allows border officials to collect basic traveller information and share it with Canada’s immigration department. The department uses the information to substantiate how many days an immigration applicant stayed in Canada.
The information is also used to verify residency requirements for applications for Canadian permanent residence, study permits, work permits, and Canadian citizenship applications.
Canada and the United States have been exchanging biographic entry information on all travelers at the land border since July 11, 2019, though the program was launched in February 2019.
They use the record of a traveler’s entry into one country to ascertain the exit from the other. Recently the program was extended to air travelers as well, however, this exit information is not regularly shared with the United States,
Traveller information is not yet being collected at entering and exiting Canada by marine ports or by rail.
What information does CBSA collect from Travellers?
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) collects basic data of travelers who come through the border.
The basic data they collect includes:
- date of birth;
- country of origin;
- passport details;
- date of entry and exit;
- the information displayed in the Global Case Management System for immigration and citizenship candidates such as;
- client identification (i.e., first names and family name, gender, date of birth, country of birth, etc.),
- contact details and history, educational, and employment information.
Who can have access to traveller information?
The Canadian Border Services Agency is the owner of the data and as such all authorized border officials can access exit information. This border officers include:
- border services officer and superintendents;
- criminal investigation officers and analysts;
- document analysts;
- hearings officers and hearing advisors;
- inland enforcement officers and enforcement case officer;
- intelligence officer and intelligence analysts;
- National Border Operation Centre officers;
- National Security Screening Division officer and analysts;
- National Targeting Centre (NTC) targeting officers;
- NTC targeting operation intelligence; and
- trusted traveler officers.
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).only retains the Entry/Exit information of a candidate who is applying for immigration.
The IRCC uses Entry/Exit information to:
- verify residency requirements to process an ongoing application by verifying data provided by the client, such as in applications for grants of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident cards;
- ascertain if a temporary residence applicant may have previously outstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada;
- assist in an investigation of a person’s entitlement to a Canadian travel document;
- verify that sponsors are living in Canada;
- investigate if the residency of spouses and common-law partners under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class;
- investigate whether or not a refugee claimant came into Canada using their travel documents; and
- support findings of possible fraud in relation to citizenship, immigration, and passport and travel document programs.
Canada border officers are not allowed to disclose or release entry and exit information unless when necessary for the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which is covered under existing information-sharing agreements, such as a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Any disclosure of information or data that is not explicitly covered under an existing agreements must be governed by CBSA,” the government’s website said.
Travelers have the right to demand a copy of their personal travel history, and they can request a correction if they find any mistakes.
IRCC will be informed if a traveler requests a correction to their passage information or data, and they are able to re-query CBSA to get the most recent information.Share with friends