CBSA Reveals How Traveller Information Is Shared With IRCC
The Canadian government has revealed new information regarding its Entry/Exit Program, which allows border officers to collect data from travellers and share it with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
The program is run by a joint initiative between Canada and the U.S. for the purpose of collecting and sharing data gathered from travellers crossing the Canada/U.S. border.
The program has been in place since February 2019 and initially only collected data from those crossing at a land border but has since been extended to air travellers as well.
Since then, IRCC has been collecting this data from the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and using it to track visa holders. This enables them to determine how long travellers have been in Canada and verify residency requirements for applications for permanent residence, work permits, study permits, and Canadian citizenship.
What Information Is Collected?
The CBSA collects the following information from all travellers who cross the Canadian border:
- Date of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Passport details
- Date of entry or exit
- Data displayed in the Global Case Management System for immigration and citizenship applicants such as
- Client identification (i.e., family name and given names, gender, date of birth, country of birth, etc.)
- Contact information and history, educational and employment information
This information is used for the following purposes:
- Verify residency requirements to process an ongoing application by verifying information provided by the client, such as in applications for grants of citizenship or permanent resident cards
- Verify if a temporary residence applicant may have previously overstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada
- Assist in an investigation of an individual’s entitlement to a Canadian travel document
- Verify that sponsors are residing in Canada
- Verify the residency of spouses and partners under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class
- Verify whether or not a refugee claimant entered Canada using their travel documents
- Support investigations of possible fraud in relation to immigration, citizenship, passport, and travel document programs
Keep in mind that the IRCC is not allowed to disclose this information unless it is necessary for the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and it is covered under an existing information-sharing agreement, such as a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Any disclosure that is not explicitly covered under an existing agreement must be governed by CBSA,” says the IRCC website.
However, travellers do have the right to request a copy of their personal travel history. If any errors are discovered, the traveller can also request that a correction be made.