Canada Border Services Agency
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Fact Sheet

September 2012

Entry/Exit pilot project

What is Entry/Exit?

Under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, Canada and the United States committed to establishing coordinated entry and exit systems at the common land border so that the record of a traveller's entry into one country can be utilised to establish the traveller's exit from the other.

The pilot is an important step as both countries move towards a coordinated entry/exit system that will strengthen border and immigration programs, support law enforcement, and accelerate the legitimate flow of people and goods into Canada and the United States and across our common border.

By establishing a coordinated entry/exit system, both countries will be able to identify persons who potentially overstay their visa, better monitor the departure of persons subject to removal orders, and verify that residency requirements are being met by applicants for continued eligibility in immigration programs.

In addition, this kind of information sharing will allow both countries to have information to assist each other in locating people involved in organized crime, terrorism and other crimes.

Description of the pilot

Beginning October 15, 2012, routine biographic information of third-country nationals (not citizens of Canada or the United States), permanent residents of Canada, and lawful permanent residents of the United States, collected between September 30, 2012 and January 31, 2013, will be exchanged by both countries. This exchange means that record of entry into one country becomes a record of exit from the other country and will apply to travellers crossing at the following four automated common land border ports of entry:


  • (a) Pacific Highway, Surrey, British Columbia
  • (b) Douglas (Peace Arch), Surrey, British Columbia
  • (c) Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
  • (d) Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, Ontario


  • (a) Pacific Highway, Blaine, Washington
  • (b) Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington
  • (c) Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, Lewiston, New York
  • (d) Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls, New York

Routinely-collected data elements being shared are: first name, last name, middle name, date of birth, nationality, gender, document type, document number, work location code / U.S. port of entry codes, date of entry, time of entry, and document country of issuance.

Canada and the United States currently collect traveller information at ports of entry. As it relates to the pilot, no additional information will be collected at the time of entry. The only new pieces of information not already known to the receiving country will be the date of departure and the port through which the traveller(s) exited.

Next Steps

Following the exchange, both governments will evaluate the validity of the information sharing concept and identify the necessary steps for developing future technology and other improvements for longer term commitments.

Longer term commitments include:

  • By June 30, 2013, both countries will begin implementation of a program exchanging the biographic data of third-country nationals, permanent residents of Canada and lawful permanent residents in the United States, at all automated common land border ports of entry.
  • By June 30, 2014, both countries will expand the program to include the exchange of biographic data on all travellers at all automated land border ports of entry.
  • By June 30, 2014, with respect to air travel, Canada will develop a system to establish exit, similar to that in the U.S., under which airlines will be required to submit their passenger manifest information on outbound international flights.

Privacy Safeguards

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take the protection of privacy very seriously. Any sharing of personal information under the Action Plan will be done appropriately and responsibly and in accordance with each country's privacy laws and policies. They will also be consistent with the Joint Statement of Privacy Principles, the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing and the Letter of Intent developed between CBSA and DHS.

The executive summary of the CBSA's Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) of the pilot can be viewed on the Agency's Web site. To view the PIA conducted by DHS, please visit its Web site.

Canada and the U.S. intend to retain personal information no longer than six months beyond the last exchange of information. Once a joint report featuring statistical analysis and lessons learned is produced, information exchanged electronically will be destroyed in the most secure manner possible in order to make it irretrievable.

The intention of both the U.S. and Canada is that there will be no enforcement action (i.e. identification of individual overstays) as a result of the information exchanged in this Phase I pilot.

Neither country will have direct query access to the systems of the other.


Third-country national

A third-country national is a person who is not a citizen of Canada or a citizen or national of the United States under their respective laws.

Permanent Resident of Canada

A Permanent Resident of Canada is a person who has acquired permanent resident status and has not subsequently lost that status under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States

A Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States is a person who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined in Section 101(a)(20) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended.