Entry/Exit Initiative

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About this initiative

With the Royal Assent of Bill C-21, Canada now has the authority to collect basic biographic information on all Canadians who leave the country by land and by air. This information will be used to establish complete travel history information, comprised of both entry and exit records, for all travellers, and enable the CBSA and federal partners to strengthen the integrity of Canada's border, immigration, citizenship and social benefit programs, while respecting Canadians’ privacy and ensuring the effective protection of their personal information.

At land ports of entry, Canada will receive biographic information from the United States (U.S.) on all travellers who enter the U.S., thereby creating a Canadian exit record. In the air mode, Canada will collect exit information through electronic passenger manifests received directly from air carriers. Exit information collected in the air mode will not be shared with the U.S.

Note: Bill C-21 is expected to come into force later this year. Regulatory changes are required before the full implementation of this initiative.

Protecting the privacy of personal information

Both Canada and the U.S. are committed to safeguarding the privacy of personal information. The process of collecting and sharing personal information under the Entry/Exit initiative has been, and will continue to be done, in accordance with each country's privacy laws and policies.

Background

In 2011, Canada and the United States (U.S.) committed to establishing a coordinated entry-exit information system. This system permits sharing information so that the record of a land entry into one country can be used to establish an exit record from the other.

From to , both countries tested their capacity to exchange and reconcile biographic entry information of third-country nationals (non U.S. or Canadian citizens), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens at four land ports of entry in British Columbia/Washington State and Ontario/New York.

A joint report on the findings was released on and validated the initiative's concept: that a traveller's record of entry in one country can serve as a record of exit from the other.

On , Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump reaffirmed the commitment to a coordinated entry-exit information system and pledged to build upon the process already in place.

Currently, Canada and the U.S. exchange biographic entry information on third-country nationals (non U.S. or Canadian citizens), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens at land ports of entry. Canada also shares with the U.S. biographic entry information on U.S. citizens and nationals who enter Canada.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the CBSA and DHS/CBP sets out the parameters for sharing biographic information on U.S. Citizens and Nationals who enter Canada at land ports of entry. Both countries currently securely share, on average, entry records of approximately 60,000 travellers daily, with no impact on the traveller experience.

On Thursday, December 13, Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act, received Royal Assent giving authority to the CBSA to systematically collect exit biographic information from travellers who leave the country by land and air.

For more information on the initiative in general, or to send your feedback or questions, please contact us at: contact@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

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