Starting February 2019, the Canadian border has been able to gather basic passenger information and communicate it with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Entry/Exit Program.
The information is used by the IRCC to verify residency requirements for permanent residence applications, work permits, study permits, and Canadian citizenship applications. Some programs require candidates to spend a particular amount of time in Canada. Permanent residents, for example, must have been physically present in Canada for 1,095 days out of the five years preceding the date of their application in order to apply for citizenship.
The Entry/Exit Program allows IRCC to query the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for passenger information via the Global Case Management Technology (GCMS), which is the system IRCC utilizes to handle immigration applications.
For the time being, the Entry/Exit program is only available to visitors arriving in Canada by land or air. It is still not possible to travel to Canada by sea or rail. Through the Entry/Exit program, IRCC has access to the following information:
How the IRCC makes use of entry/exit data
According to the government's website, IRCC can use data from entry and exit to:
Client consent is not required for IRCC to query traveller entry and exit information. They have access to the material if it is necessary for an IRCC officer to make a decision about a specific program. Only IRCC jobs that determine application decisions have access to the GCMA's Entry/Exit data.
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Officers of the IRCC are only permitted to reveal entry and exit information if it is required to run the IRPA and is covered by an information-sharing agreement. CBSA must oversee any disclosure not protected by a memorandum of understanding or another information-sharing arrangement.
All authorized CBSA workers have access to the data because CBSA owns it.
Access to information requests under the Privacy Act allows travellers to obtain a copy of their personal travel history. Travelers can contact the CBSA to request a correction.
For the following application categories, IRCC can request Entry/Exit information:
The data on entry and exit can be utilized to see if a foreign individual has previously overstayed their visa in Canada. This is referred to by the government as "overstay monitoring." It starts when a visitor enters Canada and concludes when they leave. When the GCMS is queried, an "overstay indicator" will display as a ticked box if the applicant has overstayed their visit.
Once a sufficient number of air carriers are on-boarded, IRCC expects to overstay indicators for temporary residents to begin displaying in Entry/Exit search results in November 2022.
Applications for permanent residency
IRCC has access to entry/exit information for the following permanent residency application types:
The information can be used to illustrate periods of time spent in and outside of Canada, allowing IRCC to determine whether or not residence has been maintained. IRCC may conduct an Entry/Exit inquiry in addition to residence requirements to examine misrepresentation or revocation of Canadian papers.
Entry/Exit data can be used to assess if a sponsor is residing in Canada for family sponsorship applications.
Applications for citizenship
In citizenship applications, exit/exit data can be used to:
This data collection method helps the Canadian government in accessing the stay period of the immigrants in Canada and a lot more valuable information, in a positive way. So, make sure to read it once more!
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