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CBSA now collecting basic information of air travellers

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Canada now collects basic biographic information on travellers who move in and out of the country by land and by air.

As of June 25, commercial air carriers must provide the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) with electronic passenger manifests of every passenger and crew member travelling out of Canada on their aircraft. This is an extension of the existing Entry/Exit program, which creates records of traveller movements in an out of Canada and is used to verify a complete travel history.

Airlines are expected to be fully phased into the program by June 2021.

Exit information collected from air travel through the Entry/Exit Program will not be regularly shared with the U.S., CBSA says. It is also not expected to cause border delays.

International partners with Canada, such as the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union are also implementing exit systems.

CBSA is able to send traveller information to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Entry/Exit Program in order to verify how many days a person applying for immigration stayed in the country.

The amount of time that foreign nationals stay in Canada can affect applications for immigration papers such as work and study permits, visitor visas, permanent residence, and citizenship.

Entry/Exit information is an additional source of information available for border officers to review while carrying out their duties, including enforcing coronavirus travel restrictions.

Canada and the U.S. have been exchanging biographic entry information on all travellers at the land border since July 11, 2019, a CBSA spokesperson told CIC News. They use the record of a traveller’s entry into one country to establish the exit from the other.

If a traveller is found to have misrepresented themselves by lying to CBSA about how much time they spent in Canada or abroad, they could be considered criminally inadmissible on a case-by-case basis.

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

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