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Immigration Announcement

CBSA has begun to collect basic information about air travelers

Margaret Cooley

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Canada air entry program

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has made travel and immigration difficult all around the world.

Canada has decided to extend the Entry/Exit Program even to air travel in light of the current circumstances. The country will now collect basic biographic information about travelers who are moving in and out of the country in accordance with existing rules. Both land and air travelers will have to abide by this decision.

How will the measure be implemented?

Commercial air carriers are now responsible for providing the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) with relevant information. They will submit the electronic passenger manifests of all the passengers and crew members who would be traveling in and out of Canada on the aircraft.

The Entry/Exit program already exists to maintain records of traveler movements in and out of the country, and this new measure is an extension of the same. Canada uses this information to trace and verify the complete travel history of a person.

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All the airlines will be fully phased into this program by June 2021 according to current plans. CBSA has said that the Exit information gathered from air travel via the Entry/Exit Program would not be shared with the U.S. on a regular basis. There is no reason to think that the system would cause border delays.

International partners of the country, like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, as well as the European Union are setting up exit systems as well.

CBSA will be able to send all the traveler information to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) via the Entry/Exit Program so that the duration of stay for passengers who want to apply for permanent residence can be verified. If a traveler lies to the CBSA about how much time they have spent in Canada or abroad, they could be judged criminally inadmissible on a case-by-case basis.

 

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