Entry and Exit Records Will Leave You Nowhere to Hide
Posted on 02/02/2022
The Beyond the Border Action Plan was put into place about a decade ago by DHS in the U.S. and Canada’s CBSA and IRCC. The Action Plan now has a new joint initiative – the Entry/Exit program – which means your movements between Canada and the U.S. – by air or land – will be almost instantly recorded by CBSA and then accessed through GCMS (Global Case Management System) used by IRCC as well as in data bases used by U.S. immigration authorities. In other words, your record of landing in the U.S. will also be considered your exit information from Canada, and vice versa.
This has important implications for several immigration programs.
- Your Permanent Residence Status can now be monitored almost in real time. Immigration authorities will be easily able to confirm if you are maintaining your physical presence requirements and if not, you are at much greater risk of losing your PR status and having to leave Canada.
- Your citizenship application will be monitored to ensure you have met the physical presence requirements for citizenship as well as to make sure you’ve maintained your PR status.
- Time spent abroad in certain countries may also indicate the need for a police certificate, as well.
- Any possible misrepresentation arising from inconsistencies between your application and your entry/exit records will also be flagged.
- Entry/exit records could also support efforts to revoke someone’s citizenship, generally for misrepresenting your physical presence in Canada in the 5 years before you applied for citizenship. So, even if you were granted citizenship, if IRCC sees that you did not in fact meet your physical presence requirements your citizenship could possibly be revoked.
- Anyone applying for a Permanent Resident Travel Document (usually people who are overseas and whose PR card has expired while overseas) will have their entry/exit information monitored to ensure they are eligible for a PRTD, normally by checking to make sure they have fulfilled their residency requirements to maintain their PR status.
- Anyone visiting, working temporarily, or studying in Canada will be more easily monitored to ensure you are not overstaying your visa and remaining in Canada after it has expired.
- This includes Temporary Residence Permits and eTAs as well.
- Inconsistencies between the information you provided in any application and your entry/exit information (whether intentional or not) could lead to being charged with misrepresentation.
- Sponsorship applications can also be monitored. A sponsor has to be residing in Canada, so CBSA and IRCC can use the entry/exit information on the sponsor to ensure they are spending a majority of their time in Canada, until their sponsorship undertaking finishes.
- Refugee claimants will have their travel history under greater scrutiny which will be checked against the information in their claims for possible misrepresentation.
While there are guardrails against the IRCC indiscriminately sharing entry/exit record information, nonetheless a wide range of CBSA officials as well as IRCC officials will have access to your entry/exit information which includes the following:
- Given & family names
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Passport details (information in your passport)
- Date of Entry/Exit
The main takeaway is you must take care that you are fulfilling your physical residence requirements and that in any immigration application you should double or even triple-check all the information you submit. If you are uncertain of some dates or lengths of time or other information, you should explain that on a separate page or in any provided space in the forms used for the specific immigration application. The last thing you need is to have your immigration application overturned due to accidental misrepresentation. And finally, do NOT try to cheat the system. This latest development makes it even harder to get away with any sort of misrepresentation. For frequent travelers, it is a very good idea to track and document each of your travels, if you haven’t started to do so.