Implementing arrangement between the Department of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, on the one side, and the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America, on the other side, concerning Exchange of Information for Temporary Entry Document Validation
The Department of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), on the one side, and the Department of State (DoS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the United States of America, on the other side, each side hereinafter referred to as a “Participant,” and the two sides referred to as the “Participants,”
Regarding the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for the Sharing of Visa and Immigration Information, done at Ottawa on 13 December 2012 (“the Agreement”);
Considering that the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America are Parties to the Agreement, which provides in Article 3 for the development of implementing arrangements;
Noting that CIC and the CBSA are the department and agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of immigration laws for Canada and that the DoS and DHS are the departments primarily responsible for the administration and enforcement of immigration laws for the United States;
Noting that U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the DHS fulfills the Department’s operational and technical commitments under this Implementing Arrangement; and
Noting that this Implementing Arrangement is not intended to affect the exchange of Information between the Participants under other established bilateral information sharing arrangements or agreements;
Have come to the following understandings:
- The Participants understand that:
- The definitions in the Agreement are incorporated by reference in this Implementing Arrangement;
- “Requesting Participant” means the Participant in this Implementing Arrangement that has initiated the Query; and
- “Providing Participant” means the Participant in this Implementing Arrangement that receives the Query from the Requesting Participant.
- The Participants understand that references to CIC, the CBSA, and DHS include successor departments or agencies.
Scope and Purpose
- Consistent with Article 2 of the Agreement and with their respective domestic laws and policies, the Participants intend to exchange Information to assist in the effective administration and enforcement of the immigration laws of their respective countries.
- Consistent with Article 3 of the Agreement, this Implementing Arrangement is intended to govern the initiation of a direct, electronic Query of the Providing Participant’s applicable database and the exchange and use of relevant Information to confirm the validity of a visa or other document (electronic or physical) required for travel or entry to the Providing Participant’s territory, in order to contribute to a determination regarding the individual’s admissibility, eligibility for admission or an immigration benefit.
- The Participants understand that if a Participant determines exchanging Information is inconsistent with the laws of its country, or detrimental to its national sovereignty, national security, public policy, or other important national interest, the Participant may decline to provide any such Information, or offer to provide all or part of the Information subject to terms and conditions as it may specify. For the United States’ Participant, this includes Information regarding applicants for or beneficiaries of applications, including for T or U non-immigrant status, or Violence Against Women Act relief, under 8 U.S.C. Section 1367, unless an exception applies, including that the individual who is the subject of the Information is an adult who has provided express authorization for its release to the Canadian Participant.
- The Participants do not intend to send Queries pertaining to persons identified to be, on the basis of data such as application responses, identity documentation, or the nature of the application:
- A citizen of Canada, or a citizen or national of the United States of America;
- For Canadian Queries, a Permanent Resident of Canada; or
- For U.S. Queries, a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States of America.
- The Participants intend that a Query include the following Information:
- Unique Transaction Number;
- Number of the Document to be Validated;
- Given Names;
- Date of Birth;
- Passport Number; and
- Passport Issuing Country.
Responding to Queries:
- Subject to paragraph 5 of this Implementing Arrangement, the Participants intend to respond to a Query when a match:
- Is believed, on the basis of data available to the Participant, to be a National of a Third Country; and
- Is identified based on mutually determined criteria that ensure a high degree of certainty in the accuracy of matches.
- Where the requirements of paragraph 8 of this Implementing Arrangement have been met, the Participants intend to send, in response to a Query, the following data elements, subject to availability and practicability in the Providing Participant’s applicable database:
- Unique Transaction Number;
- Document validity Response;
- Document Status; and
- Match Type.
- The Participants intend to provide the most accurate Information available at the time of the response in respect of the document to be validated.
Points of Contact
- The Participants’ Points of Contact for the application and administration of this Implementing Arrangement are:
- For CIC: Director General, Operational Management and Coordination, Operations Sector;
- For CBSA: Director General, Traveller Programs, Programs Branch;
- For DoS: Managing Director, Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs; and
- For DHS: Deputy Assistant Secretary, Information Sharing Policy, Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans.
- A Participant may change its Points of Contact through written notification to the other Participant’s Points of Contact.
- The Participants intend to collect, use, and disclose any Information shared pursuant to this Implementing Arrangement in accordance with the Agreement, the domestic laws and policies of their respective countries, and the Beyond the Border Action Plan: Statement of Privacy Principles by Canada and the United States, issued on May 30, 2012.
- The Participants intend to notify each other of their respective mechanisms for providing individuals access and correction opportunities, as addressed in Article 5 of the Agreement, for Information received under this Implementing Arrangement.
- The Participants intend to protect the technical connection between their relevant systems through appropriate means, including mutually decided upon technical and physical safeguards.
- The Participants intend to mark Information retained as having been received from the other Participant.
- The Providing Participant does not intend to retain, in any form, the Information submitted as part of a Query. The Providing Participant only intends to retain the unique transaction number submitted as part of a Query, to be used for audit, performance monitoring and quality assurance purposes.
- The Participants understand that Information obtained in response to a Query is to be retained only so long as necessary for the purpose for which the Information was requested, in accordance with the Requesting Participant’s applicable retention and disposition schedules, and in accordance with the laws of its country.
Review and Performance Monitoring
- For purposes of the review processes described in Article 10 of the Agreement, the Participants intend to review on an annual basis the volume of transactions and the outcomes and the timeliness of the responses to Queries based on mutually decided performance and management measurements, which may include:
- The number of Queries sent;
- The number and percentage of documents confirmed as valid;
- The number and percentage of documents that were confirmed as not valid; and
- Consistent with Article 4 of the Agreement, the number and severity of any instances of accidental or unauthorized access of the information sharing system, databases, or accidental or unauthorized disclosure of personal information shared under this Implementing Arrangement, as well as a summary of remedial actions taken.
- The Participants intend to carry out regular quality assurance activities, including a review of applicable privacy safeguards, using a mutually decided methodology to ensure that the activities carried out under this Implementing Arrangement are consistent with its terms. These activities may include, but are not limited to, determining:
- Whether Information has been retained when it is intended to have been destroyed;
- Whether Information exchanged under this Implementing Arrangement has been marked as having been received from the other Participant; and
- Whether Information has been disclosed in a manner inconsistent with Article 4 of the Agreement.
- The Participants may conduct additional performance monitoring and review of the activities carried out under this Implementing Arrangement by mutual consent which should be given in writing.
- The Participants intend to inform each other of any changes to the technical systems, laws, policies (including visa policy), or international obligations of their respective countries that may materially affect the operation or application of this Implementing Arrangement.
- The Participants understand that performance of this Implementing Arrangement is subject to their respective availability of funds. Each Participant intends to pay for its own costs and use its own equipment and personnel in performing its activities under this Implementing Arrangement. This Implementing Arrangement is not intended to be interpreted to require the obligation or payment of funds in violation of the laws of the Participants’ respective countries.
- The Participants intend to mutually establish the anticipated annual volume of Queries that may be initiated pursuant to this Implementing Arrangement. This anticipated annual volume may be adjusted at any time by mutual consent.
- The Participants intend to resolve any difference in the interpretation or application of this Implementing Arrangement by mutual consultation.
- This Implementing Arrangement is not a legally binding instrument. It is an expression of the purpose and intent of the Participants. Participation under this Implementing Arrangement is intended to be in accordance with each Participant’s domestic legal authorities and resources.
- This Implementing Arrangement is not intended to be interpreted in a manner that would restrict practices relating to mutual assistance and cooperation that are already in place between the Participants.
- Participation under this Implementing Arrangement is intended to commence on the date of last signature.
- The Participants may modify this Implementing Arrangement, including the data elements listed in paragraphs 7 and 9, by mutual consent, which should be expressed in writing.
- A Participant may cease participation under this Implementing Arrangement by giving notice to the other Participant, which the Participants intend to do in writing. Consistent with Article 12 of the Agreement, cessation of participation in this Implementing Arrangement is intended to become effective six (6) months after receipt of such notice. In such event, the terms of paragraphs 13 to 18 of this Implementing Arrangement continue to apply to Information shared pursuant to this Implementing Arrangement.
Signed, in duplicate, in the English and French languages, each version being equally valid.
For the Canadian side
The Department of Citizenship
and Immigration of Canada
The Canada Border Services
For the America side
The Department of State
of The United States of America
The Department of Homeland Security of The United States of America
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