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 Biometric Visa and Immigration Information Sharing

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 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 responsible for the administration and enforcement of immigration laws for the United States; and

Noting the need to supplement, but not to limit the scope of, existing information sharing arrangements, including the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing, 27 February 2003 (the “Statement of Mutual Understanding”) and the Annex Regarding the Sharing of Information on Asylum and Refugee Status Claims to the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing, 22 August 2003 (the “Asylum Annex”);

Have come to the following understanding:

Definitions

  1. The Participants understand that:
    1. The definitions in the Agreement are incorporated by reference in this Implementing Arrangement;
    2. “Requesting Participant” means the Participant in this Implementing Arrangement that has initiated the primary Query; and
    3. “Providing Participant” means the Participant in this Implementing Arrangement that receives the primary Query from the Requesting Participant.

Purpose

  1. 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.
  2. Pursuant to Article 3 of the Agreement, this Implementing Arrangement is intended to govern the initiation of a direct, electronic fingerprint Query of the Providing Participant’s applicable fingerprint database or databases and, on the basis of a fingerprint match, the exchange and use of relevant Information.

Scope and Process for the Exchange of Information

  1. For the purpose of clarity, the Participants understand that:
    1. 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. The United States’ Participant may, in particular, decline to provide 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.
    2. Regarding Refugee Status Claimants, the Participants intend to adhere to the privacy protections of, and to use the mechanism described in, this Implementing Arrangement for the sharing of data pursuant to and within the scope of the Asylum Annex.
  2. After completing the exchange of Information articulated in paragraphs 9 through 12 of this Implementing Arrangement, a Participant may request additional information about the subject of the match pursuant to the Statement of Mutual Understanding.

Sending Queries:

  1. The Participants intend to send Queries to each other on those individuals believed to be Nationals of a Third Country having applied for admission or a visa or other immigration benefit, or who are a subject of an investigation in order to establish the basis for an individual’s admissibility, eligibility for a visa or other immigration benefit, or their eligibility to remain in the territory of the Requesting Participant’s country, or any other matter consistent with Article 2 of the Agreement.
  2. 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 or investigation:
    1. A citizen of Canada, or a citizen or national of the United States of America;
    2. For Canadian Queries, a Permanent Resident of Canada; or
    3. For U.S. Queries, a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States of America.
  3. The Participants intend to mutually establish the estimated maximum annual volume of Queries that may be initiated pursuant to this Implementing Arrangement. This estimated maximum may be adjusted at any time by mutual consent.
  4. The Participants intend that a Query include the following Information:
    1. Relevant fingerprints;
    2. A unique reference number for each set of fingerprints; and
    3. The case type of the Query. In no circumstance should the case type disclose an individual’s identity or protected status, including for the U.S. under 8 U.S.C. Section 1367.

Responding to Queries:

  1. Subject to paragraph 4 of this Implementing Arrangement, the Participants intend to respond to a Query when either: 
    1. A fingerprint match is established; and
    2. The match is believed to be a National of a Third Country; and
    3. Information associated with the fingerprint record may reveal details relevant to assisting in the effective administration and enforcement of the other Participant’s immigration law, consistent with the Agreement and the Participants’ respective domestic law; or
    4. To communicate with the Requesting Participant that no fingerprint match has been established.
  2. Where the requirements of paragraph 10 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 or databases:
    1. Providing Participant subject specific reference number;
    2. Providing Participant event specific reference number;
    3. Date fingerprinted;
    4. Reason fingerprinted;
    5. Location fingerprinted;
    6. Last name;
    7. First name;
    8. Date of birth;
    9. Passport nationality;
    10. Country of birth;
    11. Gender;
    12. Current immigration status;
    13. Other names;
    14. Alias last name(s);
    15. Alias first name(s);
    16. Travel document number;
    17. Travel document type;
    18. Travel document issuing authority/country;
    19. Travel document expiry date;
    20. Reason for alert;
    21. Visa Refusal code;
    22. Watchlist Indicator;
    23. Scan of travel document biodata page;
    24. Scan of other marked travel document pages;
    25. Facial image;
    26. Previous immigration status;
    27. Date removed;
    28. Date of arrival;
    29. Location of arrival;
    30. Date of departure;
    31. Location of departure;
    32. Date of immigration application or non-biometric encounter;
    33. Type of immigration application or non-biometric encounter;
    34. Date of outcome of immigration application;
    35. Outcome of immigration application;
    36. Reason for outcome of immigration application; and
    37. Expiry date of current leave/stay or visa.

Reciprocal Queries:

  1. Following the receipt of a match response with the available data elements listed in paragraph 11 of this Implementing Arrangement, and subject to paragraph 4 of this Implementing Arrangement, the Providing Participant may request that the Requesting Participant provide the following data elements for the individual who was the subject of the initial Query:
    1. Requesting Participant subject specific reference number;
    2. Requesting Participant event specific reference number;
    3. Date fingerprinted;
    4. Reason fingerprinted;
    5. Location fingerprinted;
    6. Last name;
    7. First name;
    8. Date of birth;
    9. Passport nationality;
    10. Country of birth;
    11. Gender;
    12. Other names;
    13. Alias last name(s);
    14. Alias first name(s);
    15. Travel document number;
    16. Travel document type;
    17. Travel document issuing authority/country;
    18. Scan of travel document biodata page;
    19. Facial image;
    20. Current immigration status;
    21. Previous immigration status; and
    22. Date removed.

Points of Contact

  1. The Participants’ Points of Contact for the application and administration of this Implementing Arrangement are:
    1. For CIC: Director General, Operational Management and Coordination, Operations Sector;
    2. For CBSA: Director General, Traveller Programs, Programs Branch;
    3. For DoS: Managing Director, Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs; and
    4. For DHS: Deputy Assistant Secretary, Information Sharing Policy, Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans.
  2. A Participant may change its Points of Contact through written notification to the other Participant’s Points of Contact.

Privacy Safeguards

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Participants intend to protect the technical connection between their relevant systems through appropriate means, including mutually decided upon technical and physical safeguards.
  4. The Participants intend to mark Information retained as having been received from the other Participant.
  5. The Participants do not intend to retain, in any form, the fingerprint submitted as part of a primary Query. The Participants only intend to retain the unique reference number submitted as part of a primary Query, to be used for audit, correction, performance monitoring and quality assurance purposes.
  6. 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 Participant’s respective applicable retention and disposition schedules, and in accordance with the laws of its respective country.

Review and Performance Monitoring

  1. 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:
    1. The number of Queries sent and percentage of total application volume;
    2. The number and percentage of matches;
    3. The number of cases of identity discrepancies detected;
    4. The number of exchanges from which Information was provided to visa, immigration and border control decision makers before they made a decision;
    5. The number and severity of any security breaches of the information sharing system, databases, or personal information shared under this Implementing Arrangement, as well as a summary of remedial actions taken; and
    6. The number and severity of any privacy breaches of the information sharing system, databases, or personal information shared under this Implementing Arrangement as well as a summary of remedial actions taken.
  2. 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:
    1. Whether Information has been retained when it should have been destroyed;
    2. Whether Information exchanged under this Implementing Arrangement has been marked as having been received from the other Participant;
    3. Whether Information has been disclosed in a manner inconsistent with Article 4 of the Agreement; and
    4. The number of correction requests and whether Information has been corrected in a manner consistent with the Agreement.
  3. 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.

Material Changes

  1. The Participants intend to inform each other of any changes to the technical systems, laws, policies or international obligations of their respective countries that may materially affect the operation or application of this Implementing Arrangement.

Costs

  1. 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.

Consultations

  1. The Participants intend to resolve any difference in the interpretation or application of this Implementing Arrangement by mutual consultation.

Final Provisions

  1. This Implementing Arrangement is not a legally binding instrument; nor is it a written expression of 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Participation under this Implementing Arrangement is intended to commence on the date of last signature.
  4. The Participants may modify this Implementing Arrangement, including the data elements listed in paragraphs 11 and 12, by mutual consent, which should be expressed in writing.
  5. 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 15 to 20 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

At 

Date

The Canada Border Services
Agency

At

Date

For the America side

The Department of State
of The United States of America

At 

Date

The Department of Homeland Security of The United States of America

At 

Date

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