Amending Regulations to Share Information on Immigration and Visa Applicants Between Canada and the United States

Canada Flag + ROW IconOn Oct 5, 2013 the Canada Gazette published a document:

Issue: Canada intends to implement a new approach to sharing immigration information with the United States as part of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan (the Action Plan), pursuant to the Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for the Sharing of Visa and Immigration Information (the Agreement) and the Annex Regarding the Sharing of Information on Asylum and Refugee Status Claims to the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing (the Asylum Annex). Immigration information sharing pursuant to the Agreement and the Asylum Annex must balance the privacy interests of nationals of a third country and refugee status claimants whose information will be shared, with the need to maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration program and the safety and security of Canada. The Agreement and the Asylum Annex create obligations and/or provisions and establish privacy safeguards at the international level. The enactment of a specific domestic authority for immigration information sharing with the United States pursuant to the Agreement and the Asylum Annex would strengthen specific privacy safeguards contained in the Agreement and the Asylum Annex that do not currently exist in Canadian legislation, and ground both instruments in Canada’s domestic law.

Description: The proposed Regulations would support the Government of Canada’s ability to collect immigration information from and disclose immigration information to the United States pursuant to the Agreement, signed on December 13, 2012, and the Asylum Annex, signed on August 22, 2003.

The proposed Regulations would

create a specific domestic authority for immigration information sharing pursuant to the Agreement and the Asylum Annex;

establish the scope and purpose of immigration information sharing pursuant to the Agreement and the Asylum Annex;

ensure transparency in the process for immigration information sharing pursuant to the Agreement and the Asylum Annex; and

establish appropriate privacy safeguards consistent with domestic legislation.  Continued

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