United States and Canada discuss sharing of Immigration and Visa information

Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney as well as United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met last week to discuss border security, immigration in Canada and fast-tracking travel and business between the two countries.

The two signed a Terms of Reference for the Visa Policy Working Group, which would allow for information sharing and inter-country consulting about visas for both countries and traveler screening and admissibility. The Visa Policy Working Group has long been underway, but but the signing of the Terms of Reference formalizes it. “Canada’s longstanding geographic, economic and social ties with the United States are a source of strength for bough countries,” said Kenney. “By sharing information and working together we can redefine approaches to identifying and screening travelers to expedite the flow of individuals moving legitimately across our borders, while protecting against those who would threaten our shared peace and prosperity.”

The two also met around the same time last year, and discussed progress made on their collaboration on immigration issues as well as the screening, registration and identifying travelers since then. “The partnership between the United States and Canada is critical to promoting national security and economic growth in both of our nations,” said Secretary Napolitano, “Minister Kenney and I are committed to working together to develop and implement border security and immigration measures and standards that help ensure the safety and security of our citizens.”

What does this mean for our Clients applying for Visas to the  US and/or Canada?  Well in a nut shell, information pertaining to your Canadian or US Visas may be shared between the two countries. This means your Visa applications for either Canada or the US have to be prepared with this information sharing in mind so that your admission to either Canada or the US would not be negatively impacted. It is therefore even more critical to ensure your applications are properly prepared!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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