Information-Sharing Arrangement among Citizenship and Immigration Canada, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Department of State

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (USINS) and the United States Department of State have recently re-signed a Statement of Mutual Understanding (SMU) on Information-sharing.

Co-operation and Collaboration

Recognizing that border security and border management are based upon co-operation and collaboration, the SMU builds on existing joint co-operative efforts between Canada and the United States.

Since 1995, officials from both countries have been developing joint strategies to facilitate the exchange of information on border security issues through national and bilateral meetings, such as Border Vision between immigration agencies, and the Shared Border Accord between customs and immigration agencies.

The SMU also builds on the Smart Border Declaration, signed in December 2001, to enhance the security of our shared border while facilitating the legitimate flow of people and goods.

Details of the SMU

The SMU replaces the information-sharing arrangement that has been in effect since 1999 and similarly provides for the exchange of information on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the domestic laws of both Canada and the United States.

The provisions of the present SMU allow for the proactive sharing of information that is pertinent to the enforcement of our citizenship and immigration laws. Another feature of the SMU is that provisions are made for the incorporation of annexes, which allow for the systematic exchange of information related to specific programs.

Both countries are currently working together on the annexes, which will provide the tools needed to ensure that information and intelligence continue to be shared in a timely and coherent way to secure the flow of legitimate travellers to our countries.

Multiple Borders Strategy

The best way to secure our borders is to identify and intercept persons posing security risks as early as possible, and as far away from our borders as possible.

Information sharing supports the Multiple Borders Strategy, which focuses control measures overseas, where potential violators of citizenship or immigration laws are intercepted prior to their arrival to the United States or Canada.

Neither country can do this alone — the capacity to exchange information with our partners is needed to keep our borders secure.

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