Residency and visa applicants from outside North America are now subject to a newly agreed policy that instantly reports their immigration status whenever they enter the US or Canada. American citizens, Canadians and any other permanent residents will be exempt from the biometric program, which affords immigration officials easy access to information ranging from name and age through to photographic ID and fingerprint recognition, with those latter examples scheduled for introduction in 2014.
David Jacobson (US Ambassador to Canada) and Jason Kenney (Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism) each signed the policy in order to responsibly identify known offenders who have unsuccessfully sought refuge or have already been deported in the past, perhaps after attempting to breach immigration laws using fake ID or other comparable methods. Now, the biometric breakdown of any such given non-native, from ardent asylum seekers to casual visitors, will be made readily available to both American and Canadian border patrol officials.
Now biometric information and immigration reports are to be reciprocated between the two countries, a Canadian immigration spokesperson was quoted as saying “Any information shared on travellers and asylum seekers will be handled responsibly and, as with other information sharing agreements, exchanged in accordance with relevant US and Canadian laws.” Whether your intentions are to live, learn or labour when moving overseas, you can be sure that every aspect of your application is now set for unprecedented scrutiny.
Entry restrictions have become ever-tighter in recent years, but after the 2011 launch of the online ‘Come to Canada’ wizard that identifies the best program for immigrants to use when applying for entry into Canada, help is at hand. The wizard has been proven to be both cost and time efficient and with less than 10% of website visitors stating some dissatisfaction with its user-friendly interface, it’s hardly surprising to learn that most of the 5,000 daily users would advise others to make the most of the ‘Come to Canada’ wizard. More than 2m visitors have now used the program.
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