Entry/Exit Initiative Update

Release date : Jul 16, 2019

Dear Snowbirds,

The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) has been providing members with updates on the coordinated entry-exit information system between Canada and the United States also known as the entry/exit initiative. This system permits information sharing so that the record of a land entry into one country can be used to establish an exit record from the other.

Previously, Canada and the U.S. only exchanged biographic entry information on third-country nationals (non-U.S. or Canadian citizens), permanent residents of Canada who are not U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. who are not Canadian citizens at land ports of entry. ®

As of July 11, 2019, the entry/exit initiative has been expanded to include the sharing of information of all travellers including Canadian and American citizens at land ports of entry.

This means that now when a Canadian citizen enters the United States at a land crossing, their information will automatically be sent to Canada Border Services Agency and they will be recorded as having left Canada. When they re-enter Canada, this information will be transmitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and an exit record will be created on the U.S. side. In other words, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will now know precisely when you entered and exited the United States.

The biographic information shared will include the travellers’ first, middle, and last name, date of birth, nationality, sex, document type (i.e. passport), document number, and the name of the country which issued the travel document. In addition to the biographic information that Canada and the U.S. currently collect on travellers at ports of entry, the date and time of entry, as well as the port through which the traveller entered is collected by each country, and are exchanged to create exit records.

It is important to remember that the immigration and tax rules for Canadian snowbirds remain unchanged. For immigration purposes, as Canadian citizens travelling to the United States for tourism purposes, we are limited to “six months less a day” (182 days) within any 12 month period. For example, if you entered the U.S. on November 1, 2019 your 12 month period would conclude on October 31, 2020. Within this timeframe, you would be limited to 182 days.

For tax purposes, any Canadian who spends roughly four months or more in the U.S. each calendar year would want to file IRS Form 8840 in order to be treated as a non-resident. The three-year calculation known as the substantial presence test determines whether or not you need to submit the closer connection form. If you typically spend four or more months annually in the U.S., the CSA strongly recommends filing the 8840 Form by the June 15 deadline. You are eligible to file the 8840 Form as long as you do not exceed 182 days in a single calendar year.

If you have any questions regarding the entry/exit initiative, please do not hesitate to contact our office toll-free at   1-800-265-3200 or by email at csastaff@snowbirds.org.

Related contents

IRS 8840 Form