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Homeland Security

Fact Sheet: Beyond the Border Facilitating Travel at the United States - Canada Border

Release Date: 
December 6, 2011

At 5,525 miles (8,891 kilometers), the United States-Canada border is the longest shared border in the world.  The border, which crosses various terrains and environments, is a diverse region consisting of major metropolitan centers, integrated bi-national communities, numerous transit hubs, tribal lands, and vast regions with little or no population.  It is also a dynamic border with accessibility and security requirements that vary significantly with the seasons. 

Within this border environment, U.S. and Canadian officials work cooperatively to secure and facilitate cross-border travel.  Our countries are connected by more than 120 land ports of entry, more than 115,000 annual flights, and the numerous commercial and recreational vessels that cross our maritime border.  Every day, approximately 350,000 people cross the U.S.-Canada border for business, tourism, school, and visiting family and friends.  This cross-border flow of people is vital to our economies and integral to our shared communities. 

Through the trusted traveler program NEXUS, our countries partner to expedite travel via land, air, or sea for pre-screened, approved travelers.  We also work together at ports of entry to reduce wait times and address threats.  We facilitate safe and secure air travel between our two countries, including pre-clearing passengers destined for the United States from several Canadian airports.  We cooperate to help keep the recreational and commercial boating community safe and secure while transiting our shared waters. 

The Beyond the Border Action Plan seeks to build on these initiatives to further secure and facilitate cross-border travel.  Among other things, the United States and Canada intend to increase harmonized benefits to NEXUS members, enhance border infrastructure and facilities, implement additional pre-clearance initiatives, and implement border wait-time technology at high-priority border crossings. 

Read more about the specific initiatives to facilitate cross-border travel in the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

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