Access to Information and Privacy Requests

An Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request is often used in order to get a copy of a foreign national’s file. In regards to immigration, there are two possible agencies that one may submit an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request:

  1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada), or 
  2. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). 

One would apply for a copy of their file, or of the notes on file, with Immigration Canada if they have filed an application for permanent residence, temporary residence, criminal rehabilitation, etc., directly with Immigration Canada, either online, or through a Case Processing Centre or Visa Office.

If a foreign national has applied for a status document or for entry into Canada directly at a port of entry, one would make a request with the CBSA. 

Making an ATIP request with Immigration Canada or with CBSA will allow a foreign national to have an inside look at the notes that an Officer has made regarding their application or regarding possible issues that Immigration or CBSA has flagged. If a foreign national has received a refusal of their application (normally a refusal is a very templated letter), receiving a copy of their file will provide the full reasons for the refusal.