Global Visa Application Center Network PIA : Phase two

Since 2000, Visa Application Centres (VACs) have helped Visa Offices (VOs) provide administrative support for visa and immigration applications across the globe. Prior to 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) had 60 VACs located in 41 countries in which most of the agreements in place were locally managed through Service Agreements (SA) with corresponding VOs.

Until the establishment of the Global VAC Network, expansion of VACs was limited to where there was access to service providers and where volumes in applications would justify opening a VAC. Through a contracted Global VAC Network however, CIC is able to open VACs in areas that were previously out of reach and offer standardized services in both high- and low- volume areas. This ensures consistency in service across international regions, and allows CIC to implement biometrics via its Temporary Resident Biometric Project (TRBP).

In 2011, CIC presented a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) on three Mexico Visa Application Centres (VACs). The report's objectives were to address the privacy risks associated with the establishment of a centrally managed service arrangement. A PIA was also conducted in 2003 for the New Delhi VAC, which assessed the impacts of the use of a Service Provider that would perform a number of functions on behalf of applicants as well as facilitate the distribution of information to a Mission.

The India and Mexico PIAs served as foundational documents which set the groundwork for the Global VAC Network Request for Proposal (Global VAC RFP). Two contractors were awarded contracts, based on various geographic regions. These contractors are responsible for the implementation and ongoing operations of the VACs within their respective regions.

This Report is the second and final PIA conducted on CIC's Global VAC Network and is an update based on CIC's assessment of the Privacy Management Plans (PMPs) provided by the two winning contractors, including country-specific analyses and the risk mitigations previously implemented. Both Reports assess the privacy impact of using VACs for the Temporary Resident (TR) line of business. While there were no high-level privacy risks identified relating to the global VAC network, there are a limited number of medium-to-low level risks associated with the privacy principles of Safeguards, Accuracy and Retention. This Report further describes the various mitigation mechanisms as a result of these risks and describes the various privacy and security requirements built into the Global VAC RFP.

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