The Government of Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are committed to providing visitors with websites that are respectful of the diverse needs of Canadians, as well as privacy and copyright laws.
On this page
- Privacy notices
- Improving your experience on Government of Canada websites
- Using files located on non-Government of Canada servers
- Providing content in Canada’s official languages
- Linking to non-Government of Canada websites
- Copyright/permission to reproduce
- Our commitment to accessibility
- Interacting with us on social media
- Questions and media requests
All personal information collected by this institution is governed by the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and how to exercise your right of access to that information.
Your privacy and the Internet
The nature of the Internet is such that web servers automatically collect certain information about a visit to a website, including the visitor’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISP) to all devices used to access the Internet. Web servers automatically log the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. However, in certain circumstances, such as with the co-operation of an ISP for example, it could be used to identify an individual using the site. For this reason, the Government of Canada considers the IP address to be personal information, particularly when combined with other data automatically collected when visitor requests a web page such as the page or pages visited, date and time of the visit.
Unless otherwise noted, IRCC does not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. IRCC would obtain this type of information only if you supply it to us, for example, by email or by filling in a contact form. In such cases, how your personal information is handled will be provided in a Personal Information Collection Statement.
In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of the Government of Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the web server of the third-party service provider.
Communicating with the Government of Canada
If you choose to send IRCC an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used by IRCC in order to respond to your inquiry. The information you provide will only be shared with another government institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. IRCC does not use the information to create individual profiles nor does it disclose the information to anyone other than to those in the federal government who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Personal information from emails or completed feedback forms is collected pursuant to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Such information may be used for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and is included in Personal Information Bank Public Communications (PSU 914).
Come to Canada Wizard
The information within the Come to Canada Wizard is presented to guide you in assessing your suitability for various immigration applications. No immigration decision will be made based on the answers that you provide within the Come to Canada Wizard. If you choose to apply, your application will be considered by an officer in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, without regard to any outcome you attain through this questionnaire.
The Wizard together with the application guides were designed to provide general guidance to applicants; however, in some cases, additional information or steps may be required.
You will provide information to the Come to Canada Wizard. The information that you provide will be used to direct you to information concerning the process and documents to be completed and/or submitted in relation to the application that you choose. In the event that you use the Personal Checklist Code provided to you by the Wizard to start an online application within your account, the Wizard information will be retrieved for your review, and will be used to validate responses that you provide on your application form. Should your information change, you may be sent back to the Wizard to validate the information that you provided. The information that you provide may also be used to direct your application(s) to the appropriate IRCC Office for processing and will be used to gather statistics concerning the use of the Come to Canada Wizard.
If you complete the Come to Canada Wizard, and receive a Personal Checklist Code, the information that you provide within the Come to Canada Wizard will be stored anonymously within a IRCC database for 60 days. If you do not receive a Personal Checklist Code, your information will not be retained once you exit your session. In the event that you submit an online application via your account, the information you provide in the Wizard will be held within the IRCC Personal Information Bank that corresponds to the application that you submit, and for the period of time specified within that Personal Information Bank. In accordance with the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act individuals have a right to protection of and access to their personal information. More information on Personal Information Banks is available at the Infosource website. Infosource is also available at public libraries across Canada.
Third-party social media
IRCC’s use of social media serves as an extension of its presence on the web. Social media account(s) are public and are not hosted on Government of Canada servers. Users who choose to interact with us via social media should read the terms of service and privacy policies of these third-party service providers and those of any applications you use to access them. IRCC uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Personal information that you provide to the Government of Canada via social media account(s) is collected under the authority of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. This information is collected to capture conversations (e.g. questions and answers, comments, “likes”, retweets) between you and IRCC. It may be used to respond to inquiries, or for statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes. Comments posted that violate Canadian law will be deleted and disclosed to law enforcement authorities. Comments that violate our rules of engagement will also be deleted. The personal information is included in Personal Information Bank Outreach Activities (PSU 938).
Improving your experience on Government of Canada websites
Digital markers (including cookies)
A digital marker is a resource created by the visitors’ browser in order to remember certain pieces of information for the web server to reference during the same or subsequent visit to the website. Examples of digital markers are “cookies” or HTML5 web storage. Some examples of what digital markers do are as follows:
- they allow a website to recognize a previous visit each time the visitor accesses the site;
- they track what information is viewed on a site which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they are looking for.
IRCC uses sessional and persistent digital markers on some portions of its website. During your on-line visit, your browser exchanges data with IRCC’s web server. The digital markers used do not allow IRCC to identify individuals.
You may adjust your browser settings to reject digital markers, including cookies, if you so choose. However, it may affect your ability to interact with IRCC’s website.
Web analytics is the collection, analysis, measurement, and reporting of data about web traffic and visits for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Information in digital markers may be used for the purpose of web analytics to remember your online interactions with IRCC’s website.
IRCC uses Urchin 7.0 to improve its website. When your computer requests a IRCC web page, our institution collects the following types of information for web analytics:
- the originating IP address;
- the date and time of the request;
- the type of browser used; and
- the page(s) visited.
IRCC uses Urchin 7.0 internally and retains information collected for web analytics for a maximum period of 18 months. After this period, the information must be disposed of in accordance with the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics and as authorized by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The information is not disclosed to an external third party service provider.
Information used for the purpose of web analytics is collected pursuant to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act. Such data may be used for communications and information technology statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting. For more information on how your privacy is safeguarded in relation to web analytics, see the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics.
Protecting the security of Government of Canada websites
IRCC employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the IP address of the computer that has contacted our website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. We make no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting our site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.
This information is collected pursuant to section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting and is included in Personal Information Bank Security Incidents (PSU 939).
Inquiring about these practices
Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of the Privacy Act, and privacy policies regarding IRCC’s web presence may be directed to our Access to Information and Privacy Division.
If you are not satisfied with IRCC’s response to your privacy concern, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.
Canadian passport property ownership
All Canadian-issued passports and travel documents are the property of the Government of Canada pursuant to the Canadian Passport Order. Any reference to “your passport” or “your child's passport” on this website is for ease of communication only and does not refer to property ownership.
Using files located on non-Government of Canada servers
To improve the functionality of Government of Canada websites, certain files (such as open source libraries, images and scripts) may be delivered automatically to your browser via a trusted third-party server or content delivery network. The delivery of these files is intended to provide a seamless user experience by speeding response times and avoiding the need for each visitor to download these files. Where applicable, specific privacy statements covering these files are included in our Privacy Notice.
Providing content in Canada’s official languages
The Official Languages Act, the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations and Treasury Board policy requirements establish when we use both English and French to provide services to or communicate with members of the public. When there is no obligation to provide information in both official languages, content may be available in one official language only. Information provided by organizations not subject to the Official Languages Act is in the language(s) provided. Information provided in a language other than English or French is only for the convenience of our visitors.
Linking to non-Government of Canada websites
Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada, including those to our social media accounts, are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. We are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content of such websites. The Government of Canada does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.
Visitors should also be aware that information offered by non-Government of Canada sites to which this website links is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. The information offered may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question. With respect to privacy, visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-government websites before providing personal information.
Copyright/permission to reproduce
Materials on this website were produced and/or compiled by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the purpose of providing Canadians with direct access to information about the programs and services offered by the Government of Canada.
The material on this site is covered by the provisions of the Copyright Act, by Canadian laws, policies, regulations and international agreements. Such provisions serve to identify the information source and, in specific instances, to prohibit reproduction of materials without written permission.
Information on this website has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal or public non-commercial use and may be reproduced, in part or in whole, and by any means, without charge or further permission, unless otherwise specified.
- Users are required to:
- Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced;
- Indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced, as well as the author organization; and
- Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of an official work that is published by the Government of Canada and that the reproduction has not been produced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.
- Unless otherwise specified, this authorization is also applicable to all published information regardless of its format.
Reproduction of materials on this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution is prohibited except with written permission from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Through the permission-granting process, which may take 10 to 15 working days, IRCC helps to ensure that individuals / organizations wishing to reproduce materials for commercial purposes have access to the most accurate, up-to-date versions. To obtain permission to reproduce materials on this site for commercial purposes, please apply for Crown Copyright Clearance.
Apply for Crown Copyright Clearance
Reproduction of Government symbols
The official symbols of the Government of Canada, including the “Canada” wordmark, the Arms of Canada, and the flag symbol may not be reproduced, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, without written authorization. Request for authorization from the Treasury Board Secretariat may be addressed to:
Federal Identity Program
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
300 Laurier Avenue West
Canada K1A 0R5
Some of the materials and graphical elements found on Government of Canada websites are subject to copyrights held by other organizations. This is particularly true of sites that are jointly operated by a Government of Canada institution and an external organization as part of a collaborative arrangement. In such cases, some restrictions on the reproduction of materials or graphical elements may apply and it may be necessary to seek permission from the rights holder prior to reproducing the material.
To obtain information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions on reproduction on this site, please contact:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Publishing and Creative Services
300 Slater street, 3rd floor
Some of the information in this website has been provided by external sources. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information provided by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information.
Our commitment to accessibility
The Government of Canada is committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. In the event of difficulty using our web pages, applications or device-based mobile applications, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternative formats such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format.
Interacting with us on social media
This notice has been written to explain how IRCC and Service Canada, our partner in delivering the Passport Program, interacts with the public on social media platforms.
Content and frequency
We use our social media accounts as an alternative method to sharing the content posted on our website and interacting with our stakeholders. When you “follow”, “like” or “subscribe”, you can expect to see information about the programs and services we provide.
The statements on Non-Commercial Reproduction and Commercial Reproduction apply to content posted to our social media accounts. However, users are encouraged to use the tools provided by social media channels to pass unaltered content along to their social media network (e.g. share, embed, retweet). As long as this content is not altered in any way, using these tools is not considered reproduction.
We recognize that the web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, our social media channels are managed during the workday (Eastern Time zone) Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays).
Our online community managers strive to respond to questions within 8 business hours. We do not respond during the weekend. If you send or post a question or comment during the weekend, you should expect to receive a message the next business day.
We may post new content at any time in the event of an emergency, or if the content could be of significant value to our social media community.
The views of users commenting on our content, such as comments on Facebook or YouTube or including our handles in a tweet, do not represent our views, nor do we verify or confirm the accuracy of posted comments.
Because the servers of our social media platforms are managed by a third party, our social media accounts are subject to downtime that may be out of our control. As such, we accept no responsibility for platforms becoming unresponsive or unavailable.
From time to time, content may be removed from our social channels (i.e. it is no longer up to date). This will be done without notice.
Links to other websites and ads
Our social media accounts may post or display links or ads for websites that are not under our control. These links are provided solely for the convenience of users. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the information found through these links or ads, nor does it endorse the sites or their content.
Following, “favouriting” and subscribing
There is no implied endorsement of an account, channel, page, individual, group or site should we:
- decide to “follow,” “favourite”, “subscribe” or use similar feature to another social media account
- share content from another user (e,g., re-tweeting, reposting or linking to)
- use a “Like”, thumbs up, “Favorite” or other similar feature for content posted by another user or account.
Comments and interaction
We will read comments and participate in discussions when appropriate. We ask that your comments be relevant and respectful. We reserve the right to delete comments that violate this notice, and the user may be blocked and reported to prevent further inappropriate comments.
We cannot engage in issues of party politics or answer questions that break the rules of this notice. We will not reply to comments about individual cases or that contain personal information. On social media channels that provide moderation, any comments about an individual case or that contain personal information will be rejected/deleted.
We reserve the right to edit or remove comments that:
- Contain personal information;
- Are contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- Express racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening messages;
- Put forward serious, unproven or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
- Are aggressive, coarse, violent, obscene or pornographic;
- Are offensive, rude or abusive to an individual or an organization;
- Are not sent by the author or are put forward for advertising purposes;
- Encourage illegal activity;
- Contain announcements from labour or political organizations;
- Are written in a language other than English or French;
- Are unintelligible or irrelevant;
- Are repetitive or spam; and
- Do not, in our opinion, add to the normal flow of the discussion.
In short, please be respectful and make sure that your comments are relevant to where they are posted. The views of users commenting on our social media accounts do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.
We will not reply to questions or comments sent to us using social media channel’s private messaging systems (e.g., “Direct Messages” on Twitter, “Messages” on Facebook). However, from time to time we may use it to reply directly and privately to a user when a public reply is not appropriate.
Accessibility of social media platforms
Social media platforms are third-party service providers and are not bound by Government of Canada standards for web accessibility. If you have difficulty accessing content on our social media accounts, please contact us and we will try to solve the problem or provide you with the information in a different format.
Information that we post is subject to the Copyright Act.
Our social media accounts are not Government of Canada websites and represent only our presence on third-party service providers.
For more information, please refer to our Privacy Notice regarding third-party social media.
Many social media platforms have multiple language options and provide instructions on how to set your preferences. The Government of Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that our information is available in both French and English and that both versions are of equal quality.
We reply to comments in the official language in which they are posted. If we think the response is a question of general public interest, we may respond in both official languages.
We may share links that direct users to sites of organizations or other entities that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and available only in the language(s) in which they are written. When content is available in only one language, we make an effort to provide similar content in the other official language.
Questions and media requests
Reporters are asked to send questions to our media contacts.
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