How to order for free
Any Canadian citizen, permanent resident or individual present in Canada has the right to access their personal information held by government institutions that are subject to the Privacy Act.
The purpose of the Privacy Act is to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves where it is held by a government institution and to provide individuals with the right to access such information.
To prove that you have the right to make a request, you must provide one of the following documents: a copy of your Canadian passport or your permanent resident card, or an official document that demonstrates you are currently living in Canada (i.e. a driver's license, bill with proof of address, work/study/visitor permit, etc). Only one (1) document is required. Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) will not be accepted.
The maximum size of each file is 2 MB (two megabytes). The following file formats are allowed:
- 1.Portable Document Format (PDF)
- 2.JPG, TIFF, or PNG (Image)
- 3.DOC, DOCX (Microsoft Word Document)
- The process has 4 steps
- 1.Requester Information (see details below)
- 2.Act & Record Selection (see details below)
- 1.Important. For the question "What type of information are you requesting?" Select "Privacy Act" to get your own information for free.
- 3.Attach Documents
- 4.Review and Validate
The legislated time-frame for processing a request under the Access to Information Act is 30 calendar days. If the 30 day deadline falls on a weekend or on a holiday, the due date becomes the next business day (Also see Computation of Time at Interpretation Act). Please note;
- IRCC processes orders only during regular business hours, Eastern Time. That means processing of orders received by IRCC outside of operating hours or the weekend will begin the following business day.
- The GCMS notes are usually generated around the time the request is made, not at the time when it’s released.
- IRCC can extend the time limit to respond to a request beyond the 30 calendar days.