Access to information and privacy office

The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act came into effect on July 1, 1983.

These acts provide Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any person (or entity) present in Canada the legal right to obtain information, in any form, that is under the control of a government institution. The general purpose of these acts is to make government more open and transparent, allowing citizens to more fully participate in the democratic process.

On July 2, 2013, Passport Canada was integrated with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), while Service Canada assumed responsibility for delivering passport services in Canada. The responsibility for processing access to information and privacy requests is therefore shared between CIC and Employment and Social Development Canada (which includes Service Canada), as detailed below.

How to make a request under the Privacy Act

The Privacy Act protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and provides individuals with a right to access and request correction to this information. In accordance with section 7 of the Privacy Act, personal information can only be used in accordance with the purpose for which the information was collected or for a use consistent with that purpose.

Information protected by the Privacy Act can only be disclosed with the consent of the person to whom it relates or in accordance with the exception terms of subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.

A request for personal information held in 2002 or after should be made to Employment and Social Development Canada.

A request for personal information held in 2001 or before and/or that involves an investigation file should be made to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Note: Investigation files relate to investigations undertaken by Passport Canada to determine whether the passport application or the passport holder may be subject to refusal or revocation provisions of the Canadian Passport Order.

How to make a request under the Access to Information Act

The Access to Information Act gives individuals a right to access records under the control of a federal government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.

A request for a copy of Passport Canada’s corporate records should be made to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

A request for records regarding the delivery of passport services should be made to Employment and Social Development Canada.